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Emmy-Winner Receives Top Honor

Emmy-Winner Receives Top Honor"Letterman" producer and "Ed" creator Rob Burnett awarded one of Tufts' most prestigious awards for graduates.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [10.11.02] While Rob Burnett is a five-time Emmy winner, you won't find any of the much-sought after statues in his trophy case - they all head directly to his father's house in Florida. This weekend, the Tufts graduate and "Letterman" executive producer will have another top honor to had to his dad's collection - Tufts' prestigious Light on the Hill award.

"Burnett will return to his alma mater [On Friday morning] to receive the Light on the Hill award - the highest honor given by Tufts University undergraduates to Tufts alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their field," reported The Boston Globe.

The 1984 graduate - who has developed, produced and overseen a slew of top primetime shows - including the "Late Show with David Letterman,""Ed,""Everybody Loves Raymond," and "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" - will speak to students in Cabot auditorium on Friday.

"I have such fond memories of Tufts," Burnett told the Boston Herald. "It was a nostalgic time of my life. Of course, all the places I want to revisit revolve around food."

While Burnett jokes that he spent his entire sophomore year at Andrea's Pizza, the graduate wrote another popular Tufts pizza shop - Espresso's Pizza - into his hit sitcom "Ed."

Many of Burnett's old hangouts are still around, but the entertainment exec says some things have changed since his college days.

"I used to get by in college on $5 a month," he told the Herald. "Of course, I didn't stay at the Four Seasons when I went to Tufts."

When he is presented with the Light on the Hill award, Burnett will join an accomplished group of Tufts graduates.

"Previous Light on the Hill award winners include actor Hank Azaria, NBC News president Neal Shapiro, New York Times Co. publisher and chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., public servant Bill Richardson and NASA astronaut Rick Hauck," reported the Globe.

The Tufts trophy will be right at home alongside Burnett's ever-growing collection of Emmys.

"Here's the thing about Emmys: if you display them, you look like a giant boob, so you give them to your parents," Burnett told the Herald. "My dad has a rotating display case with blinking lights. I think he's even got one attached to his golf cart. There's no modesty."


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