Heritage Medallions Honor Key Players in Suffolk’s History


As Suffolk University approaches its centennial, it is honoring members of the academic community who have made outstanding contributions by awarding them Heritage Medallions.

President David J. Sargent and David Robbins, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Heritage Committee, awarded four medallions during a September 21 ceremony at the University’s new space at 73 Tremont Street. The ceremony was scheduled in connection with the celebration of Founder’s Day, September 19. That date marked 98 years since University founder Gleason Archer began teaching law to a group of working men in his Roxbury parlor.

Medallions were awarded to the following:

H. Edward Clark, an English department faculty member from 1961 to 1985 and founder and director of the Collection of African American Literature at Suffolk University, 1971-1985. In managing the collection for many years, he brought numerous African-American writers and artists to the University. He served on the Educational Policy; Promotion, Tenure, and Review; Admissions; Minority Student Affairs; Alumni Affairs; and Community Relations committees.

Benson Diamond, an SSOM Accounting and Business Law faculty member from 1955 to 1993, was acting chair of the Accounting Department, 1980-1983, and chair of the Business Law Department, 1987-1993. He was a member of the first Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee for the colleges and sat on virtually every other faculty standing committee. He founded and served for years as the faculty adviser to the Society for the Advancement of Management undergraduate co-curricular organization.

The late Malcolm M. Donahue was a Law School faculty member from 1956 to 2002 and served as associate dean of the Law School from 1973 to 1991, a time of considerable growth in academic excellence at the school. In his 46 years with the University, Donahue carried on a family tradition; he was the son of longtime Suffolk Treasurer and Trustee Frank J. Donahue.

Mary A. Hefron was College and SSOM recorder from 1963 to 1966, then served as College and SSOM registrar, 1966-1997. In addition to managing academic and registration information and processes, she served as a mentor to staff members and to thousands of students. Hefron is an enthusiastic follower of Suffolk athletics and always provided a sympathetic ear — and, where possible, a helping hand — for student-athletes.

About 30 significant contributors to Suffolk University have been honored with Heritage Medallions since they were introduced in the 1980s, with length of service and quality of contribution considered when choosing honorees. This ceremony marks the resumption of the Heritage Medallion tradition.

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