Eugene and Joan Savage Honored with Endowed Scholarship

October, 2007
endowed scholarship

Eugene and Joan Savage

More than half a century ago, Eugene “Gene” Savage ’58 and Joan Doyon ’56 met while attending Plymouth Teachers College. Now, to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary, their family and friends have established an endowed scholarship fund at Plymouth State University in their honor.

“We could think of no better way to honor our parents on this momentous occasion than to establish a scholarship that celebrates their passion for education, their love of New Hampshire, and their ongoing commitment to their alma mater,” said Dr. Kathleen Savage Mills, one of the Savages’ three daughters.

The Eugene and Joan Savage Education Award will be presented annually to a Plymouth State University student from New Hampshire who aspires to a career in education. The recipient will be chosen by a selection committee, and awards will be given on the basis of financial need, academic accomplishment, and promise for future success.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen noted that Gene and Joan Savage are the first couple to have individually received both the PSU Alumni Service and Alumni Achievement Awards. “We are grateful that the Savage family and friends chose to honor Gene and Joan with an endowed scholarship,” she said. “It is a wonderful recognition of their significant and ongoing contributions.”

Gene Savage has received numerous awards in his lifetime, including the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Daniel Webster Council of Boy Scouts of America; the Distinguished Service Award from the PSU Alumni Association; the Thomas More Award from St. Thomas More Church in Durham NH; the Distinguished Service Award from the New England Association for College Admission Counseling; and the Profile of Service Award from the UNH Alumni Association. In 1970, he was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America. Most recently, PSU awarded him the 2007 Alumni Achievement Award. At this year’s undergraduate commencement, University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Stephen Reno presented the Chancellor’s Medallion to Savage, citing Gene’s tireless efforts on behalf of higher education in general and the university system in particular.

Savage has served his community in various capacities over the years in organizations such as Odyssey House, Inc., Eastern States Exposition, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, and the American National Red Cross. He has served his alma mater as a member of both the Alumni Association board of directors and the President’s Council. He also chaired the most recent PSU presidential search committee that selected President Steen. In 1999, he was elected by the PSU Alumni Association to serve as the Plymouth State member of the USNH Board of Trustees.

Savage, who holds a master’s degree in education from Boston University in addition to his undergraduate degree from Plymouth State, also has received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Franklin Pierce College.

Joan Doyon Savage began her teaching career at Pittsfield (NH) High School, and after doing graduate work at the University of New Hampshire, continued her teaching at Oyster River Middle School in Durham NH. She received the PSU Alumni Association Service Award in 1988 and the PSU Alumni Association Achievement Award in 1998. She has served on the PSU Alumni Association board of directors and the Girl Scout Council and was Durham president for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She also is a past recipient of the Thomas More Award from St. Thomas More Church.

An accomplished artist, Joan Savage is a member of the Durham Art Association as well as the Pine Island Art Association and Herons Glen Art Association in Fort Myers, FL.

Said daughter Suzanne Savage Yeatts, “We know our parents will consider it a great honor to have their names associated with an award that will make a difference in the lives of Plymouth State University students.”

To contribute to the Eugene and Joan Savage Education Award, please contact Angela Matthews, director of development, at (603) 535-2212 or

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