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Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY 13323

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alumni@hamilton.edu
866-729-0314
315-859-4648 (fax)

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Alumni Association

2008 Distinguished Service Award

Presented to Marge Petteys

For more than a decade, you have seen to it that Hamilton students receive more than a good meal when they visit the dining hall; they also can count on a friendly smile. Years after leaving the Hill, dozens of alumni remain in contact with you, and countless others no doubt recall with affection your warmth and caring.

A devoted wife and mother, you came to work at Hamilton in 1996 after raising your family. Almost instantly you established a special rapport with students, many of whom you came to know by name as they passed through the doors of McEwen Dining Hall. You had only begun to realize how much you loved your job when that joy was erased by an unexpected tragedy — the loss of your beloved son Herbie. Seeing students each day was more than you could bear, so you left the Hill, never expecting to return.

A year later, however, you received a call from your supervisor encouraging you to come back to Hamilton. What happened next is a testament to your remarkable character and spirit. Instead of allowing your loss to permanently steer you away from interactions with young people, you returned to campus, this time to work in Commons. Immediately you embraced students with open arms and continue to serve as “mom” when they need it most. Whenever you spot a student struggling with a personal problem or simply having a bad day, you are always there with a smile, a hug or to listen and offer advice. “Look for the love, the bright side,” you tell them, “because you will find it.” And if a student comes through the door with the slightest hint of a cold, you are quick to reach into your ready supply of cough drops.

Your positive, nurturing spirit is nothing short of infectious. Always one to put the needs of others before your own, you once said, “I’ve gotten more from these kids than I ever thought of giving them.” As our way of acknowledging that it is indeed you who has given so much of yourself to hundreds of Hamilton students, the Alumni Association is proud to present you with its Distinguished Service Award.

Citation presented by
Mark Rice ’73, P’01, ’06

President, Alumni Association

April 4, 2008

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