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  May 1, 2000

Tokes Receives Hungarian Presidential Gold Medal

Rudolf Tokes, a long-time professor of political science and expert on Central European politics, in March received the Presidential Gold Medal of Merit from Hungarian President Arpad Goncz.

Tokes, who was a senior advisor to Hungary's foreign minister in 1991, has studied and written extensively about international politics, with an emphasis on Soviet and East European foreign policies and politics. He was founder and the first director of the UConn-Yale National Resource Center for Slavic and East European Studies. His 1996 book, Hungary's Negotiated Revolution: Economic Reforms, Social Change, and Political Succession, 1957-1990, now in its third printing, was published in Hungarian in 1998.

In presenting the award, Goncz thanked Tokes for "assistance rendered to facilitate the democratic transformation of Hungary." He praised Tokes for his works on dissent in Hungary under communism and for his research and advice to the Hungarian government. He also praised UConn, which in 1991 awarded an honorary degree to Goncz.

The award ceremony in Hungary, which took place in the Parliament Building, was televised nationally.

Goncz, who is nearing the end of his second term in office, is the first democratically elected president in Hungary's history, winning the post in 1990 less than a year after the country became free from Communist rule.

Now a member of NATO, Hungary has made great leaps forward, Tokes said. Many of the top Fortune 500 companies have offices in the country, living standards are improving rapidly, and the nation is poised to join the European Community in 2003 or 2004.

Tokes joined the UConn faculty in 1970. He plans to retire at the end of this academic year.

Richard Veilleux