Four Alums Receive Top Awards


The Notre Dame Alumni Association this week announced the 2014 recipients of three of its most prestigious awards.

The first two honorees both have had distinguished careers in the armed forces. United States Air Force Major General (Ret.) Chuck Tucker ’79 will receive the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award, while United States Navy Captain James Cole ’87 will accept the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award. A third Alumni Association honor, the Harvey G. Foster Award, will be presented to Lauran ’06 and Justin Tuck ’05.

“These four incredible Notre Dame men and women embody the values Our Lady's University seeks to instill in its students,” said Dolly Duffy ’84, Notre Dame Alumni Association executive director and vice president for University Relations. “They all serve as wonderful representatives of Notre Dame, and we are honored to present them with these awards.”

The Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award

The Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna who is or has performed outstanding service in the field of government, patriotism, public service, or politics.

After majoring in government at Notre Dame, Major General (Ret.) Chuck Tucker ’79 earned a law degree from DePaul University and entered the Air Force as a JAG officer. During his 27-year career in the military, Tucker was routinely seconded to the State Department and International Organizations. His roles included: Economic and Legal Advisor for the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina; International Law Advisor for the US Secretary of Defense and US Ambassador in Iraq; and in various governmental capacities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America.

During the final six years of his Air Force tenure, Tucker held a variety of leadership positions, including serving on the joint staff of the National Guard Bureau. Tucker retired from the Air Force in 2009. He has spent the last five years leading various human rights and global affairs organizations. In 2011, he co-founded the World Engagement Institute, which is dedicated to supporting the fundamental rights of people throughout the world through training, education, research, and advocacy. Tucker currently serves as the institute’s executive director.

The Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award

The Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award is conferred on an alumnus or alumna who has distinguished himself or herself in military service. The award is presented in honor of Notre Dame's third president, who was a celebrated Civil War chaplain of the Union army's Irish Brigade.

United States Navy Captain James Cole ’87 majored in Pre-Professional Studies at Notre Dame and went on to earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Cole entered the military through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program in 1988. After finishing his medical degree, he was ordered to active duty. He trained as a paratrooper and completed Navy SCUBA diver and Hyperbaric Medical Office training. Cole deployed to Honduras and Guatemala in support of military operations and served as General Surgeon attached to the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Cole retired from active duty in September 2010, but he reentered the service as a Navy Reserve Officer after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since then, Cole has deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice, providing medical and surgical support during multiple Special Operations direct action missions and overseeing the development of a sustainable Afghan military medical system.

Outside of his duties with the Navy, Cole serves as the Assistant Director of Trauma Services and the Chairman of the Blood Utilization Committee at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center in Downers Grove, IL.

The Harvey G. Foster Award

The Harvey G. Foster Award is given to an alumnus or alumna, often an athlete or someone who works in athletics, who has distinguished himself or herself through civic or University activities.

Justin Tuck starred on the football field for Notre Dame from 2002 through 2005, setting the school record for sacks in a career. The New York Giants selected him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Tuck anchored the Giants’ defensive line for nine seasons, spending the last four as one of the team’s captains. He played a starring role in the Giants 2008 and 2012 Super Bowl victories, recording a combined four sacks, one forced fumble, and one safety in the two wins over the New England Patriots. Tuck signed with the Oakland Raiders this offseason.

After graduating from the Mendoza College of Business in 2006, Lauran Tuck earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership form the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for the Hartford Financial Services Group in Media and Community Relations before devoting herself full-time to philanthropy and education advocacy.

In 2008, the Tucks co-founded Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy, a program that donates money and thousands of new books to low-income children in New York, New Jersey, and Alabama to fight summer learning loss and foster a love of learning. In addition to their own foundation, the Tucks support a number of charitable organizations, and Lauran Tuck serves on Notre Dame's Performing Arts Advisory Council.  

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