January 24 2012

College Board of Trustees’ Chairman Named Old Lyme’s 2011 Citizen of the Year

We are honored to announce that the Chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, Diana Atwood Johnson, was named Old Lyme’s 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Board of Selectmen at the Annual Town Meeting held Monday, Jan. 23. as an, “Advocate for the Environment and the Arts,” the full text of the proclamation announcing her honor read as follows:

“Our community’s support of the arts and the environment are traditions, which set us apart from other small towns on the shoreline.  No one represents that spirit of our community better than our 2011 Citizen of the Year, Diana Atwood Johnson.

Diana Atwood Johnson is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, where she has served as trustee for 30+ years and which she first served as Chair during the College’s crucial accreditation period.  Her leadership has cemented our College’s reputation as a fine arts institution of the highest caliber, and we will soon see safe, monitored student housing on campus,  thanks to Diana’s initiative.  She has received the President’s Award from the College and a Distinguished Advocate for the Arts Award from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

A member of our Open Space Commission since 2000, Diana is the current Chair.  Under her stewardship, the Town of Old Lyme has set aside one-half million acres of open space.  She is also Chair of the State of Connecticut Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board. She serves on the Board of the Connecticut Trust for Public Land and served for 10 years on the Board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  Diana is also a member of the Connecticut Land Conservation Coalition, Old Lyme Land Trust, Connecticut Ornithological Association, Connecticut Audubon, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Her knowledge of open space and conservation issues has proven invaluable time and time again.  Most recently, her firm grasp on both the history and the future of open space in Old Lyme resulted in a reimbursement to our Town of $140,000.

Diana’s legacy in our community and region is far-reaching.  She owned and operated the Old Lyme Inn for 25 years,  served as a Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association, was a founding Director and Vice-Chair of the Maritime Bank and Trust Company, served as President of the Connecticut River Museum,  and was founding Director and Chair of Mystic Coast & Country Travel & Leisure Council.  Diana is an advisor to the Lyme/Old Lyme Educational Foundation and was an advisor to the expansion of the Madry Temple in New London.”

The Board of Selectmen acknowledges that future generations of college students and residents will benefit from Diana Atwood Johnson’s advocacy on their behalf and gratefully names her our 2011 Citizen of the Year.”

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