Hamilton College will award honorary degrees to three distinguished "war years" graduates, including David Harden of McConnellsville, as part of Fallcoming Weekend, Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6.

David Harden, Robert Howard and Milton Fillius attended Hamilton during and immediately following World War II. Each became highly successful in business, and in their commitment to community and philanthropic causes.

David Harden worked in his family's business, Harden Furniture, after graduating from Hamilton in 1948. He began as a salesman before being promoted to sales manager, and then served as president for three decades. Currently, he is the company's chairman.

Under Harden's guidance, the company has prospered and expanded, enhancing its reputation for fine craftsmanship. In 1991, he was awarded the prestigious Business Council of New York's Corning Award in recognition of his commitment to excellence, integrity and helping others. His community involvement includes service to the Boy Scouts of America, Oneida County Planning Board, the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers and the New York State Golf Association. He has served on the boards of several central New York businesses and is a Hamilton trustee.

Robert Howard, a member of the class of 1946, enlisted in the Navy V-5 program in the midst of his studies at Hamilton. He completed his degree requirements after the war, and upon graduation worked briefly in his family's hardware business. He then joined the Manhattan brokerage firm of Reynolds and Company, which eventually became Dean Witter Reynolds. Howard worked with the firm for 30 years, contributing to its expansion and success until his retirement in 1984. In his non-business hours, he has been involved in the Rye, N.Y., Republican Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals and the United Fund. He has served as a trustee on various hospital boards, church boards and Hamilton College.  Milton Fillius, Jr., of the class of 1944, interrupted his studies at Hamilton to serve as a Navy submarine officer. After the war, he returned to Hamilton and completed his undergraduate degree. He then earned a law degree from the University of Michigan.

Fillius moved to California and became successful in business ventures ranging from transportation to packaging and later processing. He is now retired, but has maintained strong community involvement in activities including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Mercy Hospital, Children's Home Society and the United Fund. He is currently chairman of the Joseph Drown Foundation and life trustee of Hamilton. Fillius has also dedicated himself to the preservation and propagation of American jazz music.

Hamilton's 1996 Fallcoming weekend will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the College's wartime alumni. Hamilton President Eugene Tobin will present the honorary degrees in a private ceremony.

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