distinguished alumni

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given annually at Commencement in recognition of an alumna or alumnus who has made a distinctive and unique contribution to his or her profession and to society.

2011 Award Recipient: Hilda Hutchins McCollum '58

In recognition of her commitment to the college and outstanding service to socially responsible organizations, Colby-Sawyer College honors Hilda Hutchins McCollum with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Ms. McCollum, who divides her time between Bangor, Maine, and Placida, Fla., has lived her life with a resolve to give back to the community and has helped make the world a better place through her active involvement with charities, colleges and the fine arts. Ms. McCollum graduated as a member of the Class of 1958 from Colby Junior College with an associate's degree in Liberal Arts and Science. Prior to her time in New London, she attended Mount Vernon Seminary and later continued her education at the University of Madrid and Berkeley Secretarial School.

Ms. McCollom served as the national president of Goodwill Industries and Volunteer Services, chaired the Board of Governance at Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on his National Commission on the Disabled. With an immense spirit of generosity, passion and caring, she donated her time and expertise as a board member at the Bangor Symphony, Bangor Theological Seminary, Good Samaritan Agency, the Maine Center for the Arts, Maine Tree Foundation and at Husson College.

In recognition of Ms. McCollum's outstanding service, Husson College awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service; the University of Maine at Orono presented her with a Stillwater Presidential Award; and the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce presented her with a community service sward.

Ms. McCollum has been tremendously supportive of Colby-Sawyer and has distinguished herself by serving as an alumni trustee from 1993 to 1996, reunion chair and presidential inauguration representative at Bates and Husson Colleges. Ms. McCollum enjoys volunteerism and pursues her work with a rare passion, making her a worthy recipient of this award.

“For decades Hilda has devoted herself as an active volunteer for large and small organizations,” says Vice President of Advancement Beth Cahill. “She sees places where her commitment can make a difference, and has made it her responsibility to act. Colby-Sawyer, and so many others, are better for her care.”

Past Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2010 Joan “Pete” Peterson '49
2009 Hannah “Haydi” Caldwell Sowerwine '60
2008 JoAnn Franke Overfield '69
2007 Jean “Je-Je” Harding Pierce '47
2006 Leslie Wright Dow '57
2005 Mary Trafton Simonds '38
2004 Suzanne Simons Hammond '66
2003 Eleanor Morrison Goldthwait '51, '52
2002 Deborah Field McGrath '68
2001 Barbara Clough '31, '01
2000 Anne Winton Black '73, '75
1999 Sharon Fitzpatrick Merrill '68
1998 Diane Shugrue Gallagher '57
1997 Joyce Juskalian Kolligian '55
1996 Rebecca Young Robinson '64
1995 Veda Kaufman Levin '67
1994 Marilyn Moore Maslow '52
1993 Jan Brett '69