Reverend John P. Croghan
2007 Distinguished Service Award
During a quarter-century of association with Hamilton College, you have faithfully and devotedly served the spiritual needs of countless students from the time of their matriculation to graduation and often beyond. Many Hamilton alumni whose lives you have touched remain warmly grateful for your concern and caring.
As Newman Chaplain, and despite considerable demands on you as administrator of St. Mary’s Church in Clinton, you have found the time to become involved in campus life not only as a spiritual counselor and guide to students but also as a confidant and advisor to Hill colleagues and others sharing your concern for student welfare. Much of your good work is done quietly and behind the scenes in informal interactions, in which you offer insight laced with humor combined with thoughtful analysis. Nonetheless, you have also become a visible and highly accessible presence in the community, whether in the course of your spiritual duties or as a fan rooting for the Continentals at home games.
Although recognizing that colleges are places where traditions flourish in the fullness of time, we often forget that some person or persons gave original inspiration to them. You may rightly claim a measure of credit for at least two Hamilton traditions, both of them now much-anticipated annual events. One is the Trust Treat, which brings youngsters from Utica’s inner-city neighborhoods to the Hill for trick-or-treating in a safe, welcoming environment on Halloween. It began some 17 years ago when you helped coordinate Newman students in organizing it. The other is the Midnight Christmas Mass, which we understand is neither held at midnight nor on Christmas. However, each December before the semester ends, students pack the Chapel in a spirit of yuletide togetherness and an atmosphere of warmth.
In delineating your many contributions to the Hamilton community, we certainly do not wish to lose sight of the paramount one. Your colleague, College Chaplain Jeffrey McArn, has reminded us that you are first and foremost a dedicated pastor, protective of students and sensitive to what is going on in their lives. For that dedication alone throughout the past 25 years, the Alumni Association is exceedingly pleased to present you with its Distinguished Service Award.
Citation presented by
Mark Rice ’73, P’01, ’06
President, Alumni Association
March 30, 2007