History of the JFK Award
The JFK Award was originally discussed in 1976, in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Library, and was first awarded in 1977. It was designed to be the highest commencement award that an undergraduate could receive. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their academic record, their service contributions, and their overall contributions as a "citizen" of the University and of the world. The chosen recipient receives a bust of John F. Kennedy, an honorarium, and the opportunity to speak at the main University commencement ceremony. The university has an impressive list of previous JFK Award recipients.
The 2014 JFK Award winner is: Shaun O'Grady, College of Liberal Arts
Shaun O’Grady has shown a dedication to service that is truly laudable, from his past work serving as a Staff Sergeant in the US Marine Corps, to his current work as a community organizer for trauma response through the Boston Alliance for Community Health. Shaun will be graduating from UMass Boston with a B.S. in Psychology, after which he will begin a PhD program in Psychology at UC Berkeley (where his work will be funded by an NSF graduate fellowship). The committee was in awe of Shaun’s accomplishments, especially given his background as a high school dropout and a first-generation college student, and his current long-term goal of becoming a university professor whose work will inform policies and practices surrounding how kids learn most effectively and thoroughly. The committee found him to be an intelligent and honorable individual who is truly dedicated to the service of our country, our city, and our university.