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MIT awards first-ever 'Collier Medal' to volunteer, student-run ambulance service

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 27, 2014 01:37 PM

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(Dominick Reuter / MIT)

MIT’s volunteer, student-run ambulance service was awarded this week the first-ever “Collier Medal” – an annual honor given in memory of Sean A. Collier, the 26-year-old campus officer allegedly killed by the two accused Boston Marathon bombers.

Administrators presented the award at a ceremony Tuesday to the 56 volunteers, mostly students, who operate MIT Emergency Medical Services, campus officials said.

Many members of the ambulance service were close friends of Collier, MIT officials said, and some transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, after he was allegedly shot by the accused Marathon bombers while sitting in his cruiser on April 18.

“Last year, through circumstances none of us will ever forget, Officer Collier gave his life protecting our community,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in a statement. “So that his spirit will live on at MIT, this is a fresh opportunity to express our gratitude that he lived and worked among us.”

He said MIT EMS exemplifies “a distinct MIT blend of leadership and problem-solving. The time, energy and expertise they make available goes far beyond what is expected of a student group.”

Just months before his death, Collier had written a letter praising the ambulance service, Reif said.

“It is with full hearts and the deepest appreciation that the members of MIT EMS are receiving the recognition they deserve,” he said.

MIT announced it was establishing the Collier Medal in November saying the annual award would be given to a person or group who embodies the character and qualities of Collier. Members of MIT and its "extended community" are eligible for the award.

The medal is backed by a fund MIT established to raise money to memorialize Collier through the award and scholarships in his name.

It will also pay for MIT’s plans to build a permanent memorial to Collier on its campus, officials have said. Work on that project is scheduled to break ground on the anniversary of his death.

The school will have a team of runners compete in the Boston Marathon in April to raise money for the Collier Fund.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

colliermedal2.jpg

(Dominick Reuter / MIT)

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