The James T. Molloy Alumni Service Award is named for the last Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives and USSYAA's first Executive Director, who provided important guidance and support to our organization in its formative years. Jim passed away in 2011, and through this award USSYAA strives to recognize the best examples of service to the association and the U.S. Senate Youth Program.
Robert (“Bob”) R. Middleton, Jr. (DC 1966) was born and raised in Washington, D.C., the only child of a social worker and a teacher. With parents fully engaged in furthering their education and careers, Bob developed a voracious appetite for both history and current events. Between 1960 and 1965, Bob visited the Smithsonian museums regularly; appeared on two local television shows, Youth Wants to Know and It’s Academic, received a Time Magazine award for proficiency in current events, worked with his local Junior Civic Association, nurtured an interest in the language and people of Spain, and regularly participated in writing competitions at the Pan American Union. The summer of 1965, Bob traveled to Spain to complete a course in Intermediate Spanish at the University of Madrid. To cap off his overseas travel with over 300 students from across the United States, Bob in 1966 was selected to be one of two delegates from the District of Columbia to the fourth class of the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).
With a June 1966 diploma from Spingarn High School, where he had been an Honor student, Captain in the Junior ROTC Program, President of the Math and Spanish clubs, and Valedictorian, Bob was accepted to Princeton University. During his four years as a Princeton Tiger, Bob majored in Romance languages, participated in the Latin American Studies Program, achieved Honor cadet status in the Army ROTC program, and shared his favorite musical taste (MOTOWN) while working as a disc jockey at Princeton's campus radio station.
After graduating from Princeton in 1970, Bob worked in an accelerated Management Program with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia, an American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) subsidiary. Over the next six years, Bob rose from an Assistant Manager to a Commercial Manager, Personnel Supervisor, Financial Services Instructor, and Public Relations Supervisor with the Headquarters group for the four C&P Telephone Companies: Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. (which are now all known as Verizon). Bob also fulfilled his eight-year military obligation to the United States Army by serving with local Reserve units. His final rank was that of Captain.
After attaining the experience of working in a large company, Bob left the corporate world in 1976, and following a brief period of introspection, enrolled in the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Bob clerked for Judge Glenn Robert Lawrence at the United States Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges, and then began working for the District of Columbia's Department of Employment Services, where he spent almost 20 years as an Administrative Law Judge. Bob retired on August 31, 2005 to put his myriad skills to work for the benefit of others.
In addition to being one of the co-founders of the United States Senate Youth Program Alumni Association (USSYAA), Bob was also one of the founding members of the Cameron Hill Home Owners Association in 2000, and has served as Vice President of the Board of Directors twice and President three times. In 2002, the Montgomery County Executive selected Bob to serve as a community representative to the Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Committee, a role which he fulfilled until 2009, and became the first community representative to serve as Chair of that business organization. In 2004, Bob joined a non-profit group, IMPACT Silver Spring, and served on that Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008. Bob also served as a Board member with the Washington Adventist Hospital Foundation between 2005 and 2008.
Bob and his wife Quinn reside in Silver Spring, Maryland. They enjoy traveling and cruising on many of Carnival Cruise Lines’ “floating cities.” When they are on land, they are engaged in a project to help give back to Bob’s Washington, D.C., neighborhood through the expansion and development of a small community facility which will include a day care center, small restaurant, barbershop and adult training center.
Maxine "Micki" King is the 1972 Springboard Diving Olympic Gold Medalist. King, a retired US Air Force Colonel, served 26 years on active duty. Her second career was Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Kentucky where she served 14 years.
The native of Pontiac, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1966, where she was coached by five-time US Olympic Coach Dick Kimball. King competed in two Olympic Games, two Pan American Games, and won international diving titles in 15 countries. She is an inductee in seven Hall of Fames, including the prestigious United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
The gold medal she won in Munich is one of the Olympic Games' most exciting comeback stories. In the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City, King was leading the competition going into the final three dives. On the second of her remaining dives, a miscalculation caused King to hit the board breaking her left arm. Despite the mishap she gallantly tried her last dive, but dropped from first to fourth. No medal.
During the four long years between the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, she did double duty with her Air Force job and her intensive training program. She earned 10 national US diving titles on the way to her second Olympics. It was in Munich where Micki King captured her gold medal doing the same dive she did with a broken arm four years earlier.
Following her Olympic victory, King served as one of the Escort Officers in the 1973 Senate Youth Program. The Escort Officers program was the precursor to the modern-day Military Mentors program. King turned to coaching when she was assigned to the then all-male Air Force Academy (1973-77). In 1974, her cadet diver won the NCAA Three Meter title making King the first woman to coach a male to a NCAA championship (in any sport)--a distinction she still holds today. King returned to the Academy in 1983 to become the Assistant Athletics Director, while once again coaching. She was named NCAA coach of the year three times and coached 11 All-Americans, including two women cadets with three national titles between them.
