Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, was chosen as the recipient of the American Association of University Professors' 2014 Henry T. Yost Congressional Recognition Award, given annually to a member of Congress who has championed the causes of higher education. He was nominated for the award by the Executive Committee of United Academics (AAUP/AFT), the union representing 850 full- and part-time faculty members at the University of Vermont.
The award was presented last month in the Congressman's office, 2303 Rayburn House Office Building, by Professor Brian Turner of Randolph-Macon College, chair of the AAUP Government Relations Committee. Also present were Professor Denise Youngblood, president of United Academics, AAUP National Executive Committee member Professor Charles Baker of the College of the Holy Cross from which Congressman Welch is a magna cum laude graduate, Dan Wells, United Academics
Communication Director, and Steve Finner, United Academics Higher Education Consultant.
As Professor Turner noted, "Today we honor Representative Welch's ongoing efforts to expand educational opportunities for underserved students, his commitment to lowering student debt, and his support of public sector higher education, all of the values articulated by Tom Yost during his years of service to the AAUP."
A video of the award presentation was shown at an afternoon reception for the AAUP's Capitol Hill Day, attended by college and university faculty members from across the country who had spent the day talking with their legislators about key issues facing higher education.
"Going back to his days in the state senate and serving as President Pro Tem, Congressman Welch has been a strong supporter of public sector higher education. His concern and efforts to deal with high student debt has focused the attention of Congressional Republicans as well as Democrats on this national problem," Denise Youngblood commented.
Upon receiving the award, Congressman Welch responded "I am especially honored that the American Association of University Professors has chosen me to receive the Thomas Yost Award on the eve of its 100th anniversary"
Denise Youngblood and Representative Peter Welch