Serving as mistress of ceremonies for the HDA gala in New Brunswick was Sheryl Lee Ralph RC '75, actress and Broadway award-winner who was herself inducted into the HDA in 2002.
Ralph opened the program with a rollicking musical introduction of each of the award winners, sashaying between their tables with mike in hand.
Following brief videos of each of the honorees, the awards were presented by University President Richard L. McCormick and Jim Rhodes CCAS '94, chair of the Rutgers University Alumni Association.
The Hall of Distinguished Alumni was created in 1987 to not only recognize alums who have reached the pinnacles of their professional or civic fields, but to inspire all other students and alumni to strive for excellence. Nominations to the HDA are accepted throughout the year.
The 2009 Class of Rutgers Distinguished Alumni (from left); Mir Imran ENG '77, Walter Alexander ENG '43, Dorothy Cantor GSAPP '76, Ralph Izzo RBS '02, Natalie Morales RC '94
Walter G. Alexander, II ENG '43 - First minority graduate of the Rutgers College of Engineering; U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant and Tuskegee Airman; and dentistry pioneer.
Dorothy W. Cantor GSAPP '76 - Practicing psychologist and author, and first female clinician and Psy.D. degree-holder to lead the American Psychological Association.
Mir A. Imran ENG '77 - Founder and CEO of InCube Laboratories, and inventor of the world's first automatic implantable heart defibrillator.
Ralph Izzo RBS '02 - Chairman, president and CEO of PSE&G, and leader in climate change technology.
Natalie Morales RC '94 - Co-anchor and national correspondent for The Today Show on NBC.
Link to RUAA Site for additonal information & videos.
Guests walk the red carpet to the event at the Heldrich hotel in New Brunswick.
RAA Line of Succession at HDA's big night; (from right) Outgoing president Frank Hundley RC '86, incoming president Cara Bufanio MGSA '85, president-elect Ralph Zemel ENG '69