Edwin Colodny receives Champlain College award
Edwin Colodny was awarded the 2004 Champlain College Distinguished Citizen Award during the college’s 126th Commencement Ceremony.
Each year the College singles out an individual from the community who displays exceptional personal and professional achievement, a strong record of community service, and dynamic leadership.
In his remarks at Commencement, the chairman of Champlain’s board of trustees, William G. Post, Jr., described Colodny as a humble leader who has been a vital force in the economic, intellectual and artistic life of the area over the course of six decades.
The Burlington native was president, CEO, and chairman of the board of US Airways, and chairman of the board of Comcast Corporation. He was on counsel in a high-powered Washington law firm and he was a sought-after corporate board member.
He returned to Burlington three years ago to guide the University of Vermont through its fourth presidential transition in seven years. Colodny drove key initiatives forward aggressively and left the school a stronger place for his successor.
After leaving UVM and retiring yet again, Colodny almost immediately stepped into another executive role, serving as interim CEO at Fletcher Allen Health Care during a challenging year in the history of the state’s largest hospital.
Colodny serves on the boards of the Vermont Law School, Vermont Symphony, Vermont Mozart Festival, Shelburne Museum, and the New England Culinary Institute. He’s a member of the Rotary Club and he’s chairing the steering committee for Governor Douglas’s Clean and Clear Water Action Plan.
“He’s just a guy who can’t say no,” says David Coates, who has worked with Colodny on a number of boards. “He has the ability to ask the right questions and in a way that’s not intimidating. As a result, he gets the right answer. And he has an amazing ability to analyze a very complicated matter and bring it down to a level that everyone can understand.”
Theresa Albergini DiPalma, a friend and colleague at Fletcher Allen, says, “Ed’s a people person at the core of it all. He understands that so much in life is about relationships. He’s somebody who always has time to stop and talk.”
Colodny’s love of the arts, reverence for education and affection for his hometown are essential parts of who is, Post noted. “That infuses his work with a special kind of energy and enthusiasm, and we, as a community, are fortunate to benefit from it.”