Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters
Winifred E. Coleman
It is impossible for one to tell the history of Cazenovia College without talking about Winifred E. "Winnie" Coleman. Her dedication to Cazenovia College (as the former dean of students from 1957 to 1971 and most recently as a trustee), combined with her experiences as a leader in American higher education for more than five decades, are roles worth recognizing and celebrating.
A graduate of Le Moyne College and Marquette University, Coleman was dean of students at two colleges – Cazenovia College and Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She also served as director of the National Council of Catholic Women, and was founder and past president of Cashel House, a flourishing Irish import business in Syracuse. After retiring from the presidency of St. Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut, where she served for 13 years, Winnie became a trustee at Cazenovia College. In 2007, Winifred E. Coleman was voted Trustee Emeritus by the College’s trustees, one of only six trustees to ever be so honored.
Cazenovia College is a better place because of Dean Coleman’s support and involvement. Many alumni who studied here during her years as dean of students have specifically referenced Dean Coleman for having the most profound effect on their lives and for influencing the people they have become. In 2004, the class of 1958 commissioned a portrait to be painted of Winnie Coleman, which hangs today in Coleman Hall and is a lasting tribute to her passion for and commitment to Cazenovia College.
Winnie Coleman is highly regarded on our campus, in the Central New York community and throughout American higher education. She is worthy not only of our admiration and praise, but of the signal recognition conferred by the doctor of humane letters degree, honoris causa.
Distinguished Service Award
Polly B. and John H. Koerner
The 2013 Distinguished Service Award recognizes Polly B. and John H. "Jack" Koerner, who have been friends of Cazenovia College for more than 35 years. Jack first joined the Cazenovia College Board of Trustees in 1978. He served as chair of the board of trustees in 1982 and 1983, and then retired after serving a full term of nine years. He rejoined the board in 2006, serving until 2012.
Polly and Jack's financial support of the College stretches far and wide. The Koerners have given to the Cazenovia College Pooled Life Fund in an effort to build the College's endowment; they are charter members of the 1824 Society; contributed to the 175th Anniversary Gala Celebration; gave a significant gift to the Art and Design Building fund; took a leadership role in creation of the College's first charitable gift annuity; and created the Polly and John H. Koerner Endowed Scholarship. They became members of the Heritage Society, in support of The Campaign for Cazenovia College, with a major gift for Christakos Field.
Jack was president of Koerner Ford of Syracuse before his retirement. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, where he majored in economics, and a Master's degree in business administration from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. Polly is a graduate of Colby Junior College, now Colby-Sawyer College, in New London, NH. She was involved with the Cazenovia Watercolor Society for many years, and served as a member of the Cazenovia College Summer Art Series Committee.
Jack is a past member of the National Auto Dealers Association, the New York State Auto Dealers Association and the Syracuse Auto Dealers Association. He is a past president of the Buffalo District Ford Dealers Advertising Association. He also served as chair of the United Way of CNY Board of Directors. The Koerners are active members of the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, the Cazenovia Club, and Cazenovia Golf Club. Their many interests include golf, bridge, enjoying their Lake George home with their daughters and grandchildren, and volunteering their time for various organizations.