Congressman James McGovern speaks at the Worcester State College's Cyrus Topol Memorial Lecture

WSC Honors Local Hunger Advocate with Lecture Series

April 15, 2009
By: WSU News

Congressman James McGovern, chair of the Hunger Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional Hunger Center, was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Worcester State College Cyrus Topol Memorial Lecture today in the Student Center Blue Lounge.

“Cy Topol served his country, his family, and his community with such dedication and humor,” said Worcester State College President Janelle Ashley. “We are proud to honor his life through this lecture series.”

Cy was a staunch advocate of hunger prevention and he was actively involved in volunteering at Rachel’s Table for many years. In addition, he collected food from local vendors to distribute to Rachel’s table and the Mustard Seed–often bringing family members along to help continue the tradition of alleviating hunger.

As an elder student, he enjoyed participating at WSC and frequently attended the forums hosted by the Intergenerational Urban Institute. He served as chair of the Worcester State College Elder Advocates Program and received the Salute to Seniors Award from the City of Worcester in 1999.  He also received the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Worcester Democratic Committee in 2000 and was presented with a Key to the City.

Cy served in the U.S. Navy as a Gunner’s Mate First Class on the USS Missouri, which was assigned to the Pacific campaign and received five medals and three battle stars for his service.  He was an eyewitness to the signing of the Japanese surrender onboard the ship anchored in Tokyo Bay.

“He enjoyed sharing his ideas with people of all ages”” said Dr. Maureen Power, Executive Director of The Intergenerational Urban Institute.  “We are honored to join with Cy’s daughter, Carole Orland, in celebrating his legacy of hunger awareness through this lecture series,” said Power.

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