Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters
Jeanne E. Priest "Betty" Putney '53
Jeanne E. Priest "Betty" Putney '53 has been a member of the Cazenovia College community since 1951. She moved to the Cazenovia area as a ten-year-old and, after graduating from Cazenovia High School, she completed her freshman year at Cazenovia Junior College. Then, she said, "As young women will, I fell in love . . ."
She left school to marry the boy next door, but when her children were both in school, she returned to Cazenovia College. During her freshman year, her "big sister" was Ellie Wilson '52, who became the College's bookstore manager. They had remained friends and, in 1963, Ellie asked Betty to help in the bookstore – a move that began Betty's long career at Cazenovia. She eventually moved into a full-time position in the business office, where she befriended countless students in her various positions there. She retired from full-time work in 2000, but still works part time as the executive assistant to the chief financial officer.
Betty, officially affiliated with the class of 1953, took classes part time as her work schedule allowed and, in 1992, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. She is an honorary member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and just this past year, Betty was the recipient of the 2012 Ellie Wilson Award, presented during Reunion Weekend to an alumna or alumnus of Cazenovia College in gratitude for devotion, loyalty and service to the College.
Betty volunteers at "The Key" – a consignment store affiliated with St. Peter's Church in Cazenovia, and has been a member of the St. Peter's Altar Guild since 1960. She also serves as an election inspector and is a charter member of CAVAC.
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.