Commencement

The Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching is the college's highest teaching award. Each year the award honors a teacher who communicates high expectations and encourages intellectual curiosity within and across disciplines; respects diverse talents and ways of learning and uses variety in instruction; and engages students and inspires them to do their best work. It also recognizes teachers who hold students accountable and encourage both faculty-student contact and cooperation among students. The award is named for the late Professor Jack Jensen, who through his dedication to teaching, inspired faculty and students alike.

Dr. Harvey J. Pine

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences

Professor Pine teaches courses in climate change and geology, and his classroom extends from the ocean waters off Martha's Vineyard to the alpine landscape of the White Mountains.

Animated, enthusiastic and committed to student learning, he is known for his wealth of knowledge, high expectations and the heart that he shows in his teaching.

“Harvey's students love him,” wrote one nominator. “He is passionate about what he does.”

A student wrote, “He believes in challenging his students … and finds ways to connect with them. He is always there to help and has become a mentor to me. He is a selfless professor.”

Professor Pine, a resident of Andover, joined the faculty in 2008. He earned a B.S. at Muhlenberg College and an M.S. and Ph.D. at Auburn University.


Nancy Beyer Opler '56 Award for Excellence in Advising

The award recognizes a faculty member who is accessible to advisees; makes a meaningful connection with advisees that continues over time; supports advisees in academic and professional planning; and facilitates advisees' adjustment to the community. The recipient will have a good understanding of the college's policies and procedures, advocates for the advisees' best interests and supports their autonomy and responsibility.

Dr. Iris Fischer-McMorrow

Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences

Professor Fischer-McMorrow joined the faculty in 2011. She is a licensed veterinarian in New Hampshire and teaches courses in anatomy and physiology. She advises biology majors and those interested in pursuing graduate studies in the health professions.

A champion of her students and advisees, she keeps her door open, a teapot and smile at the ready, and goes above and beyond every day.

“She has positively impacted my life in monumental ways,” wrote a student nominator. “When I found out I got an interview at Tufts Veterinary School, she took the time to schedule not one, but two, mock interviews to make sure I was prepared. Her guidance and support have been vital to my success here at Colby-Sawyer.”

Professor Fischer-McMorrow earned a B.A. at Mount Holyoke College and a M.V.B. in Veterinary Medicine from University College Dublin. She is a resident of Henniker.

Town Award

The Town Award is presented to a resident or organization in the New London Area that has shown extraordinary involvement in, and made noteworthy contributions to, the college.

Adventures in Learning

For enriching the versatile learning opportunities offered to residents of New London and the region, the Adventures in Learning (AIL) Board of Directors is honored with the 2014 Town Award.

Created in 1998 and sponsored by Colby-Sawyer College, the community-based AIL offers peer-learning experiences to nearly 500 members who relish the opportunity to continue their intellectual growth and experience the joy of learning.

The volunteer governing board is responsible for curriculum selection, procedural guidelines, public relations, long-range planning and course development assistance.

The program is a valued partner in Colby-Sawyer's engaged teaching and learning community as it fosters academic, intellectual and personal growth. The AIL board, study leaders and members exemplify the importance of lifelong learning and leadership to Colby-Sawyer's traditional student population. When appropriate, study leaders recruit undergraduates for presentations and co-teaching opportunities. Additionally, the AIL board annually presents the endowed Adventures in Learning Achievement Award, honoring a Colby-Sawyer junior who has shown exceptional leadership ability and academic success.

Board members Joanna Henderson, president, and Julie Machen, president-elect, both of New London, will accept the award on behalf of AIL.

Gown Award

The Gown Award is presented to an individual from Colby-Sawyer College whose work and contributions in the New London area are extraordinary.

Adventures in Learning

Colby-Sawyer College honors the Adventures in Learning (AIL) program for its exceptional service to adult learners in the New London area.

Since 1998 Colby-Sawyer has sponsored and supported the life-long learning program in partnership with the AIL volunteer board of directors, volunteer study leaders, and current Program Coordinators Marianne Harrison and Janet St. Laurent. With more than a thousand course registrations each year for its dozens of course offerings, AIL provides peer learning in a variety of disciplines with broad appeal.

AIL also provides a sense of community for its approximately 500 members, fostering a relaxed atmosphere for neighbors to meet and form friendships based on a common love of learning. With social opportunities for its members including an annual meeting, fundraising dinner and travel adventures, AIL goes beyond educational enrichment and truly embraces its philosophy of Learning Later, Living Greater.

Colby-Sawyer staff members and program coordinators Marianne Harrison of New London and Janet St. Laurent will accept the award.

Susan Colgate Cleveland Medal for Distinguished Service

The Susan Colgate Cleveland Medal for Distinguished Service is the college's highest honor. It is presented to individuals who exemplify Susan Colgate Cleveland's attributes, ensuring that her work, dedication and influence will be remembered by future generations.

