2019 Volunteer of the Year
Andy Burns ’78
The Jeff Little ’71
2019 Volunteer of the Year Award
Citation for Andy Burns ’78
In your student days, after finishing the last exam of the semester, you’d punctuate your freedom by whipping your pencil into the bushes and walking straight down the Hill to the village. That was your natural path. As the 12th Burns descendant of Clinton grocer Patrick Owen Burns to graduate from Hamilton, you grew up making the trek up and down College Hill to attend Continentals hockey and football games. Ever since, you’ve worked tirelessly on behalf of town and gown.
In the early 1990s, you were one of the founders of Kirkland Ventures, an effort that united community organizations and the College to pursue projects for the economic benefit of all. In 2001, you helped establish Hamilton’s Town-Gown Fund, which to date has invested more than $840,000 to support Clinton schools and local non-profits. And then there’s your passion for hockey.
Your contributions to your alma mater go far beyond the ice, to be sure, but we must call attention to your role spearheading the smashingly successful celebration of 100 years of Hamilton hockey in 2018. You logged hundreds of hours researching hockey history and how it has linked College and community for a century. In addition, you were instrumental in recruiting and managing scores of volunteers to pull off a weekend-long commemoration that ultimately sparked Clintonians and Hamiltonians alike to rally together to capture the national Kraft Hockeyville USA title.
Distance from home and Hill has been no barrier to your service. No matter where your career successes have taken you, you’ve been there for the Buff and Blue. You and Julia host meals for Alternative Spring Break groups, the College Choir, and traveling athletic teams at your home in Chapel Hill, N.C. For many years you served as class president and regional chair, in addition to your involvement in the Town-Gown Committee, Alumni Council, Class of 1978 reunion committees, Wall Street Association, and Career Center programs.
You once said that you are forever grateful to Hamilton for teaching you to write and defend an argument, and for fostering friendships that last a lifetime. And although you have yet to fulfill your goal of commissioning a gondola lift to take alumni and students up and down College Hill, we are here today to tell you that Hamilton is forever grateful for all you do. The Alumni Association takes great pleasure in presenting you with the Jeff Little ’71 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Presented by Paddy J. McGuire ’81, P’11
President, Alumni Association
September 27, 2019