Alumni of the Year Named: Richard DiVenere, Mark Dalton, Barbara Gallant, Thomas Hanna
Four distinguished graduates were named Alumni of the Year at Reunion 2012. They generated great enthusiasm from their classmates, who endorsed these choices with applause and hurrahs at the Awards Brunch held on campus June 9.
Richard DiVenere '67
Recently retired after 38-years on the Saint Michael's staff, Richard "Rit" DiVenere, a resident of Essex Junction, VT, was first up. In announcing Rit, Angela Armour, SMC director of alumni and parent relations, said, "Rit was an easy choice for this year's Alumnus of the Year Award - he has been an outstanding volunteer for the college, as well as an employee." He maintained strong connections with countless alumni, and is "a walking encyclopedia of information on Saint Michael's graduates." Rit also co-chaired the class of 1967 reunion activities for this reunion, and remains very active in his local community, as a 24-year member of Essex Rotary, as a trustee for the Discovery Museum in Essex Junction, and as a volunteer SCORE mentor. As a student, Rit played soccer under coach Doc Citarella. He has many fond memories of basketball games at Memorial Auditorium, Junior Weekend, P-Day, and of professors Father Joe Waite, and Drs. George Fortune, Dominique Casavant and Ed Pfieffer. Rit's immediate family members are all SMC graduates. Wife Nancy is a 1985 graduate; daughter Jen is class of 1992 along with her husband Trace Galloway. Rit's eldest son Derek graduated in 1994 and youngest son Brett in 1999. Upon Rit's retirement from the College in 2010, the DiVenere Family Scholarship was created by members of the Alumni Association in appreciation of Rit's love and passion for the continued betterment of his alma mater.
Mark Dalton '72
Londonderry resident, Mark Dalton, Vice President at Elsevier Publishing, has been most helpful to the President and Cabinet of Saint Michael's College as a trustee giving advice on the delivery and landscape of college course content, especially for open source courses. Mr. Dalton was cited, by Alumni Director Angela Armour, for having been an extraordinary volunteer, as a panelist for multiple Boston Career Seminars, interviewing prospective students, referring high school students, and always being willing to meet with young graduates to help them on their career paths. A member of the SMC Board of Trustees from 1999-2008, Mark served on the Executive, Trusteeship and Mission, Institutional Advancement, and Learning committees. He was also cited as a longtime member of the SMC President's Medallion Society. Mark played club football during his freshman and sophomore college years and worked in the SMC Durick Library. His favorite SMC memories include the Edmundite fathers, working in Stowe on weekends, and running Pasquino Productions showing movies at St. Mike's, UVM, and Trinity for $1.25 a person. Also active in his hometown of Londonderry, Mark coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball for 15 years, and served as Assistant Boy Scout Master, and coached youth basketball and soccer teams. He has completed four marathons and is an avid hiker having ascended Mt. Rainier and many mountains in New England and New York. Mark is an enthusiastic cyclist and kayaker, and "we are all thankful," Ms. Armour said, "that he and his wife, Mickey, are still together after having successfully kayaked their way across the Intracoastal Waterway to Cumberland Island." Mark Dalton and his wife Mickey have three children and one grandchild.
Barbara Cavallo Gallant '82
Barbara Cavallo Gallant of Hampstead, NH, is a guidance counselor at Hampstead Central School. She was cited for extraordinary service to Saint Michael's including coordinating events in the Manchester area, organizing Saint Michael's community service projects at New Hampshire Fisher Cats baseball games and Manchester Monarchs hockey games, representing Saint Michael's at college fairs and high schools, and speaking to SMC students on a career panel in Boston. Ms. Gallant served as VP and President of the SMC Alumni Association, and then served on the SMC Board of Trustees, 2006-2008. This year, she chaired her class's 30th reunion. "Barbara rarely says no when it comes to Saint Michael's and for that we love her," said Angela Armour, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations at the awards ceremony. Ms Gallant was also cited for her work as a teacher of CCD and confirmation classes at her parish, and for her work serving as secretary of the Hampstead Youth Lacrosse league, and as a NH board member and fundraising chair for US Lacrosse. She served as well as secretary for the Town of Hampstead's Ad-Hoc Committee for the Town Beach Restoration Project. Owner of Wild Flour Baking, Barbara earned her master's degree in counseling from Rivier College in 1995. She and her husband Rendle live in Hampstead with their son, Josh.
Thomas Hanna '87
New York City Attorney and arts producer Thomas Hanna earned his law degree from Weidener University in 1991 and became Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York. He now owns a general law practice, but his real passion is in filmmaking and theater production. He has produced two Off-Broadway shows and five independent films and worked on the crew for several other films. Thomas has been extremely active as a volunteer for St. Mike's since graduating, hosting numerous alumni networking receptions at "13," a bar he co-owns in Manhattan's Union Square. Tom Hanna is one of the founding members of the Tri-State golf committee, an annual tournament held in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York with the goal of raising money for the Saint Michael's Fund. Last year, the tournament raised over $9,000 - the most ever. He has also organized service projects in New York City as part of the Saint Michael's National Season of Service, and has co-chaired his class' reunion multiple times, including this year. Thomas Hanna has also given his time to tutoring students at Gonzaga Middle School in Harlem and was the Founding Chair of the Loyola Youth Center at St. Ignatius Church in Brooklyn. With his brother, Mr. Hanna co-founded New York City Strikes Back - a non-profit organization that raises funds for disaster preparedness and relief services. As a student, Thomas served on the Student Association cabinet and as President of the study body his senior year. Thomas Hanna and his wife Joanie reside in Manhattan with their daughters, Parker and Sawyer.