MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College Department of Athletics announced on Thursday that Sullivan Arena Manager Ken Perkins and HRIS Coordinator Jenny Bless were named the recipients of the "Hawks Soar Higher" Award for the months of April and May, 2018. The pair were presented with their awards in person on Thursday.
Debuting in the Fall of 2017, the special award was created to allow the Department of Athletics to recognize individuals that are instrumental to the College's efforts to offer a first-class, transformational student-athlete experience. The awards are issued each month during the academic year to two individuals employed by the institution outside of athletics.
Recipients will be colleagues, faculty, staff or administrators who advocate for Saint Anselm student-athletes and go above and beyond in their contributions each day on the Hilltop.
Perkins was hired by Saint Anselm College in 2003 to open the newly-constructed Sullivan Arena and served the College for 15 years as the arena's manager until his retirement after the 2017-18 school year. Over his 15 years, the arena hosted a variety of events in addition to all the home games for the men's and women's ice hockey teams, including open houses, alumni events, political events and much more.
"I really enjoyed working with many different types of people over my career and many of them have become friends I will have for a lifetime," Perkins said. "For seven months of the year, it was all hockey but the other five months were non-ice events like trade shows, graduations, college and student events, etc. The most exciting times were the presidential debates. They were a lot of work but also very rewarding."
Bless is nearing her 10-year anniversary at Saint Anselm as she has been at the College since July, 2008. In her role as the HRIS Coordinator, Bless is involved with athletics in many ways, helping with student employment, answering questions from staff and students as needed, driving the department's buses here and there and cheering on the department's teams.
"I was so surprised and honored to receive this award," Bless said. "To be honest, I feel like Athletics has been better to me than I have been to them. It is always a pleasure working with the athletic staff members and students, so I look forward to continued adventures."