While training for the Munich Games in the early 1970s, King actively supported Title IX which became law in 1972. Once retired from competition, she turned her focus to athlete rights and was elected by her Olympic peers to serve as the first Athletes Advisory Council (AAC) president (1973-78). King also served on President Gerald Ford's "Commission to Study Olympic Sports." The findings from this historic commission led to the passage of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978.
In addition to her hands-on work with the Girl Scouts Regional Council in Kentucky, King is dedicated to the US Olympians/Paralympians project World Fit, taking action against child obesity. She also serves on the USA Diving Foundation. King has two grown children. She resides in Lexington, Kentucky.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the chief executive of the City of South Bend. The city’s thirty-second mayor, he was sworn into office on January 1, 2012. As mayor, Buttigieg is responsible for the city workforce of over 1,000 employees and an annual budget over $300 million.
Buttigieg was born in South Bend and grew up in the Northwest Side and North Shore Triangle neighborhoods. He attended St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend. A Rhodes Scholar, Buttigieg studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford and holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard.
Prior to becoming mayor, Buttigieg worked for McKinsey & Company, a top consulting firm, where he worked in economic development, energy, retail, and logistics.
Elected at the age of 29, he is America’s youngest mayor of a city with over 100,000 residents. In 2013, he was named national Mayor of the Year by GovFresh.com, sharing the honor with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and was called “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of” by the Washington Post. An officer in U.S. Navy Reserve, Buttigieg took a leave of absence to serve in Afghanistan during a seven-month deployment in 2014, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his counterterrorism work.
Buttigieg is working to strengthen the economy of South Bend by retaining and attracting businesses, partnering with the local public school system, managing a cutting-edge and transparent city administration, improving neighborhood quality of life, and using proven methods to enhance public safety. Buttigieg is President of the Indiana Urban Mayors Caucus, and serves on the boards of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and the Truman National Security Project.
An active musician, Buttigieg plays piano and guitar, and has performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He lives in the same neighborhood where he grew up and is restoring a formerly vacant home there.
Harry F. Knox served as one of two Georgia delegates to the United States Senate Youth Program in 1979. Since his participation in the program, he has demonstrated a collaborative, constructive style of bringing diverse groups together, in both religious and political settings.
During his undergraduate years at the University of Georgia, Knox served as lay pastor of Uvalda United Methodist Church in his native South Georgia. When the United Methodist Church refused to ordain him because of his sexual orientation, he pursued studies in the United Church of Christ tradition. He obtained his Masters in Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary, from which he received the Robert V. Moss Medal for Excellence in Ministry. He was ordained through the Metropolitan Community Church, and has pastored churches in Georgia and Texas.
Knox founded the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign, a role in which he traveled thousands of miles to campuses, rallies, churches, and conferences to spread the message that more unites us as children of God than divides us as partisans. He has also served as Executive Director of Georgia Equality, an advocacy group which advances fairness, safety, and opportunity for Georgia's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied communities. He was the first Program Director at Freedom to Marry, an organization whose goal is to permanently end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.
In 2009, Knox was appointed by President Obama to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, where he worked to ensure that government programs and faith-based initiatives could work side-by-side in communities across the country. He has also served as Interim Executive Director of Integrity USA, the voice of LGBTQ Espicopalians and their allies. Currently, he is President and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, RCRC has been a leading voice for reproductive choice, and has been active in working with women and men&emdash;especially those at the margins&emdash;at the intersection of faith, policy, and their reproductive lives.
Knox is married to retired civil rights attorney C. Michael Bozeman.
Ambassador Laingen is recognized for his personal service and sacrifice to the country during his time in the Foreign Service and for his substantial contributions to the U.S. Senate Youth Program, speaking to delegates in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2003, and 2006. His tours of service included assignments in Germany, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He became the Ambassador to Malta in 1977 and served in this capacity until 1979, when he received orders to return to Tehran, Iran, as chargé d'affaires. On November 4, 1979, he was taken hostage along with 52 other Americans by student militants protesting the current government and Iran's relations with the United States. As the senior U.S. official held hostage, Laingen tried to influence the situation and to improve conditions for his fellow hostages. He appealed to both the United States and to Iranian government officials to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and to improve the health of his fellow hostages. While being held, he kept a journal and notes that would later be used in various reports nd papers on the crisis and U.S.-Iranian relationships. He was released on January 20, 1981, after 444 days in captivity.
He is married to Penelope "Penne" Laingen, the founder of the yellow ribbon movement. These yellow ribbons are still used today to show support for U.S. troops. Bruce and Penne have three sons, Bill, Chip, and Jim.
USSYAA · P.O. Box 1798 · Washington, DC 20013-1798 ·
Neither the USSYAA nor its scholarship is associated with the William Randolph Hearst Foundations and their United States Senate Youth Program.