Henry C. Lee College Awards Night Honors Students


Photo by Jennifer Korn/The Charger Bulletin

The student award recipients all posed for a photo with the college faculty following the awards ceremony.

The Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences recently recognized outstanding students and alumni at their awards ceremony on Thursday April 24. Several speakers, including Dr. Henry C. Lee, attended the event and gave advice to students who are preparing to graduate.

Mario T. Gaboury, dean of the college, opened the ceremony and said it’s important to recognize students who have worked hard “and many times overcoming obstacles.”

Lee said, “You have to have the intelligence, knowledge, and courage” and told students to “try to do your best.” According to Lee, it doesn’t matter what profession students pursue as long as they “continue to learn.” He said that to learn, “you have to actually work in the field.”

Megan Murphy, fire marshal and emergency management director in Trumbull, Conn., received the 2019 Alumni Fellowship Award. Murphy was “the youngest president in the history of the Fire Marshals Association and the first female,” said Bruce Varga, fire science instructor. Murphy is also an adjunct instructor at the university.

She said many instructors at the university “have made such an impact on my education and career.” Murphy thanked professors who “always encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone.”

Robert McDonald Jr., director of the NBA’s security and international events, received the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Everything that you have been exposed to at the university will come back to you at some point in your career,” said McDonald. He attended the university in 1981 after his father graduated from the University of New Haven in 1964.

McDonald said, “I can honestly say that after a 29-year career, I could not have been better prepared for the career I chose.” He advised students to always “prepare for the next chapter” even after retirement.

Honors medals were given to 29 students by David Schroeder, associate dean of the College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences. According to Schroeder, students who received the award are honors program students who met the honors program requirements and participated in co-curricular activities while maintaining “at least a 3.3 GPA.”

Five students were named John D. Hatfield Scholars. The college also recognized 27 academic award recipients. Clubs that were recognized at the ceremony included the American Criminal Justice Association, Fire Science Club, Forensic Science Student Association and Victimology Club.  

Lee and McDonald suggested staying connected to friends.

“It takes a great deal of effort to stay in touch,” said McDonald. He also told students that while “you may be able to retire in your early 40s,” they are “held to a much higher standard” than other professions. Lee thanked students “for being a part of the CJ family” and said if there is “anything we could do to help, please let us know.”