The Northland College Alumni Awards Program has announced the 2019 alumni awards plus the addition of one honorary alumnae.
Don Chase ‘62, Lifetime Achievement Award
This award was created to fit the incredible dedication and persistence of Don Chase ’62. Don has served Northland College for more than sixty years in a variety of roles. From instructor of English, the director of the print shop, to an admissions counselor, then assistant director of admissions, director of financial aid, alumni director, parent relations, assistant director of development, associate director of development, and finally vice president for institutional advancement before he retired in 2005. He continued to work for five years past this for major gifts.
Under his leadership, his staff increased alumni participation and giving. Don developed substantial relationships with students, families, staff, faculty, alumni, friends, church, and the entire Northland community. He supported the shift to focus on environmental studies, established the planned giving program, and coordinated the successful campaigns raising $75 million during his tenure.
The Chase family has a long history with Northland, with seventeen members having called 1411 Ellis Avenue home. Don’s wife Connie and daughters Jennifer and Michelle continue to support his commitment to Northland College. He currently serves on the board of trustees, providing historic insights to help guide Northland’s future. He is also a champion of the alumni archives, spending countless volunteer hours identifying people in photos from over six decades of Northland’s history.
“Every public act Don engages in includes his love for Northland,” said Alumni Director Jackie Moore. “Wherever Don goes, Northland goes with him and no one represents Northland with more pride and positivity.”
Mark Charles ‘80, Distinguished Alumni Award
As the chief of environmental management for the city of Rockville, Maryland, Mark has become a national expert on the Clean Water Act and waste management programs. Mark received the Northland College Environmental Achievement Award in 1998 for his outstanding work to preserve and protect the natural world. He has won many awards since for his outstanding environmental work.
Mark has remained a strong supporter of Northland College and served on the Alumni Board of Directors from 1985-2011. Throughout his time, he deeply impacted alumni giving, alumni board development, college marketing, and student recruitment. He continues to support Northland College financially and with his expertise, most recently leading a strategic planning process for the alumni board.
George and Judy Hayducsko ‘82, Environmental Achievement Award
George and Judy have had long and impactful careers in environmental stewardship in Wisconsin and Hawai’i. George is currently the recycling coordinator for the County of Hawai’i, where he has designed award-winning county recycling programs that are providing long-term environmental and economic benefits and is a sought out speaker on recycling best practices.
Judy is a source water specialist for the Hawai’I Rural Water Association. Her work with storm water education, planning, compliance, enforcement, and modeling make her a role model for all of us.
Kristy Liphart, Alumni Induction
The alumni board recognizes that not everyone had the good fortune to attend Northland for their undergraduate degree. Starting in 2018, the board created honorary alumni status for those who live the College’s passion and deserve inclusion as Northland College alumni. The first two inductees were former President Mike Miller and his wife and partner Mary Trettin. Kristy Liphart is the third person to receive honorary alumni status for her thirteen years of service to our Northland fair.
Kristy Liphart, former executive director of institutional advancement, came to Northland in 2006 as a grant writer in the advancement office. During her thirteen-year tenure, she served the College in a variety of different roles all related to raising friends and funds to support Northland’s mission. Key among her accomplishments include securing the foundational grants for the creation of the Center for Rural Communities and the Indigenous Cultures Center. She also worked tirelessly to secure funding for the Huling’s Rice Food Center and played a role in the decades-long cultivation of the gift that endowed the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation.
Especially dear to the hearts of many alumni, was Kristy’s recognition of the importance of Northland’s history and her work in 2014 to establish the Alumni Archives. Working with volunteers and the college administration, the archives evolved from a pile of refuse in a forgotten corner of the penthouse to a secure location for artifacts and records from our past to be enjoyed by all. With Kristy’s leadership, the archives are successfully managed solely by volunteers and continue to serve more people each year.
Brownell Memorial Key
The purpose of the Brownell Memorial Key is to honor Northland alumni on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of their graduation from the College and to perpetuate the memories of President J.D. and Mrs. Beatrice Brownell. This year, the graduates from the Class of 1969 will be presented their Brownell Keys at the Orange and Blue Alumni Dinner on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
Dr. and Mrs. Brownell both graduated from the Northland Academy. Dr. Brownell went on to earn his BA from Amherst College and in 1910 was asked to return to Northland College as a professor of English. In 1914, he was elevated to the presidency and he served in that role until 1942. The Brownells worked tirelessly and often with great personal sacrifice during their thirty-two-year tenure.
The Brownell Memorial Key is presented to all fifty-year graduates of the College to honor their commitment to their alma mater and to celebrate their life’s work. It is especially fitting that the key is named for the Brownells. They committed their entire lives to Northland.
The first Brownell Key was presented to Mrs. Brownell, along with one given to her posthumously for Dr. Brownell, at commencement in 1954. It has been the tradition to present the key to each fifty-year graduate at the annual alumni dinner every year since.