campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Names Two New Distinguished Professorships in Nursing and Fine and Performing Arts

NEW LONDON, N.H., Oct. 19, 2009 – Colby-Sawyer College has named two faculty members to its newly established distinguished professorships. Susan Reeves, chair of the Nursing Department, has been appointed as the Gladys A. Burrows Distinguished Professor of Nursing, and Jon Keenan, professor of Fine and Performing Arts, as the Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor of Fine and Performing Arts.

Professors Reeves and Keenan were formally invested as distinguished professors on Friday, Oct. 16, in a campus ceremony attended by Colby-Sawyer's Board of Trustees, members of the college community, and the professors' family and friends.

“As we invest our newest distinguished professors, we are reminded that distinguished professorships are vital in the pursuit of academic excellence and one of the highest honors bestowed in academia,” said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Deborah Taylor. “Faculty members who receive such honors daily demonstrate the habits of heart and mind of distinction as teachers, scholars and citizens of the college community. It also establishes a transformed lifetime connection to the college and to those for whom the professorship is named.”

The Gladys A. Burrows Distinguished Professor of Nursing was established this year by Trustee Tom Csatari and his wife Judy Csatari, and named in memory of Judy's mother, Gladys A. Burrows. Burrows had directed her own philanthropy toward nursing, and her mother (Judy Csatari's grandmother) had spent her career as a nurse. In introducing the benefactors, President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. described the college's first professorship in nursing as a “perfect and wonderful match” between Tom and Judy Csatari, and the college's Nursing Program.

“The Csataris are extremely committed volunteers and supporters of many organizations in their Upper Valley community and for Dartmouth College, their shared alma mater,” he said. “We are extremely honored and humbled that Tom and Judy have chosen to so generously and thoughtfully share their resources with Colby-Sawyer.”

Professor Reeves joined Colby-Sawyer in 2004 as interim chair of the Nursing Department and returned in the fall of 2007 to assume her current position as assistant professor and chair of the Nursing Department. She earned a Diploma in Nursing from the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, a B.S. in Nursing from Colby-Sawyer and a M.S. in Nursing Administration at the University of New Hampshire. Professor Reeves is currently working toward a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont.

Professor Reeves's areas of expertise include healthcare ethics, nursing administration and organizational behavior. Previously Professor Reeves worked for 17 years as a nursing administrator at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and she continues in her role there as a vice president.

"On behalf of the Nursing Department, I'm pleased and honored to accept this distinguished professorship, which celebrates the vital role that our faculty play in the education and preparation of our students for the nursing profession," Professor Reeves said. "I'm deeply appreciative and grateful to Tom and Judy Csatari for their recognition of nursing at Colby-Sawyer and their generous investment in our program's success."

A New Professorship in the Arts

The Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor of Fine and Performing Arts was established this year by Joyce J. Kolligian, a Colby-Sawyer trustee and alumna. Kolligian, who resides in Massachusetts and Florida, served as a trustee from 1982 to 1991 and began her current term in 2004. A leader in the marketing and communications profession and an active supporter of civic and cultural activities in her communities, Kolligian has held a variety of leadership roles at the college since the 1970s.

“Through the years, Joyce has been committed to supporting students and faculty and has previously established two scholarship funds, the Joyce J. Kolligian Scholarship in 1986 and the Dr. Michael and Joyce Kolligian Scholarship Fund in 2004,” President Galligan said. “It is with generosity, vision and a true appreciation for the arts at Colby-Sawyer and of the importance of great faculty to our arts programs that Joyce chose to create this professorship.”

Professor Keenan, a member of the Fine and Performing Arts faculty at Colby-Sawyer since 1990, is an internationally recognized artist and scholar in ceramics, East Asian art history, and Japanese art, language and culture. His current work involves anagama wood-fired ceramics, through which he strives to meet the functional and aesthetic needs of everyday life. He holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and Studio Art from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Fine Arts in art history and ceramics from the Kyoto University of Fine Arts Graduate School.

Professor Keenan was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in art and anthropology at Kyoto Seika University in Kyoto, Japan, where he served in summer 2009 as a visiting artist, scholar and teacher. He has exhibited widely and guest-lectured at institutions including Hampshire College, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The University of Leeds, U.K., the University of New Hampshire, the University of Maine, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Federal University of Brazil in Natal. Professor Keenan has also received several grants in support of his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts and the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, and was recognized with the Nancy Beyer Opler Award for Excellence in Advising at Colby-Sawyer College.

“I'm deeply honored to receive this award and would like to express my gratitude to Joyce Kolligian for her generous support of the fine and performing arts at Colby-Sawyer College,” said Professor Keenan.

Academic Vice President Taylor described individuals who direct their philanthropy to distinguished professorships as “prominent allies of the learning process and supporters of the quality that resides at the academic heart of the college.” The professorships honor the recipient while also recognizing the collective excellence of the entire faculty. In naming a distinguished professorship, Taylor noted that the benefactors provide “significant and tangible acknowledgment of the vision of teaching and learning described by Albert Einstein, who once said, 'The supreme art of the teacher is to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.'”

-Kimberly Swick Slover


Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with professional experience.

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