News & Events

Hartwick Honors Gordon B. Roberts '47, H'97 with Presidential Medal

May 19, 2010

Oneonta businessman Gordon B. Roberts '47, H'97 was awarded the Presidential Medal for Extraordinary and Exemplary Loyalty to the College at the pre-commencement breakfast in Shineman Chapel House on Saturday, May 23.

"We are honored to have Gordie as an alumnus and friend of Hartwick College, and as a citizen of the greater Oneonta area," said Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich. "He and his wife, Alyce, have long been strong supporters of the work we do here at Hartwick, and important members of our community. It is our great pleasure to be able to offer Gordie this measure of our esteem."

Born in 1924, Roberts moved from nearby East Meredith to the "big city" of Oneonta in 1937. He enrolled at Hartwick College in 1941, and began taking classes in what was then the campus' only building, Bresee Hall.

Taking time off from his business studies, Roberts earned the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in the Air Force during World War II. He returned to Hartwick, graduating in 1947, and his Oneonta-based insurance business became Roberts' primary focus. As Hartwick and Oneonta grew, so, too, did the Gordon B. Roberts Agency, becoming one of the city's steadfast businesses.

With his success, Roberts gave much to Hartwick College and the community, serving as a Hartwick Trustee, Trustee Emeritus, Alumni Association Board member, and Kellogg Society member. The impact of his service to countless community organizations--as a benefactor, board member, and supporter--is beyond measure. In addition to Hartwick, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Oneonta's Chamber of Commerce, Oneonta Kiwanis Club, Future for Oneonta Foundation, West Kortright Centre, Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home, and the First United Methodist Church are just a few of the institutions and organizations he has led, served, or aided through the years.

In addition to other community accolades, Roberts received an honorary degree from Hartwick in 1997, and in 2001 the Hartwick College Citizens Board named him its Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

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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