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Prince receives College’s Hatch Award for service

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Tom Prince’s mark can be found all over Monmouth College’s Center for Science and Business. For his many contributions to making the building and all of the College a better place, it was announced during the College’s May 12 commencement ceremony that Prince is the recipient of this year’s Hatch Award for Excellence in Service.

A member of the College’s Department of Political Economy and Commerce, Prince has been on the faculty since 2011.

“He is a selfless servant of Monmouth College (and) is devoted to the success of the College and the students,” wrote one of Prince’s department colleagues in nominating him for the award. “He goes above and beyond the call of duty for the students – they know it and they respect it.”

“It’s about exceeding expectations,” said Prince, in response to that comment. “If we can surpass students’ expectations, they have a better chance of succeeding after they graduate.”

One of the tangible marks Prince has left on his academic home is a video display that livestreams stock prices and financial news. He conceived and proposed the project, found alumni funding for it, and then supervised the installation of the screens.

Not too far from the video board is another visual reminder of Prince’s impact. His 300-level advertising classes produce commercials under his mentoring guidance. In addition to the College website, the commercials are played 24/7 on a monitor in the hall of the Center for Science and Business.

“That’s a special teacher with a special talent using it in a special way for a College he loves,” wrote his nominator.

The Center for Science and Business was created, in part, to foster communication and collaboration between the two disciplines. Prince has done his part toward moving that interaction and exchange along by helping to create the weekly “Thursday Tea” in the facility, which he hosts.

“Two years ago, (physics professor) Chris Fasano and I got that started,” said Prince. “In addition to faculty in the building, we also have students taking part. It’s about the art of conversation – getting together for 30 or 40 minutes a week and just visiting with each other. We talk about any number of topics – from satellites and space technology and their impact on the business world, to biology. It brings everyone together.”

Some of Prince’s other contributions are harder to see in action, but are no less important. He was asked by Monmouth President Clarence Wyatt to serve as one of the five chairs for the recent successful Higher Learning Commission report and visit, entrusted over a two-year span with examining the important and time-consuming topic of “Criterion II: Institutional Integrity and Ethics.”

“It was an interesting assignment,” he said. “You get access to how we do things at the College, from how we’re organized to how the board of trustees operates. It was a fairly deep dive into the operations of the College, checking to make sure we’re doing all those things with honesty and integrity.”

Prince was also one of the three faculty founders of the College’s new business honor society, Sigma Beta Delta.

Prince regularly speaks to groups of prospective students and their parents and also works with the College’s Wackerle Career and Leadership Center to assist students with improving their cover letters and résumés.

Wrote his nominator: “Tom suffers from the curse of the competent. As the old saying goes: ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person.’ This is Tom Prince – respected, competent and busy.”

Funded by the late 1957 Monmouth graduate W. Jerome Hatch, the Hatch Awards were established in 2004 to recognize outstanding work by Monmouth faculty in the areas of teaching and scholarship, in addition to service.