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Father Jonathan Recognized with State Merit Award

March 04, 2015

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-724

John O. Harney
Executive Editor, The New England Journal of Higher Education

Former president of Saint Anselm College, Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., receives state merit award from The New England Board of Higher EducationThe New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) will honor Fr. Jonathan DeFelice, former president of Saint Anselm College, with the New Hampshire State Merit Award, when the regional organization holds its 13th annual New England Higher Education Excellence Award ceremony at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel on Friday, March 13, 2015.

Among other 2015 NEBHE honorees, Manchester-based Dyn will receive NEBHE's 2015 Business Contribution to Higher Education Award.

More than 400 people will attend this event, including leaders of education, business and government from across the six New England states.

"We are proud to honor a true champion of the liberal arts in Father Jonathan and a firm that is frequently lauded for its company culture in Dyn," said NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas.

Father Jonathan served as president of Saint Anselm College from 1989 to 2013.

A member of the Benedictine community that founded and governs the college, Father Jonathan is also a graduate of the college's Class of 1969. Before becoming president, he served his alma mater as a faculty member and in a number of administrative roles.

Under his leadership, the college embarked on ambitious planning and development programs to strengthen its highly regarded liberal arts reputation as New England's third oldest Catholic college. He has been a passionate advocate for Saint Anselm's mission that seeks to balance the academic, spiritual and extracurricular lives of its students.

A proponent of civic engagement and community service, Father Jonathan was the founding chair of Campus Compact New Hampshire. Saint Anselm's Meelia Center for Community Service and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics are two examples of visionary initiatives founded under his leadership.

Father Jonathan has served on the board of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as a division chair for United Way, a founding member of the Board of Governors of the New Hampshire Forum on Higher Education and a member of the New England Council. His is also a former chair of the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission and the New Hampshire College and University Council.

A Rhode Island native, Father Jonathan graduated from Saint Anselm with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. He entered Saint Anselm Abbey in 1968 and professed vows as a Benedictine monk in 1973. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1974 after studying theology at Saint John's Seminary in Brighton, Mass. In 1983, he received a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

NEBHE's Awards
Each year, NEBHE presents Regional Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity, and State Merit Awards to honor the innovative work of organizations, institutions or individuals in each New England state. NEBHE's 2015 regional award recipients include: James T. Brett, President and CEO, Timothy J. Donovan, Chancellor, Rhode Island Kids Count
, Patricia Collins, Trustee, University of Maine System, and Dyn.

In addition to Father Jonathan, NEBHE's 2015 state merits award recipients include: Booker T. DeVaughn, President Emeritus, Three Rivers Community College
, University of New England
,Carole A. Cowan, President, Middlesex Community College
, Susan F. Lusi, Superintendent, Providence Public Schools, and Mark Young, Trustee, University of Vermont

Additional information about NEBHE's New England Higher Education Excellence Awards is available online.

Since 1955, the New England Board of Higher Education has promoted greater educational opportunities for the residents of New England. Their core functions include programs and services focused on cost savings and affordability and college access and success. They also provide policy leadership on key issues related to education and promote dialogue, research and analysis, and best practices related to education and the New England economy.

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