campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College to Celebrate 2013 Commencement

NEW LONDON, N.H., May 6, 2013 – Colby-Sawyer College will celebrate its 2013 Commencement on Saturday, May 11, graduating 260 students and recognizing students and other individuals for academic excellence, outstanding contributions to society, and service to the college and community. The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. on the college's front lawn.

Colby-Sawyer will recognize the following members of the Class of 2013 for outstanding achievement as scholars, campus leaders and student athletes.

Cory James Schofield, a Media Studies major from Concord, N.H., has been selected as the Senior Commencement Speaker and will deliver an address titled “The Real World.” Schofield is a member of Alpha Chi and Lambda Pi Eta honor societies, the CSC Players and the CSC Singers. He co-wrote and scored an entirely original production called “Weekend Warrior: The Musical!,” which was performed on campus in 2012.

The Colby-Sawyer Award, given to the senior who exemplifies the college's ideals of personal dignity, intellectual growth and contributions to campus life, will be presented to Enoch Manama Holu of Gwollu, Ghana. Holu has excelled in all aspects of his college career—as a Wesson Honors scholar, Dean's List student and Alpha Chi Honor Society member, and as an engaged, mature and determined campus community member.

An Athletic Training major with a minor in Psychology, Catherine L. Moulton of Deerfield, Mass., will receive the Senior Achievement Award for leadership in the co-curricular life of the college. Moulton has served as chair of Community Council, as a tour guide for Admissions and provided audio/visual expertise for public events. A Dean's List student and founding member of the Iota Tau Alpha honor society, she also volunteers at the Boston Marathon and college events.

The Alpha Chi Award recipient, Devin R. Wilkie is an English major from Cornish, N.H., with a sharp mind and passion for learning. In addition to serving as the vice president of Alpha Chi, he is president of Safe Zones, treasurer of Word Order, secretary of the Philosophy Club and an editor of the literary magazine Solidus.

Cailin Bullett of Millbury, Mass., is the recipient of the Wynne Jesser McGrew Scholar-Athlete Award. A History, Society and Culture major, Wesson Honors and Dean's List scholar and Alpha Chi Honor Society member, Bullett also served as president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and has excelled as a four-year member of the Women's Basketball Team. The team's captain, she has set several college and Division III national records, and she has led the team to the NCAA Tournament and NAC Championship. Bullett will continue her studies with a full scholarship to Suffolk University Law School.

Men's Swimming and Diving Team captain James Montanari of Ridgefield, Conn., will receive the Scholar-Athlete Award. A top sprint freestyle swimmer, key member of team relays and regional championship qualifier, Montanari is a Dean's List student majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Business Administration.

The Graduate Award, given to a senior whose character and influence most constructively affected the junior class, will be presented to Daniel Frederick Moir, a Child Development major from Salem, N.H. A driven and accomplished student, Moir's compassion and understanding have made him a role model for his fellow students.

The David H. Winton Baccalaureate Award, which recognizes the graduating student with the highest cumulative grade point average, will be announced at Commencement.

Baccalaureate Awards in Academic Major

Baccalaureate Awards will be presented at Commencement to students who have demonstrated the highest degree of dedication and excellence in their fields of study. The award recipients include the following: Katherine Elizabeth Rial of Chester Springs, Penn. (Studio Art); Whitney Breen Cashin of Keene, N.H. (Athletic Training); Annemarie Jennifer Wehrer of Salem, N.H. (Biology); Sean Pengxiang Ding of Yinchuan, China (Business Administration: Dr. Margaret “Marnie” Kurtz Award); Kathryn Buck of Dunstable, Mass. (Child Development); Devin R. Wilkie of Cornish, N.H. (English: Carl M. Cochran Award); Ashley A. Reynolds of Merrimack, N.H. (Environmental Studies); Justine Marie Sachetta of Tewksbury, Mass. (Exercise Science); Karen Lynne Fondoules of Hamilton Square, N.J. (Graphic Design); Megan Elizabeth Berry of Brandon, Vt. (Health Care Management); Christina Lynn Fulford of Oxford, N.H. (Health Promotion); Krista DiGloria of Methuen, Mass. (History, Society and Culture); Joshua Hardy of Pembroke, N.H. (Media Studies); Aimee Nicole Morin of Manchester, N.H. (Nursing: Grace Adella Sheldon Graves Award); Haley Elizabeth Gisonno of Georgetown, Mass. (Psychology) and Taylor Brooke Funaro of Middletown, Conn. (Public Health).

