The Rev. John Croghan with president Joan Stewart and Mark Rice '73.
Hamilton College Newman Chaplain the Rev. John Croghan was presented with the Hamilton Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award during Volunteer Weekend activities, March 30-April 1. Given annually for the past five years, the award recognizes an employee who has substantially contributed to Hamilton through distinguished performance in his or her position and through involvement in student, alumni or other activities in the College community.
Croghan, administrator of St. Mary's in Clinton, has served at Hamilton for 25 years.
Mark Rice '73 P'01, '06, president of the Hamilton College Alumni Association and chair of the Alumni Council, presented a citation to Croghan that noted, "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."
The citation also noted Croghan's involvement in two Hamilton traditions, both of them now much-anticipated annual events. One is 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 Croghan helped coordinate Newman students in organizing it. The other tradition, according to the citation, "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."
Previous winners include former Hamilton President Gene Tobin, Professor of Theatre Carole Bellini-Sharp, Director of Audiovisual Services Tim Hicks and Professor of Anthropology Douglas Raybeck.