Service, compassion and commitment. This year’s recipients of the Senior Class Award and yearbook dedication at Plymouth State University possess these qualities and more. These important members of the University community were honored at last month’s convocation ceremony for their roles in promoting student success.
In a special convocation presentation by members of the senior class, this year’s Conning Tower yearbook was dedicated to Associate Professor of Education Marianne M. True and the University’s Health Services team, who were honored for their dedication to student academic success and wellness. The Senior Class Award was given to Chief John E. Clark of the University Police Department for his commitment to student safety and campus leadership.
Each year, the senior class officers ask their classmates to submit suggestions for the yearbook dedication. This year, according to Katie Saraiva ’06, president of the Class of 2006, Professor Marianne True received many nominations.
“Many of the officers also had her for a teacher and felt that she was deserving of this award,” said Saraiva.
True has taught in the education department at Plymouth State University since 1999. Before coming to PSU, she taught English to middle and high school students and served as an assistant principal and principal for middle and high schools.
During the convocation speech, True was praised for both her teaching ability and her close relationship with students: “She is highly dedicated to her students here at Plymouth and has been recognized by many as being the most giving teacher on campus. Dr. True is charismatic, energetic and strives to help her students succeed. She has been recognized by this year’s senior class as an outstanding teacher who has touched the lives of many of her students.”
Members of the Health Services team, “compassionate, caring individuals who help nurse ill students back to good health,” were honored for their kindness and dedication to providing on-campus medical care to the University community. Presenters at convocation added, “This dedication is about appreciation for what the staff does each day. The student population at Plymouth State will be forever grateful.”
The Senior Class Award, presented to University Police Chief John E. Clark, is given to a member of the PSU community who exemplifies commitment to student well-being. According to Saraiva, Clark was chosen by the class officers as “an important asset to the entire University.”
Clark was praised for being “friendly and approachable,” for his sense of humor and for his dedication to ensuring students are safe, secure and responsible.
“We thought that he does an exceptional job as police chief and isn’t recognized enough for that,” added Saraiva. “We felt that this award was a perfect way to recognize him.”
Clark has been the chief of University Police at PSU for eight years. Before coming to the University, Clark worked for the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council and the Concord Police Department. He has over 30 years of experience in full-time law enforcement.
Clark, who holds a Master of Education degree from PSU, is also a faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department, teaching courses in criminal investigation and law.
“I think the most rewarding part of my position at Plymouth State University is to consistently earn the trust and respect of our students,” said Clark. “This mission is what I enjoy most. I also feel very fortunate to have a dedicated staff of professional individuals in our University Police Department who allow us to be as successful as we are.”
Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.