Thursday, April 16, 2015

The owner of a four-generation family resort on Lake Winnipesaukee and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva will receive 2015 Granite State Awards from the University of New Hampshire.

The awards will be presented during UNH commencement Saturday, May 16. Also being recognized are Richard Whitney '68, and commencement speaker former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts '13, both of whom will receive honorary degrees.

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

Recipient Hope Makris '46 is the current owner of the NASWA Resort on Lake Winnipesaukee in Laconia. The NASWA was started by Hope's parents in 1935 as a spring water company. For over 60 years, Hope and her late husband, Peter, welcomed guests to the resort and today their children and grandchildren take pride in making every guest's experience one to remember. At 90 Hope still plays an active role in the daily operations of the resort.

Each year, the resort hosts the Peter Makris Memorial Run, which is the official kickoff to Laconia Motorcycle Week. Proceeds raised are given to the Laconia Fire Department's Life Saving Fund and Easter Seals Veterans Count Program. Hope and the NASWA have also hosted the Land and Lake Poker Run for the last 14 years, raising $875,000 for Easter Seals.

Granite State Award recipient Gerald Carmen '52 has been active in New Hampshire politics for more than 25 years. He was chairman of the state's Republican Party for three consecutive terms and for eight years was its representative to the Republican National Committee. From 1984-86 Carmen served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. During the Reagan administration, he was administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; and was president/CEO of the Federal Asset Disposition Association.

As a counsel for the Carmen Group, a government affairs consulting firm, Carmen works with international leaders and business executives, promotes joint ventures between U.S. and overseas companies, develops strategic business plans for financial and corporate entities, and assists them through implementation.

Honorary degree recipient and alumnus Richard Whitney is nationally known for his realistic portraits and landscapes. He has paintings hanging in more than 750 public and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad, and has painted more than 400 portraits including numerous CEOs of industry, presidents of universities and educational leaders as well as family and individual portraits.

Town and Country magazine recently named Whitney one of the top dozen portrait painters in America. He is an advisory board member of the Art Renewal Center and recognized as an ARC Living Master.

Ryan Pitts '13 will also receive an honorary degree. The ninth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, Pitts will deliver the 2015 University of New Hampshire commencement address.

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    Staff writer | Communications and Public Affairs