Colby-Sawyer will celebrate its 181st Commencement on Saturday, May 11, graduating approximately 180 undergraduate students and recognizing them and other individuals for academic excellence, outstanding contributions to society, and service to the college and community. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the college’s Quad.

Community Awards

Colby-Sawyer will recognize these members of the college and greater community for outstanding contributions to the life of Colby-Sawyer and its students.

In recognition of her humanitarian character, superior intellect and a career that has brought about positive, far-reaching consequences for individuals and organizations, Colby-Sawyer will award scientist and researcher Dr. Nancy Ryan Gray with an honorary doctor of humane letters. As Scientific Fellow at the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, an industrial research chemist at Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, Texas, and now President and CEO of the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC), Dr. Grey is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists during the most critical time in their careers. Through summer programs at Colby-Sawyer, GRC hosts hundreds of scientists annually and provides these cutting-edge researchers with opportunities to network with others in their field, discuss the most recent advances and stimulate new directions for research. Her mission of sharing knowledge and advancing research exemplifies the mission of Colby-Sawyer. Dr. Gray holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in fuel chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Susan A Reeves ’88, chief nursing executive and executive vice president for Research and Education with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, will receive the Susan Colgate Cleveland Medal for Distinguished Service, the college’s highest award. Since 2003, Dr. Reeves has worked to build programs that would distinguish her alma mater’s healthcare majors and strengthen its partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health. As inaugural dean of Colby-Sawyer’s School of Nursing and Health Professions and associate academic dean for D-H Partnerships, she developed the college’s public health program and an online RN to BS in nursing program, and launched its first graduate program, a master of science in nursing. Dr. Reeves received her diploma in nursing from Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. She holds a B.S. in nursing from Colby-Sawyer, an M.S. in nursing administration from the University of New Hampshire and an Ed.D. from the University of Vermont. She is a resident of New London, N.H.

Associate Professor of Natural and Environmental Sciences Dr. Christine Konicki Bieszczad will receive the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, the college’s highest teaching award. Since 2007, Dr. Bieszczad has been sharing her multidimensional approach to teaching and her passion for natural sciences with the Colby-Sawyer community. As is tradition, the award winner will deliver the 181st Commencement Address. Dr. Bieszczad holds a B.S. in biology from Saint Joseph’s College in Connecticut and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She lives with her husband and three children in Grantham.

Graduating Student Awards

William Hyland, a sport management major from Searsmont, Maine, has been selected by his classmates as the Senior Commencement Speaker. In addition, Hyland has been selected by faculty to receive the Colby-Sawyer Award as the senior who best exemplifies the college’s ideals of personal dignity, intellectual growth and contributions to campus life. A Wesson Honors Program scholar, Hyland has served as his class president for three years and as an Orientation Leader, and he has been a member of the Presidential Blue Key Society, Navigators Christian Fellowship, and the Exercise and Sport Sciences Club.

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

To learn more about the award winners, visit the Commencement Awards page.