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2011 Granite State Award and Honorary Degree Recipients

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
March 30, 2011

The cofounder of a victim assistance program and a Pembroke couple who have dedicated their lives to preserving New Hampshire’s history are the recipients of the 2011 UNH Granite State Award, given for outstanding community service.

James and Donna-Belle Garvin, authors of numerous books and articles on New England history, and Patricia Rainboth, co-founder and executive director of the Joan Ellis Victim Assistance Network, Victims Inc., will receive the awards during UNH’s 141st commencement ceremony Saturday, May 21, 2011.

Florence Reed, founder of Sustainable Harvest International; Nancie Atwell, a national leader in literacy instruction; and commencement speaker David Cote, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell, Inc., will receive honorary degrees.

Patricia Rainboth, co-founder of Victims Inc.

Patricia Rainboth is cofounder and executive director of the Joan Ellis Victim Assistance Network, Victims Inc., a non-profit agency that offers immediate help to trauma victims in such events as a car crash, homicide or other sudden death, working with the courts, law enforcement, the media, schools, and other agencies. Since 1991, the organization has helped more than 32,800 people throughout New Hampshire.

Rainboth has been instrumental in the passage of legislation that lowered the drunk driving blood alcohol content to .08; increasing homicide penalties; increasing license suspensions related to fatal car crashes; and implementing a graduated licensing program for first-time drivers.

She is a member of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the American Academy of Bereavement Association, the National Alliance for Grieving Children, and many state and local organizations. 

James Garvin ’67 is the state architectural historian for the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, charged with, among other duties, documenting buildings for the National Register of Historic Places. He began his career in 1963 at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth where he eventually became the museum’s first curator. In 2001, he wrote “A Building History of Northern New England.” 

Donna-Belle Garvin is the director of publications for the New Hampshire Historical Society and editor of the society’s journal Historical New Hampshire. She and her husband co-wrote “On the Road North of Boston,” a book on the historic taverns and tavern society of 18th and 19th-century New England.

Florence Reed, founder of Sustainable Harvest International.

Honorary degree recipient Florence Reed ’90 founded Sustainable Harvest International in 1997 after serving in the Peace Corps for two years. Sustainable Harvest International strives to educate farmers in Central America on how to best work their land with the aim of preserving tropical forests and eradicating poverty. Today, SHI has programs in Honduras, Panama, Belize, and Nicaragua and an annual operating budget of $1.7 million, 90 percent of which goes to SHI projects.


Nancie Atwell, founder the Center for Teaching and Learning, a non-profit K-8 demonstration school in Edgecomb, Maine.

Nancie Atwell is the author of “In the Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning,” which has been called one of the most significant books on teaching in the 20th century and for which she received the David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English from the National Council of Teachers. She is the founder and a teacher at the Center for Teaching and Learning, a non-profit K-8 demonstration school in Edgecomb, Maine.


David Cote, chairman and chief executive officer of Honeywell, Inc.

Commencement speaker David Cote ’76 received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Foreign Policy Association for Honeywell’s Hometown Solutions program, which focuses on four areas of social need: science and math education; family safety and security; housing and shelter; and humanitarian relief. That program’s initiatives include helping to rebuild in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and “Got2bSafe,” a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


For information on commencement, visit www.unh.edu/commencement.


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