Date: October 10, 2006
Department: Alumni Relations
The 2006 Alumni Service Award will go to State Representative Michael J. Rodrigues of Westport. An Accounting graduate of the Class of 1983, Rodrigues recently stepped down as one of the longest serving Presidents of the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. In his role as a legislator, Rodrigues is a tireless advocate of the University, leading the charge with his colleagues on the Southcoast to assure that UMass Dartmouth receives the necessary resources to continue its tradition of success.
Kevin Santos, also an Accounting graduate of the Class of 1981, is the recipient of the 2006 Personal Achievement Award. A Dartmouth native, Santos founded STAT Ambulance Service of New England, a medical transportation company. The company, over its 26 year existence has grown from a one-man, basement operation to a leader in ambulance service in the New England region. Santos also serves as an elected Assessor for the Town of Dartmouth. Santos has established a scholarship fund at UMass Dartmouth that will benefit a Dartmouth student. In addition, Santos provides in-kind ambulance services for various University athletic events.
The Alumni Employee Award goes to Christina Bruen. Currently the University's Director of the International Student Center, Bruen led the Office of Alumni Relations from 1991 to 1996, serving as the primary point of contact for the University's thousands of alumni. Her stewardship guided the Alumni office through the University's crucial transition from the former Southeastern Massachusetts University to UMass Dartmouth.
Cecil M. Lopes III, a Business Administration student scheduled to graduate in 2008, fell victim to a drive-by shooting on October 31, 2004 becoming the latest casualty in a string of violent incidents in the City of New Bedford. His untimely death rocked the City and particularly the UMass Dartmouth community. In response to the tragedy that had just befallen them, the Lopes family made it their mission to spread the message of anti-violence. They have done so vigorously while at the same time promoting the importance of higher education. The Cecil M. Lopes III Memorial Scholarship Fund was established at UMass Dartmouth to benefit students from socio-economically challenged backgrounds, serving as a testament to Cecil's life and his family's devotion. The Lopes family is the 2006 recipient of the University Service Award.
Lastly, the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association will pay tribute to its former Director of Alumni Relations, Attorney Donald A. Berube, a graduate of the Class of 1984. Berube led the University's Alumni Relations Office and the Alumni Association from 2002 to 2005. He recently left his post at the University to lead the Association of New England Title Agents.
The 2006 Alumni Award recipients are truly deserving of the honors they will receive," said Joe DeMedeiros '99, Director of Alumni Relations. "They exemplify the greatness of the UMass Dartmouth community. The University is fortunate to count them as friends."