Gordon in the News: last updated 03/28/2008

The 2008 Provost's Award

March 18, 2008
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA--Mark Sargent, Provost of Gordon College, recently announced the 2008 Provost's Award winners during a service at the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. The Provost's Award is given annually to two staff members who have made substantial contributions to student learning and personal development. This year's recipients are Anita Coco, technical support specialist and production manager for the Center for Technology Services; and Leo Cleary, locksmith and carpenter for Gordon's Physical Plant.

In describing Anita Coco, Sargent says, "In many ways it is hard to tell you what Anita's job title is at Gordon, because she allows there to be no clear boundary line between her job description and her generosity. She gives so much, so creatively. In her career at Gordon she has had many technical roles and served as the manager of the Barrington Center for the Arts, where she assisted students late into the evening in the video editing labs. Recently she became the media support specialist in CET." Coco, a Beverly resident, holds a seminary degree and provides spiritual mentoring to students. As one of her colleagues observes, "It seems like a hundred times I have heard someone say, 'We have a problem. Get Anita!'"

In describing Gloucester resident Leo Cleary, Sargent says, "Cleary is an artist and technician, a craftsman and inventor, or, as one of his colleagues observes, a 'Renaissance man.'" Cleary has also led the way in many environmental initiatives on campus. "He has been the primary mover behind Gordon's biodiesel car--one of the most conscientious experiments in helping Gordon go green," recalls Sargent. "His work has led to laboratory experiments in analytical chemistry and has served as a springboard for numerous chemistry research projects. Cleary's other contributions include lecturing on his custom-built biodiesel reactor both on campus and in the surrounding community, as well as exploring alternative energy possibilities--even the viabilities of wind power. All this on top of his regular work as a carpenter and locksmith."

For more information on the Provost's Award or to request photos, please contact Cyndi McMahon at 978.867.4236 or


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.