For more in-depth information about the student award recipients, click here.

Community Awards

Joyce Juskalian Kolligian '55, an 18-year member of the Board of Trustees and a resident of Belmont, Mass., and Long Boat Key, Fla., will receive the college's highest award, the Susan Colgate Cleveland Medal for Distinguished Service, for her sustained dedication to the college and community. She was part of the Presidential Search Committee that selected Dr. Peggy Stock as the sixth president and the committee that played a major role in the college's return to its coeducational roots in 1989. In 2009, Kolligian established the first endowed professorship in the Fine and Performing Arts, to which Chair and Professor Jon Keenan of Elkins, N.H., was appointed. With intelligence, humor and grace, Kolligian has provided wise counsel, fresh thinking and generous support to her alma mater for six decades.

Professor of Natural Sciences William “Bill” Thomas will receive the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, the college's highest faculty award, and deliver the Commencement Address. A cellular and developmental biologist who joined the college in 1991, Professor Thomas is a passionate educator known for his energy, enthusiasm and the high standards he sets for students. Students emerge from his classes with a strong foundation in critical thinking and problem solving biology, according to one of his students, who says, “He pushes students outside their comfort zone, challenges them to expand their knowledge, and creates self-directed and lifelong learners.” Professor Thomas, a North Sutton resident, holds a B.A. from Hamilton College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

The Nancy Beyer Opler '56 Award for Excellence in Advising will be given to Reference and Instruction Librarian and Wilmot, N.H., resident Sondra C. VanderPloeg. Since joining Colby-Sawyer in 2007, she has moved into information literacy, teaching research and critical thinking skills for the internet age. VanderPloeg advises students who have not yet declared their major. One advisee wrote that VanderPloeg has had the “largest impact on my academic career of anyone on campus…and provided the strongest foundation possible for my career as a student and even after college.”

The Town Award will be presented to the Town of New London in recognition of 175 years of shared history and to honor community members, past and present, who have been integral to the school's founding, evolution and success. New London Board of Selectmen Chair Peter Bianchi will accept the award on behalf of the town.

Since 1837, when local citizens established New London Academy, the school has evolved from a coeducational preparatory school to a women's junior college, to its current status as a coeducational baccalaureate college. Similarly, New London has grown, changed and prospered, and the college and community's shared interests and strong mutually beneficial relationships have deepened over time.

“We are thankful for all the partnerships and the collaborative relationships and friendships we share with community members, which enrich our lives and strengthen both our communities,” says President Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

For her extraordinary contributions to the New London area, the Gown Award will be given to Associate Dean of Students and Director of Citizenship Education Robin Burroughs Davis. In honor of Colby-Sawyer College's 175th anniversary this year, Dean Davis led the effort to engage Colby-Sawyer students in 175 Acts of Service. Community members participated in service projects in public schools, the arts, pediatric and elder care, sustainability and the environment, historic preservation, and cancer fund-raising and awareness, as well as a relief mission for Hurricane Sandy victims and support for overseas troops.

Dean Davis, a resident of Andover, N.H., joined the college in 1996. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and a M.S. in College and Community Counseling from Longwood College in Longwood, Va.

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to New London and Maryland resident Pamela Stanley Bright, a trustee and graduate of the Class of 1961, in recognition of her professional achievements, generous philanthropy and outstanding contributions to her alma mater. Bright has provided leadership to Colby-Sawyer and other institutions and organizations that are important to her. Serving on the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2013, she has been a strong voice for maintaining and honoring the college's s history and traditions while also supporting its innovations and growth.

An Honorary Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (A.B.) will be presented to Gwenyth Hall Dunbar in recognition of a life and work that has brought about positive, far-reaching consequences for individuals and organizations. Dunbar, who attended Colby Junior College's Medical Technology Program with the Class of 1950, supports the causes and people she believes in—especially education and young people who seek to reach their potential through education. She divides her time between Maryland, Connecticut and Florida, but her ties to Colby-Sawyer remain strong, and she has been a generous, sustaining force in the college's academic life.

For more in-depth information about the community award recipients, click here.

To learn more about 2013 Commencement, click here.


Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000