53rd Annual President’s Dinner Honors Burton Family & President Cregan

May 30, 2013

The annual President’s Dinner, which welcomed nearly 700 friends, neighbors and alumni to Stonehill’s Sports Complex, saw not only the awarding of the President’s Medal to the Ron Burton Family but also a surprise announcement that the expansion of the Sports Complex will bear the name, The Rev. Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C. Athletics & Fitness Center.

“{It} has a nice ring to it. We believe it will be a fitting tribute to one of our finest leaders and we know how dear this project is to his heart. On behalf of all your friends here tonight, thank you, Fr. Mark,” said Stonehill Trustee Bill Devin ’60 upon making the announcement at Thursday’s dinner.

“For the past 13 years, Fr. Mark Cregan has been an outstanding president of the College. Under his leadership, Stonehill has gone from strength to strength, and as he steps down at the end of June, we salute him for his numerous accomplishments in office, all of which have enhanced our academic mission,” said Devin.

Proceeds from the dinner went towards the College's $7 million fundraising campaign in support of the three-story expansion to the Sports Complex.

Receiving this year’s President's Award for Excellence was the Ron Burton Family. One of Stonehill's highest honors, the award is presented to individuals and organizations that have made unique and outstanding contributions to public life, business, and to the arts and sciences.

Over the past 24 years, the Ron Burton Training Village (RBTV) has served more than 3,000 youth in their spiritual, physical and educational growth. RBTV holds free summer camps for disadvantaged inner-city youths and a 5-week sports camp program for young men aged 11 to 18 every summer in Hubbardston, Massachusetts. Stonehill is one of three colleges which offer two full scholarships to RBTV campers who have completed six years of growth and commitment through the program.

In reading the Burton Family citation, President Cregan said, “For the impact you have on young men and women, those overlooked by society; for your lived commitment to the Village’s four core values — Love, Peace, Patience, and Humility; and for your selfless devotion to the very best of family traditions, we are proud to honor you, the family of Ron Burton Senior, with the President’s Award for Excellence.”

The Ron Burton Training Village was founded by the late Ron Burton, Sr. in 1985. Following his passing in 2003, Burton’s sons Ron Jr. and Paul spearheaded the effort to continue their father’s legacy and were joined by their mother, Joanne, and their siblings Phil, Steve, and Elizabeth.

In accepting the award, Ron Jr. praised President Cregan for his grace and humility. “Fr. Mark has been such a gracious, loving, caring and kind receptor of our youth”  

“Some of the struggles that our kids go through are so immense and so hard but for them to be able to turn that struggle around and come to a place like Stonehill and further their education, it changes the entire trajectory of their lives,” Burton continued. “From the bottom of my heart and the Burton Family, we thank you so much Stonehill for this honor.”

“Love and gratitude– Those are the two sentiments that fill my heart right now as I conclude my time of service at Stonehill. My prayers will continue to be with this wonderful institution,” said President Cregan in his remarks.

Since 1961, the President's Dinner has honored educational service, community leadership and local partnerships.