University of Rochester

University Alum, Acclaimed Sculptor Awarded 2009 Presidential Inaugural Medal Commission

January 16, 2009

Marc Mellon, one of America's foremost representational sculptors and former University of Rochester student, has been awarded the Official 2009 Presidential Inaugural Medal commission.

Mellon designed the obverse (front) of the medal, which displays a portrait of President Barack Obama. The reverse of the medal was designed by former United States Mint engraver, Thomas D. Rogers Sr., and displays the Presidential Inaugural Seal.

"I wanted to capture Mr. Obama as someone both thoughtful and resolute, ready to lead at day one," said Mellon. "I imagined him thinking about Lincoln and Martin Luther King, and the extraordinary meaning of this election, and of the myriad challenges and opportunities ahead."

Mellon attended the University in the late 1960s before changing from pre-med schooling to studying history and philosophy. Casting in bronze for more than 30 years, Mellon's works have honored individuals including President Jimmy Carter, Pope John Paul II, athlete Michael Jordan, and entertainer Tony Bennett.

Official inaugural medals have been collected dating back to the early 20th century. Proceeds from the sale of the medal help fund inauguration day events and activities. For more information on Marc Mellon, visit and to learn more about, or purchase, the Official 2009 Inaugural Medal visit