Alumni awards are granted annually during the Saturday evening program at Reunion Weekend. Over the years, these awards have witnessed the achievements of alumni in many career paths, volunteer service commitments, and leadership opportunities. As a community, we are grateful to share stories of the persistence, tenacity, and drive among the alumnae, alumni, and dedicated support team at New Hampton School. Please join us in congratulating this year’s award recipients.
2021 Alumni Awards
Young Alumni Leadership Award
Briana Cardwell ’13
At the school’s Bicentennial Commencement in May, Briana Cardwell was awarded the Young Alumni Leadership Award. The Young Alumni Leadership Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus who, since graduation, has shown the same loyalty, dedication, and service to New Hampton School and the wider community as they did as a student.
Upon graduating from New Hampton School in 2013, Briana Cardwell went to Bowdoin College, where she majored in Africana Studies and minored in Sociology. She played an active role in the Residential Life Program for three years and was President of the African-American Society. Ms. Cardwell also served on several committees at Bowdoin to address issues of diversity and inclusion at the school. Before attending law school she interned at the Boston NAACP, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and Greater Boston Legal Services doing civil rights work and immigration. Ms. Cardwell now works at the Central West Justice Center’s Immigration Unit as a staff attorney.
Briana has remained connected and, most recently, served as the bicentennial commencement speaker. For all she has done to support the New Hampton School community, and for her work to promote diversity and inclusion, Briana is presented with the Young Alumni Leadership Award.
Smith-Moore Service Award
Jill Duncan P’04, ’06
The Smith-Moore Service Award recognizes a New Hampton School alumnae, or a former or present member of the faculty or staff, for her service to New Hampton School. This award memorializes the tireless efforts of Grace Vohr Smith, Headmaster’s spouse from 1926-1957, who served the school in countless ways. It also memorializes the many contributions of her daughter, Norma Jean “Jinga” Smith Moore, also a longtime Headmaster’s spouse and faculty member at New Hampton School for many years. Both women were positive female role models for faculty and students.
Jill Duncan exemplifies and expands on their legacies. Jill has served New Hampton School since she arrived in 1994 as the Business Manager. She has held several titles during her time here, and she presently serves as the school’s Chief Financial Officer. Jill has done an outstanding job maintaining the school’s financials, quietly and patiently guiding the school through difficult times. No one has done more than Jill to secure the school’s stable and bright future. She has consistently modeled innovative thinking, collaboration, and poise during her tenure. Her contributions have been grounded in her exceptionally high standards of integrity, knowledge, and motivation to help our school succeed.
Jills’ leadership extends outside of the New Hampton School community. She has served on numerous boards, including the Board of Directors for the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), the National Advisory Council for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), and the Speare Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Health and Facilities Authority.
Jill’s expertise and commitment to serving our school and industry have not gone unnoticed. She has recently received the Will Hancock Unsung Hero Award from the National Business Officers Association. This award is given to the business officer who has made the most extraordinary contributions to their school.
She is a leader in her industry, and we have been lucky to benefit from her commitment and expertise for the last 26 years. Her presence will be missed next year and beyond but we wish her all the best in her retirement. For her deep-seated loyalty and her exceptional service to our community, we are thrilled to award the Smith-Moore Service Award to Jill Duncan.
Hazeltine Merrill Award
Victoria Blodgett ’80
The Hazeltine-Merrill Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a New Hampton School alumnae or a former or present member of the faculty or staff, for her service to New Hampton School, who has demonstrated leadership in her community and profession. Martha Hazeltine, an alumna of the Class of 1827, was the first principal of the “Female Department” at New Hampton Academy, beginning in 1829. She is remembered for her passion and her leadership as an educator. Pauline Swain Merrill graduated from New Hampton School in 1921. She was one of the first female lawyers in the state of New Hampshire and served as a trustee of New Hampton School and the Gordon-Nash Library.
Today, this award is given posthumously to a most worthy recipient, Victoria Blodgett, Class of 1980.
Victoria’s professional life’s work was as a graduate school administrator and career advisor. She served at Cornell University, Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and most recently at the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies at Dartmouth College. She was also a founder and president of the Graduate Career Consortium and a founding member of the OutLoud Chorus in Ithaca, NY.
Victoria was a tireless and devoted volunteer for the school. Most notably she was an active and beloved member of the New Hampton School Board of Trustees for 11 years, where her career in graduate affairs and professional development provided a unique perspective for her work. She remained connected to the School and her classmates, always serving on Reunion committees, bringing a can-do attitude, and setting lofty goals for class attendance. She was always the first to pick up the phone to reconnect with her classmates. In honor of her dedication and service, the reading room in the newly renovated Gordon-Nash Library will be named in her honor.
