Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Announces 2011 Francis H. Hayden Memorial Award Winner


NORTH ADAMS, MA - The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2011 Francis H. Hayden Memorial Award Winner, Dr. Mary K. Grant, President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). The award was established in May 1968 to honor the memory of Francis H. Hayden, a two-term president of the Northern Berkshire Chamber who made significant contributions to the community as president and through his involvement with several other organizations.

Candidates are judged on the basis of volunteer efforts rather than any measure of success in the field in which they normally are employed or the accomplishments or successes by an individual's membership in one organization. The award is given annually to a person who has volunteered time, made personal sacrifices, and shown leadership resulting in significant contributions to the economic, social and cultural improvements of any or all of the communities of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown. Over the years, Dr. Mary K. Grant has made significant contributions to her community, which have included service to educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and economic development initiatives.

"Under Dr. Mary K. Grant's leadership, a culture of civic engagement, community service, and volunteerism has flourished at MCLA, and serves as a vitally important resource to the community," remarked a member of the Nominating Committee. "The values of public purpose and engagement are shared and supported by faculty, staff, and students across the campus, and modeled in action through their service projects and volunteers activities."

Dr. Mary K. Grant consistently champions responsibility and commitment to community, helping MCLA to strengthen its civic engagement as a direct result. Under Grant's leadership, the college now partners with the city of North Adams for major days of service, including a citywide day of service in the spring that brings together faculty, staff, students, community members, and the city together with a common goal of cleanup and beautification of the North Adams community, as well as a fall day of service that includes crosswalk painting, community cleanup, and work with human services agencies.

"It is not a stretch to say that virtually every citizen of North Berkshire has or will benefit from the extraordinary leadership, vision and energy of President Mary Grant and the change she has brought and will continue to bring to MCLA," said Alan L. Marden, Chairman of the Francis H. Hayden Award Committee. "The Hayden Award is usually given for voluntary efforts, but over the course of its 42-year tenure, the committee occasionally has been presented with a nominee whose professional endeavors have been so extraordinary that the award committee has been compelled to select that person. Such is the case this year with President Grant who 24/7 is making 'significant contribution to the economic, social and cultural improvement' of the region."

The Hayden Award has been presented annually since 1969. The very first recipient of this prestigious award was Donald Thurston. Among the most recent past recipients are George Fairs, Mary and Henry Flint, Eric Rudd, George Kennedy, Joseph H. Wolfe, Donald R. Dubendorf, Joseph Thompson, Marci and Sandy Plumb, John DeRosa, Bruce Grinnell, Hulda Hardman-Jowett, Stephen A. Green, Stephen Pagnotta, Bernie Pinsonnault, and last year's winners, Dan Bosley and John Barrett III.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will present the 2011 Francis H. Hayden Award at their Annual Meeting on Wednesday, December 21, 7:30AM., at the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Tickets for the Annual Meeting are $30 each and are available at or by calling 413-499-4000, x10.

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For more information, please contact:
Ashley Sulock
Director of Marketing & Communications
Berkshire Chamber of Commerce
(413) 499-4000, extension 15