NEW LONDON - A Peterborough resident received Colby-Sawyer College's highest award Saturday as the college graduated 219 students at its 2014 commencement, which began under cloudy skies that cleared as the ceremony went forward.
Janet "Jan" Udall Schaefer, of the Colby-Sawyer Class of 1952, received the Susan Colgate Cleveland Medal for Distinguished Service "for her sustained dedication to the college and community," according to the college website.
Schaefer established the Udall Endowed Scholarship, the Janet U. Schaefer Memorial Fund and has named the college a beneficiary of her estate.
Nicholas Ciarlante of Stoneham, Mass., a business administration major with a political studies minor, was the senior commencement speaker, having "demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to the college from the moment he arrived on campus," according to college officials.Ciarlante, who served as student government association president for three years, urged his fellow students to continue to succeed, the website said."Whether you plan to pursue an advanced degree or enter employment, I turn to the song of our alma mater, 'Colby Forever. . Colby forever we will never part' and 'as you leave us, it's aloha and not goodbye.'?"
"While we prepare to leave campus today, remember that Colby-Sawyer will always be your home, and whether you go on to be a biologist, an accountant, teacher, nurse or even a legislator, be proud of the education that you received at Colby-Sawyer College."
In his commencement address, the website said, Harvey J. Pine, environmental studies professor and winner of the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, urged students: "Continue to share with me and the Colby-Sawyer community as you go out into the world.
"Share your failures so that we can help you find ways to succeed. Share your successes so that we may continue to learn from you. Together, let's share our experiences in order to continue acquiring knowledge," he said. "These experiences, this knowledge. These are all good things."