UVa Grad Nabs Nation's Highest Civilian Honor

November 5, 2007

A geneticist from Staunton and a graduate of the University of Virginia received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush Monday, the nation's highest civilian award.

Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research
Institute, was among several recipients. Collins was honored for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and for greatly expanding the understanding of the human DNA.

The Medal of Freedom was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize civilians for their efforts during World War II. The award was reinstated by President Kennedy in 1963 to honor distinguished service.

It is given to those deemed to have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors.

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