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Our Ten-Year Celebration of Public Service

Posted: 8/1/2006

The Morris K. Udall Foundation will mark the 10th anniversary of its Education Programs through a yearlong series of public service projects nationwide, which will be created and carried out by current and past Udall Scholars, Interns and Fellows. This "Celebration of Public Service" is inspired by the legacy of Morris K. Udall, whose career was distinguished by civility, integrity and consensus and dedicated to the highest ideals of public service.

The Foundation has invited its alumni - who are more than 1,000 strong -- to design projects related to the environment, tribal governance and health care, which further the Foundation's mission and perpetuate Congressman Udall's legislative legacy. A Steering Committee of nine alumni will solicit and recommend proposed service projects and assist the Foundation in coordinating the yearlong celebration. Information on alumni service projects and related events can be found in the "Celebration of Public Service" section of the website.

During 2006-2007, Udall alumni are expected to implement as many as 50 service projects across the U.S. In the summer of 2007, Udall alumni anticipate traveling from Tucson to Washington, D.C., on a biodiesel bus, visiting and documenting ongoing service projects and highlighting alternative fuels. The yearlong celebration will conclude in Washington in August 2007.

The Foundation will kick off the year at its annual orientation weekend for the 2006 class of Scholars in Tucson. Speaking at the kick-off on August 3, 2006, will be U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, D-CO, (the son of Morris Udall) and U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-NM (the son of Former Interior Secretary Stewart L. Udall). Other members of the Udall family and distinguished guests are expected to participate.

The "Celebration of Public Service" is a fitting way for the Foundation to carry on the legacy of Morris Udall, whose distinguished career led Congress to create the Udall Foundation. Mo Udall believed that it was the job of public servants to lead and inspire the public. He said in a speech on politics and morality in 1971:

I believe the American people are capable of great accomplishments if they are determined, inspired and challenged enough. The catalog of American problems is by now an old and familiar one, and it is a list of shortcomings which ought to challenge and inspire us. Yet our national leaders do not give us the goals and the programs that might restore our spirit and give us purpose... I believe those elected to positions of leadership have a moral obligation to exercise leadership.

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