The Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) has awarded its top honor, the Gold Medal, to Allen Matusow, academic affairs director of the Baker Institute, for his contributions to the Rice University community.

Matusow, who is also the William Gaines Twyman Professor of History, served as dean of humanities from 1981 to 1985 and has won numerous teaching awards. Recently, he was called on to serve again as interim dean when former dean accepted an appointment at another university. When the Baker Institute was launched, Matusow was named the institute"s academic affairs director and serves as a liaison between Rice faculty and the institute fellows.

The ARA Gold Medal recognizes Rice alumni, faculty, staff or friends who have rendered extraordinary service to the university. Established in 1937, the ARA"s laureates program recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of outstanding Rice alumni and friends of the university.