Those at the UConn Foundation’s annual UConn White Coat Gala were still on a “Husky High,” basking in dual NCAA championships and celebrating three honorees who have gone above and beyond when it comes to support UConn Health.
“There is a lot to smile about tonight,” said UConn president Susan Herbst, who traded in UConn blue and sports tee shirts for a slinky black sequined gown. “It’s a great time for the health center and the university.”
Selected for the 2014 Carole and Ray Neag Medal of Honors were philanthropists, Atty. Richard and Jane Lublin, UConn Auxiliary Health Center president Irene Engel, and Cigna, represented at the gala by Dr. Dick Salmon.
“I went back to work at UConn when there was no UConn Health Center. I worked as a nurse in the McCook Hospital,” recalled Engel, referring to UConn Health Center’s first home in Hartford. A cancer survivor, Engel sported a gardenia wrist corsage, a sign, she said, from her late husband.
“He always gave me gardenias on special occasions,” she said. “A friend of ours insisted I must have one for tonight and I feel like he is with me.”
“We just wanted to do something to fight cancer,” said Richard Lublin about the couple’s tireless financial and personal commitment to UConn. “It is hard though, shoveling so much money to find a cure for cancer and still not making progress,” he said. “But we will keep giving because my desire is to see it wiped out forever.”
The sold-out crowd was treated to “up close and personal” look at the championship trophies and to round out the party, there was WTIC broadcaster, Joe D’Ambrosio, better known as “the Voice of the Huskies.”
“The dual win was so unexpected,” said the tuxedoed D’Ambrosio who emceed the event. “But it feels so good.”
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