2014 Granite State Award and Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

2014 Granite State Award and Honorary Degree Recipients Announced

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stella and Douglas Scamman

Stella and Douglas Scamman will receive a 2014 Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire at commencement May 17, 2014.

A Stratham couple active in state politics and a Portsmouth-based high-tech firm committed to community service will receive 2014 Granite State Awards from the University of New Hampshire.

The awards will be presented during UNH commencement Saturday, May 17, 2014. Also being recognized are David Hajjar ‘77G ‘78G, executive vice provost of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and commencement speaker “Frozen” screenwriter/director Jennifer Lee ’94, both of whom will receive honorary degrees.

The Granite State Award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the state.

Recipients W. Douglas ’64 and Stella Scamman ’63 of Stratham served 13 and three terms, respectively, in the New Hampshire House of Representatives where Doug Scamman was elected Speaker three times. Between them, the Scammans represented District 13 in the New Hampshire House for 32 years.

Stella Scamman was a member of the board of trustees for the University System of New Hampshire for 12 years. She also sat on the boards of the New Hampshire Community Technical College in Stratham, the New Hampshire Association for the Blind, the Seacoast Child Advocacy Center, the Housing Partnership of Portsmouth, the Stratham Economic Development Committee, and the New England Board of Higher Education. Currently, she is on the Fisher Cats Foundation.

While serving the state, Douglas Scamman chaired the House Rules Committee, the Children, Youth and Elderly Affairs Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, was vice chairman of the Environment and Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations and co-chaired the Joint Committee on Employee Relations. Additionally, he served on the Joint Committee on Legislative Facilities and the Joint Legislative Historical Committee.

From 1993 to 1996, Scamman was budget director for Gov. Steve Merrill and from 1997- 2003 served as director of administration at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. He was a member of the UNH Alumni advisory board for six years and currently is a commissioner on the N.H. Lottery Commission. Locally, Scamman has held several elected positions in his hometown, including school board and Town Moderator.

The former dairy farmers worked to place their 200-plus acre farm in Stratham in conservation. The farm is the site of the Scamman Home and Garden Center and the former site of Stella Scamman’s 35-year business, the Creative Cricket.

Granite State Award recipient Bottomline Technologies is being recognized for its commitment to local communities and encouraging employees to volunteer in the areas where they work and live.

A charitable contribution committee identifies community needs and then allocates money in the company’s name to the organizations best suited to fulfill those needs. The employee choice charitable giving program allows employees to designate specific organizations to receive a donation from Bottomline in the employee’s name. Through the “Lunch and Learn” series, the company educates employees on community issues and offers tips on managing issues affecting their lives.

Additionally, Bottomline Technologies is a sponsor of End 68 Hours of Hunger and has donated $10,000 to support local programs that serve more than 550 children a week in New Hampshire. Corporate and employee donations to the United Way’s annual campaign total $85,000. And, in 2013, the company donated $1,000 to Leadership Seacoast, a non-profit organization that educates and informs community leaders.

David Hajjar ‘77G ‘78G, executive vice provost of Weill Medical College of Cornell University

David Hajjar '77G '78G, executive vice provost of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, will receive an honorary degree during commencement at the University of New Hampshire May 17, 2014.

Honorary degree recipient and alumnus David Hajjar is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of atherosclerosis and vascular biology whose research on heart disease has had impact worldwide. After receiving his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire, he joined the Cornell faculty in 1981 and was appointed a full tenured professor in 1989, one of the youngest in the medical school’s history.

Hajjar has been the primary recipient of approximately $100 million in National Institutes of Health research grant support. His research has led to greater understanding of the molecular relationships that cause arterial cholesterol accumulation.

Hajjar has played a pivotal role in developing research capacity in Qatar where, in 2001, he helped launch a new branch of Cornell’s medical school to educate the next generation of physicians in the Middle East. He also helped design a five-year, $180 million clinical and translational science research program for the school.

In 2011, Hajjar was named to the Fulbright Scholars Program, working with the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and Qatar University to strengthen the biomedical research and educational enterprise of these institutions.

He also is a senior fellow at the Belfer Center at the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government in their public policy/diplomacy programs where he is examining how governments in the Gulf Arab States can better work together and what the international community can do to help accelerate scientific progress there. He has played similar roles with Tianjin Medical University in China, the Pasteur Institute in France, and University of Tokyo in Japan.

Jennifer Lee will also receive an honorary degree. The first woman to direct an animated feature film for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lee will deliver the 2014 University of New Hampshire commencement address. Read more here. 

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