Janet “Jan” Udall Schaefer '52

Janet “Jan” Udall Schaefer '52 lives in Peterborough, N.H. She entered Colby Junior College with the Class of 1952 and completed a bachelor's degree.

In the 1950s, Jan was executive secretary at an architectural firm in Manhattan and served as president of the New York Chapter of the Architectural Secretaries Association. In 1968, she married Rudolph J. Schaefer Jr, former president and chairman of the board of F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company. She has been an active volunteer in each community she has called home.

Jan's lifelong devotion to her alma mater is inspiring. She has served as a class agent and chaired her class's 50th reunion committee, has graciously hosted students and events, and is currently a member of the Arts Center Steering Committee. The daughter of parents who believed in education and sacrificed to make hers possible, she established the Udall Endowed Scholarship in 1990 in their honor. She also established the Janet U. Schaefer Memorial Fund, and has named the college a beneficiary of her estate. In 2005, in recognition of her extraordinary philanthropy exceeding $1 million, Jan was inducted into the Legends Society.

Drawing on 40 years of study and collecting, Rudolph Schaefer produced J.E. Buttersworth: 19th Century Marine Painter, published in 1975. Jan continued to research the life and works of Buttersworth and published a revised and updated second edition in 2009.

For her dedication to Colby-Sawyer's mission of teaching and learning, for her vision and generosity that will influence the college's future, and for her kindness of heart and spirit, Colby-Sawyer is honored to recognize Jan with its highest award.

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who has made a distinctive and unique contribution to his or her profession and to society.

Kurt Svoboda '00

Kurt Svoboda graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences. He funded his own education while balancing work, baseball and academics, a feat that gained him a reputation as a hard worker.

In 2009, Kurt earned a master's degree in Management from Harvard University, where he was chief public and media relations executive. In 2013, he became the Senior Assistant Athletics Director of Media Relations and Communications at Stanford University.

In addition to supporting the Colby-Sawyer Fund and Colby-Sawyer Athletics, Svoboda advises students in professional preparation, provides internship opportunities and shares his expertise on panels, including the 2014 Exercise and Sport Science Symposium.

Kurt's is a proud voice for the college, and he enhances its reputation at every turn through his generosity, words and actions.

“Working in the sports world, which is dominated by graduates of large universities, I am often asked about my background,” he says. “I always enjoy the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Colby-Sawyer as a jewel in higher education.”

Kurt is a resident of Palo Alto, Calif.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Colby-Sawyer's honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree recognizes an individual of humanitarian character and superior intellect whose life and work have brought about positive, far-reaching consequences for individuals and organizations.

Anthony N. “Tony” Quinn

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Throughout his 22 years at Colby-Sawyer, Professor Quinn has enjoyed witnessing student successes. Seeing his students accomplish great things in the classroom and in life has been his greatest reward as a teacher.

Prior to Colby-Sawyer Tony owned Quinn Business Brokerage; worked in sales, customer relations, and marketing management for IBM Corporation for 25 years; and was a research economist for HP Hood LLC in Boston.

“His successes in life inspire me to work hard and give back to the community by doing something that I love,” said one of his students.

Great though his love may be for his students and colleagues, family has always been the highest priority in Tony's life. He and his wife of 52 years, Shirley, have been blessed with three children and two grandchildren.

Professor Quinn joined the business faculty in 1992. He received a B.S. from Cornell University in 1958 and a M.S. from University of Vermont in 1960.

Judith Pond Condict '62 Award for Excellence in Service

The Judith Condict '62 Award for Excellence in Service is presented to a full-time staff member who, through exemplary work accomplishments, has made an outstanding contribution to the college and its mission of educating students.

Bonnie Lewis '71

Manager of the Colby-Sawyer/Lake Sunapee Protective Association Satellite Laboratory and Work-Study Supervisor, Natural Sciences Department

With boundless energy, an omnipresent smile, and a place for everything, Bonnie Lewis '71 coordinates dozens of labs throughout the semester. While her behind-the-scenes support is exceptional, Bonnie is often seen as the face of the Natural Sciences Department. She interacts with students through work study, assists in mentoring the Biology Majors Club, and organizes departmental gatherings.

“Her contributions to student learning are numerous,” wrote a colleague. “Her student workers adore her, and through her mentorship they develop not only laboratory skills but a solid work ethic. All of us look to Bonnie to help things run smoothly and she makes it look almost effortless (though the time spent is enormous!).”

A 2005 Biology major who is completing her residency training as a neurologist wrote, “Colby-Sawyer is a place that I still consider 'home.' Bonnie was always there to lend an ear, or hand when needed, and she was resolute with her water quality lab work and with managing the student workers in the Natural Sciences Department. Bonnie is 'the glue' of the Department. There is a great deal of prep work and upkeep necessary to maintain the labs in Ivey and Bonnie does it seamlessly.”

Bonnie is a resident of Wilmot.