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The three Emory Medalists at the awards ceremony

circle of medalists: From left, Alvin Sugarman 60B 88PhD, Hugh Tarbutton 520x 55B, and Kamal Mansour 68MR share a moment following the October 23 presentation of their Emory Medals by President James Wagner.

Annemarie Poyo/Special

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By Eric Rangus

The 2008 Emory Medalists include a groundbreaking surgeon whose dedication and devotion to medicine extends beyond the Emory campus and around the world, a rabbi whose daring leadership in his faith community and with his alma mater is unmatched, and a businessman whose lifelong relationship with his central Georgia hometown and with Oxford College will leave a lasting impression on both for generations to come.

“Apart from their personal and professional accomplishments, Emory medalists are passionately engaged with our community,” said Emory Alumni Board President Crystal Edmonson 95C during her opening remarks at the October ceremony honoring 2008 Emory Medalists Kamal Mansour 68MR, Alvin Sugarman 60B 88PhD, and Hugh Tarbutton 52Ox 55B. The gala event took place at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

Awarded by the Emory Alumni Association, the Emory Medal is the highest University award given exclusively to alumni. Honorees are recognized for their distinguished service to Emory, and/or the alumni community; distinguished community or public service; or distinguished achievement in business, the arts, government, education, or other professions.

Mansour first stepped on to the Emory campus more than forty years ago as chief resident in cardiothoracic surgery. An international pioneer in his discipline, Mansour has shared his passion for medicine with thousands of Emory students, faculty, and patients as a chief resident, professor, and mentor during the last thirty-five years. For more than a decade, Mansour returned to Egypt several times a year to train Egyptian and other Middle Eastern doctors on new techniques and to perform major procedures that were beyond the expertise of local physicians. In 2004, Mansour and his wife, Cleo, established at Emory the Kamal Mansour Professorship in Thoracic Surgery in hopes of encouraging young surgeons interested in working in this crucial field.

For six years following his graduation from Emory, Sugarman worked to make his mark in the business world. But in 1966, issues of faith began to take over and he decided to explore them. Sugarman joined the rabbinate in July 1971 as an assistant rabbi at The Temple-Hebrew Benevolent Congregation of Atlanta and became senior rabbi in 1974. From that point he has devoted his life not only to leading one of the Southeast’s, if not the country’s, most important and influential religious communities, he also made sure to strengthen his ties to his alma mater. At Emory, Sugarman has served on the Board of Trustees and is an important adviser in helping develop fund-raising strategies for Emory’s Jewish studies programs. Now rabbi emeritus at The Temple, Sugarman’s legacy of leadership and great partnership with wife Barbara are remarkable.

Tarbutton is one of Georgia’s most accomplished business leaders. He is a native of Washington County (about halfway between Macon and Augusta) and president of the Sandersville Railroad Company, and has served on countless boards in a variety of industries. Tarbutton’s devotion to the growth and success of his home state is perhaps matched only by his selfless work on behalf of Emory. Since the day he joined Oxford College’s Board of Counselors in 1984, Tarbutton has been one of its most active members. In 1999, he was elected a permanent member of the board. Tarbutton received the 1997 Goizueta Business School Distinguished Achievement Award and the 2001 Oxford College Outstanding Alumnus Award. Also in 2001, Oxford’s performing arts center opened, bearing the name of Hugh Tarbutton and his wife, Gena.

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