The medal is a new annual award celebrating Nebraskans' promotion of the impact that the University of Nebraska and higher education have on the state's economic and social well-being. It is the highest honor the university president can bestow on a community member.
Dr. Bounds chose the Hadleys following a nomination and review process this fall that invited the public to nominate Nebraskans who have gone above and beyond in lifting up their voices for an affordable, excellent university. The Hadleys will be publicly recognized at Tuesday's NU Board of Regents meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. in Lincoln.
"There are so many Nebraskans who have been willing to advocate for our 52,000 students and talented faculty and staff. Frankly, they all deserve to be recognized," Dr. Bounds said. "Galen and Marilyn Hadley are a fitting choice for the first Medal of Service. They are public servants in the truest sense of the word. Their ties to Nebraska run deep, and their commitment to the young people of our state is difficult to match.
"Quite simply, the University of Nebraska would not be the institution it is today without the support, service and advocacy of Galen and Marilyn. I am honored to recognize the Hadleys on behalf of the entire of University of Nebraska and past, current and future generations of college students across our state."
In a joint statement, the Hadleys said: "We are truly humbled to be the first recipients of the Presidential Medal of Service. For us, public service isn't about awards or recognition. It's about the impact that each one of us can have on future generations. That's what drives our work. And education is at the center of it all. In our own lives and every day in the Kearney community, we've seen the dramatic impact that education, and the university specifically, have on economic growth and quality of life.
"The future of our state depends on a strong, growing, accessible, competitive University of Nebraska. We'll continue to do whatever we can to support the institution that is one of Nebraska's most important drivers of growth and prosperity."
Marilyn and Galen, CONGRATULATIONS!! Carol and Rick Russell