Senator Mark E. Udall '72
2009 Bicentennial Medalist

In recognition of your distinguished achievement in the public service, Williams College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.

Few have followed more fully the Hopkins Gate admonition to "climb high, climb far."  A Winter Study project analyzing the snow pack in Colorado's San Juan Mountains confirmed your love of the outdoors and led to twenty years of service to Colorado Outward Bound -- ten as Course Director and ten as Executive Director. At the same time you managed to climb many of the tallest mountains in the world, including the more than fifty peaks in Colorado above fourteen thousand feet.  Following a personal and family commitment to public service, you won election to the Colorado General Assembly and, only a year later, to the first of five terms in the U.S. Congress. There you helped craft legislation to protect much of Colorado's wilderness and to turn the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant into a wildlife refuge. Now you have ascended to the U.S. Senate, from where you can see even more deeply into what you call the new frontier of American energy policy, calling for a modern-day Manhattan Project to develop renewable sources as a step toward national self-sufficiency. America, you have said, is on the cusp of a green revolution, one that you are now in a position to lead from high ground. 


For more information about Mark Udall, click here to see his classmate bio.