Three Franklin College alumni will be recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to their local communities during the college’s Homecoming and Alumni Weekend. Awards will be bestowed by Franklin College President Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., at the annual Hail to Franklin Alumni Awards Presentation and Reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 at Garment Factory Events in Franklin.
Since 1954, the Alumni Council of Franklin College has had an established award program designed to honor alumni and friends of the college, recognizing outstanding professional/community achievement as well as service to Franklin College. Nominations for awards are submitted to the nominating committee of the Alumni Council by Alumni Association members.
The 2019 Alumni Council award recipients include:
Ann Miller Smith will receive a posthumous Alumni Citation for Lifetime Achievement. She dedicated 32 years with Easterseals New Hampshire, helping children who have disabilities and special needs, after graduating from Franklin College in 1969. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in an alumnus’s or alumna’s profession or retirement activities, service to the community, and/or service to the college.
Smith died unexpectedly on Jan. 30, 2012, leaving behind a legacy of leadership in her profession, community and state. In New Hampshire, she served as a special education preschool teacher, case manager and interventionist, supervisor of outpatient programs and therapists and as an advocate for statewide changes to best serve children and families in need.
As a state advocate, Smith helped to pass and implement the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. The law mandated special education services for all states. A subcategory of the law served as a pilot for what is now New Hampshire’s largest childhood intervention program, Family Centered Early Supports and Services.
Smith’s final position as director of medical rehabilitation services involved overseeing Easterseals programs in four states. She was a driving force behind ensuring availability, accessibility and quality of supports and serves. Smith was a resident of Manchester, New Hampshire, at the time of her passing.
Jeffrey G. Huxford, M.D., a 1999 Franklin College graduate, will receive an Alumni Citation for Lifetime Achievement for his perseverance after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This award recognizes outstanding achievement in an alumnus’s or alumna’s profession or retirement activities, service to the community, and/or service to the college.
Thirteen years after graduating from Franklin College, Huxford was married, had two children and was practicing family medicine at a successful business in his wife’s hometown of DeMotte, Indiana. But life as he knew it changed during a routine trip to a local hardware store in 2012.
A full-size work truck that failed to stop at a flashing red light hit Huxford. The first impact pushed Huxford’s truck into a concrete utility pole. The second impact forced Huxford’s head through his driver’s side window and against the pole. He nearly died at the scene of the accident.
Doctors said Huxford’s survival was a miracle, and that his life would never be the same as a result of his TBI. Eight months later, he defied the odds and returned to working at his medical practice. But three years later, TBI further complicated his life and forced Huxford to retire.
Today, he prefers to say TBI “refines” his life, helping him focus on improving and perfecting what he can do. Huxford continues his spiritual journey and healing by finding opportunities to share his story and connect with other TBI survivors. He is an active blogger, author and speaker.
Suzanne (Crowe) Hahn, a 1994 graduate of Franklin College, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for being inspired in her longtime career, and for inspiring others to collect, preserve and share information that helps sustain Indiana history. This award is the highest award given to an alumnus or alumna at the discretion of the Franklin College Alumni Council.
Hahn serves as vice president, archives and library, at the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) in Indianapolis, where she has worked since 2000. The position enables Hahn to draw upon both her undergraduate degree in history and her master’s degree in library science, making her a strong resource on which colleagues and library patrons can rely.
Hahn recently collaborated with Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Ph.D., Franklin College associate professor of history and director of American studies, in producing a winning grant proposal for the Independent Colleges of Indiana inaugural cohort of Humanities Research for the Public Good.
Prior to joining the IHS staff, Hahn worked for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and the CNA’s Center for Naval Analyses in Arlington, Virginia. She and her spouse, Matt, are the parents of a son, Ben. They are residents of Indianapolis.
For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED Oct 8, 2019