Hollis man earns UNH award
Friday, December 28, 2012
The University of New Hampshire announces the recipients of its most prestigious awards, the UNH Alumni Association’s Pettee Medal and the UNH Foundation’s Hubbard Award.
Dana Hamel is the 2012 recipient of the UNH Foundation’s Hubbard Family Award for Service to Philanthropy. Jim Squires, of Hollis, has been named the university’s 2012 Pettee Medal award winner. They received their awards during a Sept. 28 ceremony at UNH.
“On levels that span the personal, the organizational, and the systematic, these two men – an investor and a surgeon – have made a meaningful difference to our state,” said UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. “True New Hampshire leaders, they have helped us celebrate its strengths and they have been unflinching in addressing areas where strengthening is needed.”
As a surgeon, a businessman and politician, Jim Squires has dedicated his career to improving the lives of New Hampshire citizens. Squires was born and raised in New London. He and his wife, Jessica (Jan), moved to Hollis in 1971, after he completed his medical training and two years of service in the United States Air Force out of state.
In the early 1970s, Squires played an instrumental role in establishing the Matthew Thornton Health Plan, the state’s first health maintenance organization, and established a vascular and general surgery practice in Nashua. In 1994, he received the New Hampshire Hospital Association’s “Physician of the Year” award. Following his retirement from medicine in 1996, Squires was elected to two terms in the New Hampshire Senate, where he was recognized for his championship of health-related causes.
In 2001, Squires became the first president of the Endowment for Health, an organization that supports programs focused on improving the health and well-being of New Hampshire residents, particularly the under-served. Upon his retirement last year, Squires’ friends established the Squires Fund for Social Justice at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. In December, the first grants were made to assist impoverished families with their heating costs. Jim and Jan Squires have four children and seven grandchildren and live in Hollis. Squires’ father, New Hampshire historian J. Duane Squires, received the Pettee Medal in 1976.
The Hubbard Award recognizes individuals whose philanthropic leadership and gifts have strengthened UNH and/or who have promoted philanthropy throughout the state. Hamel, who lives in Tuftonboro with his wife, Karol, has long expressed his belief that UNH is the state’s most valuable asset, and has been among the university’s most generous benefactors in support of that belief. In 2008, he and his family established the Dana A. Hamel Scholarships and Scholars Program to attract and retain the state’s best and brightest graduating high school seniors for study at UNH and to recognize outstanding juniors for exceptional leadership and academic accomplishments.
The program, which graduated its first cohort of students this spring, has offered renewable scholarships to 66 first-year students and rising juniors over the past five years. The Scholarships and Scholars gift follows two earlier Hamel family gifts to benefit students at UNH: the Hamel Student Recreation Center and the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, which provides resources and financial support for student research and scholarly and creative projects.
Hamel received both his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Harvard University. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Quartermaster Corps, he co-founded the consumer products company Penn Corporation in 1964 and served as the company’s chairman until it was sold in 1987. An active investor, he serves on the investment and finance committees of the UNH Foundation and the New Hampshire Historical Society. He also served on the UNH Foundation board for 14 years and is currently chairman of the university’s campaign steering committee.
Hamel and his wife have two sons, David and Douglas, and a daughter, Karen, a 1988 UNH graduate.