Distinguished Alumni Award
The Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to honor contributions of JSC Alumni to our society through outstanding career and public-service achievements.
A lifelong resident of Cambridge, Rich Westman is a state senator representing Lamoille County. He spent his childhood and young adulthood working on his family's farm and earned a degree in political science from JSC in 1982.
Rich first ran for the state legislature at age 21 and was elected to the Vermont House in his second attempt, in 1982. He subsequently represented Cambridge, Waterville and Belvidere in the House for 27 years, holding a number of leadership positions along the way. In 1999, he accepted a position with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), becoming director of the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan. He helped launch the plan, which grew to nearly $100 million over 10 years, giving hundreds of Vermont parents and grandparents a way to save for their children's and grandchildren's college education.
In 2009, he left his position at VSAC and stepped down from the legislature to become Vermont tax commissioner, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Jim Douglas. In the fall of 2010, he ran for the Senate and won his current position.
In addition to his service in the Legislature, Rich has served on a number of boards, including those of Copley Hospital, Lamoille Home Health and Hospice, the University of Vermont, the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, the Second Congregational UCC Church in Jeffersonville, and the Vermont Center for the Book.