Colgate photographer, editor John Hubbard ’72 dies

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Colgate alumnus and former staff member John D. Hubbard, who chronicled the life of the campus and the Hamilton community in photos and words for decades, passed away today, May 6, at the age of 60, following a long battle with cancer.

During his years working at Colgate, Hubbard illustrated virtually all of the publications distributed for the university, including the annual engagement calendar, The Colgate Scene, admissions and fund raising publications, the university catalogue, athletics booklets and brochures, and various other printed pieces.

He was named photographer/writer in the Office of Communications in 1979, and received several promotions: in 1989 to assistant editor of the Scene; in 1994 to assistant director of communications and associate editor of the Scene, in 1996 to associate director of communications and managing editor of the Scene, and in 2001 to director of advancement communications.

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John Hubbard is seen at a Community Memorial Hospital event, celebrating his contributions to the hospital and the community. (Photo provided by David Hollis)

Hubbard received many awards and honors for his Colgate work. From the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, he received: in 1985, a Bronze Award in the Photographer of the Year competition, silver and bronze medals for two individual faculty portraits, silver awards for an admission prospectus and a campaign case statement, and two gold medals for the 18-minute documentary film on Colgate that he produced; and in 1993, a bronze medal for periodical staff writing in the Scene.

In 1994, the Colgate Alumni Corporation presented him with a Maroon Citation in recognition of his years of exemplary service as university writer/photographer.

In 2002, the Picker Art Gallery mounted the exhibition “A Personal Vision: Photographs by John Hubbard ’72,” which featured photographs he had taken on locations at Colgate, in the surrounding area of Madison County, as well as in Vermont and Kenya.

Following his retirement from Colgate in 2005, he was appointed director of public relations and development at Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton and was later promoted to vice president for community services. He was well known to Madison County residents through his weekly newspaper column, “At the Hub.”

As a Colgate student, he was an English major, made the Dean’s List, was an active member of the DKE fraternity, and worked as a freelance photographer as well as an athletic trainer.

After graduating, he worked for 6 1/2 years as sports editor and chief photographer for the Bennington (Vt.) Banner. In addition to covering sports, he wrote features, news stories, and a weekly column. There, he won several awards, and became well known for his portraits of his Vermont neighbors.

His work was exhibited in one-man shows in Bennington Galleries, and he was a winner in the 1976 UPI New England photo contest. He also taught photography in public schools and privately, and did freelance work for the Boston Globe, Vermont Life, Associated Press, and UPI.

Hubbard, who was born on June 20, 1949, grew up in New Hartford, N.Y., and he attended the Trinity-Pawling School. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Robert D. Hubbard, predeceased him. Among his survivors are his wife, Mary Jo, and his children and grandchildren.

Further details will be shared on this page as information becomes available.