Colby-Sawyer College has selected Bar Harbor Bank & Trust as the recipient of the 2021 Community Award in recognition of its decades-long support of, and commitment to, the college.

The Community Award, formerly the Town Award, is presented annually to an area resident or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary involvement in, and made noteworthy contributions to, Colby-Sawyer. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, known locally as Lake Sunapee Bank prior to a 2018 merger, has been the college’s trusted financial partner for decades and a devoted supporter of its students.

“Bar Harbor has been a tremendous partner of the college for decades, going above and beyond the typical banking relationship,” Colby-Sawyer President Susan D. Stuebner said. “We are profoundly grateful for their generous history of giving as each gift made has a direct and meaningful impact on our students.”

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has supported a wide array of initiatives over the years, with contributions made to the Susan Colgate Cleveland Library/Learning Center, Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center, Kelsey Athletic Campus and the Chargers Club, among others. A generous supporter of Colby-Sawyer athletics, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust reiterated its support of the college’s varsity programs in 2019 through a $25,000 corporate sponsorship.

The bank has also helped ensure that graduates of area high schools have the financial resources necessary to attend Colby-Sawyer through the establishment of an endowed scholarship fund in 1995. The bank recently renewed that commitment, contributing $30,000 toward the establishment of an additional endowed scholarship to benefit low-income students in the Lake Sunapee region.

“We are committed to the communities we serve, and we believe that investing our time and resources in education and workforce development initiatives ultimately leads to stronger communities,” said Curtis Simard, president and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. "It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts by Colby-Sawyer College with the 2021 Community Award and we look forward to continuing our decades-long partnership with the college.”

The relationship between Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and the college also proved crucial during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the advisement of the bank, Colby-Sawyer was able to secure payroll protection loans through the federal government that were key in alleviating financial strain on the college during an uncertain period.

“Bar Harbor personnel played a pivotal role in assisting the college in securing payroll protection loans, which was of critical importance,” Stuebner said. “Ours is truly a partnership and we are so grateful for their guidance and support.” This year’s award was presented Wednesday, Aug. 25 during a ceremony and reception at the President’s House on the Colby-Sawyer College campus.