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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center CEO Donald Murphy Honored by UC San Diego



The University of California, San Diego—less than 50 years old with just 127,000 graduates—has produced an enviable group of outstanding alumni, including Donald W. Murphy, ’75, who will be honored as Outstanding Alumnus on June 6 at the UCSD Alumni Association’s annual Awards for Excellence, part of the Association’s inaugural Alumni Weekend.

Reaching the summit of Mt. Whitney may seem insurmountable for most. But then again, most people aren’t like Donald Murphy. This UC San Diego alumnus and leader has made an impact on our country, and the world, that will last for generations to come. Scalin one of North America's highest peaks is par for the course for a man whose accomplishments have included ensuring the safety of the country’s prized monuments to teaching future generations about the meaning of freedom. Don has touched countless people, many of whom don’t even know the critical role he has played in their lives.  

 As former deputy director of the National Park Service, he managed 23.000 employees and a budget of more than $2.3 billion. Today, Murphy is the chief executive officer for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, a museum visited by nearly 900,000 people from all 50 states and dozens of nations around the world since it opened in 2004. Touted by dignitaries such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the center reveals stories about freedom's heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad—a vast network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape from the South—to contemporary times. The Freedom Center inspires people of all ages to build a future free of repression.


To access additional information on Donald Murphy, please visit

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