For her deep-seated loyalty and passion to the school, and her exceptional service to the community as a student, alumna, and board member, it is an honor to recognize all that Victoria did for New Hampton School with the Hazeltine Merrill Award. Her wife Susan received the award on Victoria’s behalf. We are grateful to both of these extraordinary women.
Head of School’s Service Award
Jeff Glidden ’68
The Head of School’s Service Award is presented annually to recognize a New Hampton School alumnus for their service to the school over the past year. The 2021 Head of School’s Service Award goes to Jeff Glidden, a member of the Class of 1968 and current New Hampton School Trustee. Joining the Board of Trustees in 2016, Jeff assumed his role with a deep devotion to the school’s mission and has worked tirelessly to enhance all aspects of school life with one objective: to ensure that New Hampton thrives until its 300th anniversary.
After returning for his 25th Reunion, Jeff partnered with other members of his class to increase the number of attendees at subsequent Reunions. He has devoted countless hours connecting with his classmates, sharing updates from campus, and actively working to encourage his friends to give back and not forget the significance of their New Hampton School experience. As a member of his 50th Reunion Committee, Jeff was instrumental in creating the Thomas Diehl Endowment Fund to honor legendary faculty member Tom Diehl. This endowment fund provides ongoing funding for new educational programs as well as scholarships for highly qualified students.
Jeff was a four-year student and attended Union College upon graduation from New Hampton School. Jeff then completed a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University. Jeff retired in 2015 after a successful career in finance, serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Parametric Technology Corporation. Jeff also held several other senior management roles at a variety of companies. Since retirement, Jeff has dedicated his life to serving the organizations most meaningful to him through his gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Jeff serves on the boards of The Discovery Museums and the Epilepsy Foundation, and he has also devoted time to several conservation trust organizations as well as his church. Jeff Glidden is a true servant leader and is the volunteer organizations dream about.
Most recently Jeff has partnered with New Hampton School as a Co-Chair of the school’s historical Bicentennial Campaign. Providing thought leadership and philanthropic backing, Jeff is a creative volunteer and leads by example helping to strategize and plan for what we know will be a successful $30M initiative for the school. Jeff always makes time for New Hampton School and provides positive encouragement.
This year, we honor an individual who has truly made a difference in the life and future of New Hampton School. There is no alumnus more deserving of this recognition for the time and energy devoted to keeping progress moving forward to ensure a healthier, more vibrant New Hampton School in the future. It is with great pleasure the Head of School’s Service Award is given to Jeff Glidden, Class of 1968.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Kent Bicknell ’65
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a member of a reunion class in recognition of exceptional achievement in his or her personal or professional work.
This year’s recipient is a member of the Class of 1965, Kent Bicknell. Kent was introduced to education as a career and a vocation at a young age, as both of his parents were teachers. He grew up on independent school campuses, including New Hampton School. As a four-year student, Kent played soccer and tennis, tried his hand at ice hockey, and skied. He was very active in the community, serving on the Student Council and as a Proctor. He was a member of the glee club and science club and was committed to his studies, graduating Cum Laude.
From New Hampton, Kent headed to Yale University to pursue his degree. After a short hiatus to hitchhike around the country, fall in love, and marry his wife Karen, he returned to Yale and graduated in 1970 as a Scholar of the House. He received an M.A. in Early Childhood Development from Goddard College and completed his Ph.D. Program in Curriculum Development at Boston University.
He has dedicated his life to academia. Kent is the Founding Head of Sant Bani School, which was established in 1973, initially serving six students. He served as the Head of School for 44 years, and today it is a thriving K–8 school known for the excellent, progressive education it provides to more than 160 students.
Kent’s achievements go well beyond the hallways of Sant Bani. For more than forty years, Kent served on the Advisory Council of the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education, for six years he served as the commissioner for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and he has served on the Board of Trustees of the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England. Additionally, throughout his career, he has worked to improve the programs of other schools in the U.S., as well as in Bhutan, Canada, Guatemala, India, and Venezuela.
Kent has published several books, and his work has been published in a variety of magazines including our very own, Hamptonia, the Magazine of New Hampton School, and the Education about Asia Journal, to name a few.
In 2019, Kent was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alternative Education Resource Organization for his pioneering work in educational alternatives.
Since graduating from New Hampton School, Kent has always been a loyal alumnus: from engaging his classmates to serving as the 192nd commencement speaker in 2012. He currently serves as the Curator of Special Collections at the Gordon-Nash Library. He is an honorary member of the alumni and development team, always willing to help when asked. The word “no” is not in his extensive vocabulary! And his extraordinary support of the school’s Bicentennial has been integral to the school’s efforts to document and celebrate all that is special about New Hampton School.
For his devotion to education, and service to his alma mater, it is a privilege and honor to recognize Kent Bicknell, Class of 1965, as the 2021 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.