Alumni Association's Pettee Medal Awarded to J. Bonnie Newman
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 24, 2010
Lisa Nugent, Photographic Services.
J. Bonnie Newman, a former interim president of UNH who worked in the White House, was honored with the Alumni Association’s most prestigious award last week in a ceremony at Huddleston Hall.
The woman described by Sen. Judd Gregg as someone who had been “a glass ceiling breaker all her life” received the Pettee Medal, given annually to a New Hampshire resident or former resident in recognition of their dedication and service to the state and the world.
Gregg was among several state dignitaries, including Gov. John Lynch, on hand Nov. 19 when Newman was presented with the award.
Noting UNH is at the core of who she is, Newman went on to say the university is “where I was inspired to help make the world a better place.”
Newman’s career has spanned the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Her tenure at UNH included serving as assistant dean of students (1969-1972); dean of students (1972-1978); interim dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics (1998-1999) and interim president (2006 to 2007).
She also served as the executive dean at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government from 2000-2005.
Newman left academia in the 1980s to work in government and the private and nonprofit sectors. She was Sen. Judd Gregg’s chief of staff when he was a congressman and went on to work in the White House as associate director of presidential personnel and then as assistant secretary of commerce for economic development under President Ronald Reagan, and as assistant to the president for management and administration during the George H.W. Bush administration.
Founder and former owner of Coastal Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of WZEA-FM radio, Newman was president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire and president and CEO of The New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association.
She currently serves as a director of the Lumina Foundation for Education, Fairpoint Communications, Gilbane, Inc., Global Relief Technologies, Exeter Trust Company, and Exeter Hospital; is former chairman of the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors and former vice chair of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Other past appointments include the President’s Export Council and the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. She is a former director of Markem Corporation, NYNEX Telecommunications, New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, Sallie Mae Corporation, New Hampshire Public Television, the New Hampshire Industrial Development Authority, and Public Service of New Hampshire.
Newman previously has been recognized by UNH with the Profile of Service Award (1988), Granite State Award (1996), and Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree (2007).
The Charles Holmes Pettee Medal was established by the UNH Alumni Association in 1940 to recognize individuals who exhibit the rare devotion to service expressed by the life of Pettee, who served the university for 62 years as professor and dean until his death in 1938.