News & Events

Citizens Board Gala Circles the Globe

June 22, 2009

Forget 80 days, the 2009 Hartwick College Citizens Board Gala circled the world in one evening on Friday, June 19.

The annual event brings together Hartwick supporters from throughout the Oneonta area for a night of dinner and dancing in support of the Hartwick Fund, which helps the College toward its mission of melding a liberal arts education with experiential learning. During the 2009 Gala, billed as "A Hartwick World Journey," the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Madolyn Palmer.

A longtime employee of the Oneonta City School District, Palmer has dedicated her considerable energy to countless community causes through the years, including a stint as president of the Hartwick College Citizens Board.

"You have been a champion of Hartwick for more than 20 years," said Citizens Board President Carol Chesser in presenting the award. "You have served as a vital member and past president of this Citizens Board, helping to form a bridge between the College and the community that has long sponsored and supported the invaluable work on Oyaron Hill. Without advocates like you, Madolyn, Hartwick would not be where it is today--enriching the lives of thousands of students and alumni, influencing the city of Oneonta, and, ultimately, changing the world."

Chesser also participated in one of the Gala's most cherished traditions, presenting a check to the College composed of donations from Citizens Board members. For 2009, Board members made 804 gifts, totaling more than $1.2 million.

"Your financial support is vital to continuing our tradition of providing a top-quality liberal arts education complemented by experiential learning," Hartwick President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich told the crowd in attendance. "Whether from abroad or from close by, as were the 238 students from our Citizens Board region who were enrolled in this past year, this approach to education transforms our students and our community."

Catherine Scorzafava '12 then took the stage to offer a glimpse into her experience as a globetrotting Hartwick College student. A member of Hartwick's Nursing program, Scorzafava traveled to Jamaica in January to participate in the Transcultural Nursing Program, and offered the crowd her perspective on the value of experiential learning, Hartwick style.

The evening then adjourned for celebratory dancing to the music of Grey Matters Plus (featuring Oneonta talent Jim Matthews, Linda Insetta, and Jennifer Insetta Pajerski) long into the night.

Founded in 1954, the Hartwick College Citizens Board is a group of area businesspeople and community members. The Board established the Citizen of the Year award in 1980 to recognize an area resident who exemplifies the mission of the Board: to act as an advocate for Hartwick and to affirm the mutually beneficial relationship between the College and the greater Oneonta community.

Hartwick College has benefited from the financial support and involvement of the community for more than 75 years. The Hartwick Fund provides the strength and flexibility necessary for maintaining the programs and services that make the College so special. Gifts to the Hartwick Fund support financial aid and scholarships, study-abroad opportunities, attracting and retaining first-rate faculty, student-faculty research, Pine Lake Environmental Campus, student services and activities, library and research materials, athletics, and academic and internship programs, among others.

The 2009 Citizens Board Gala was sponsored by Wilber National Bank, as well as Eastman Associates Inc., LeChase Construction Services LLC, Otsego Ready-Mix Inc./Pickett Building Materials/Oneonta Block Company, Northern Eagle Beverages Inc., Drogen Electric Supply/Drogen's Home Furnishings, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Barnes & Noble, Bassett Healthcare, The Country Club Automotive Group, Gordon B. Roberts Agency Inc., Jennings Environmental Management Inc., KeyBank, and The New Millennium Group.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030