John M. Driscoll, Jr., ’58, P’88
2011 Volunteer of the Year
Throughout the past two centuries, Hamilton has benefitted enormously from the dedication and selfless service of alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally while maintaining lifelong connections to the College. Yet few have embraced this commitment to “giving back” as passionately as you.
A pre-med student, you made your mark on College Hill in the classroom and on the basket ball court and lacrosse field, and were tapped for Pentagon. Just before your graduation as class president, you were a bit surprised by the “enormous faith” Winton Tolles placed in you when recommending you for medical school. Of course, the dean knew what he was doing.
You earned your M.D. at Wake Forest University and still set aside time to serve as a representative for the Class of 1958 — a Hamilton volunteer from Day One. You joined the faculty of Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons in 1971, and two years later became director of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. For 15 years, you served as chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, and your pioneering approach to the treatment of respiratory distress in newborns led to international recognition.
Despite a demanding career, you remained devoted to your family, including your wife Yvonne, your six children (including son John Driscoll III ’88) and now grandchildren, as well as your alma mater. A perennial Annual Fund gift chair, you have been known to check class results on a daily basis and call each classmate to solicit gifts. You served as a volunteer for several Hamilton capital campaigns, chaired your 50th reunion gift committee and continue to participate as a member of the Alumni Council. But what is perhaps most notable is your constant expression of gratitude to the College for the start it gave you in life. You regularly champion promising prospective students through the admission process and, as a Career Center volunteer, you are eager to mentor young Hamiltonians interested in medicine.
Upon your retirement in 2007, you noted: “The College had a great influence on starting me on this journey and preparing me for the challenges that I would face. Hopefully in my achievements, whatever they are, I have given back both to my college and to my friends in a grateful manner for all that they have done for me.”
Today, it is we who are grateful, and it is our turn to give back. Dr. Driscoll, in recognition of your decades of enthusiasm and dedication to the College, the Alumni Association takes great pleasure in presenting to you the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Citation presented by
Julie Ross '84
President, Alumni Association
September 24, 2011