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Jane Hadley wins Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award

Highest faculty honor recognizes outstanding commitment to students and comes with $15,000 prize

05/08/10 -  

Longtime Queens drama professor Jane Hadley accepted the 2010 Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award on May 8 during commencement exercises at Queens University of Charlotte.

The Love of Teaching Award is the highest faculty award given by Queens University of Charlotte and is accompanied by a $15,000 gift.  It honors professors' outstanding commitment to providing transformational experiences in and out of the classroom. Nominations come from current students and alumni.

For 38 years Hadley has influenced generations of students at Queens with her passion for theater and dedication to their development.


When Hadley arrived at Queens in 1972 to teach drama, she came with instant status as the wife of one of the most popular professors on campus. Charles Hadley was beginning his eighteenth year of teaching literature, and students flocked to his classes to enjoy his humor and stories. He was not only a brilliant teacher, but a Fulbright Scholar and a voice coach. Over the course of his career, he would train many famous actors, including Charlton Heston, John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson.

With flowing brunette hair and oversized sunglasses, Jane Hadley proved to be a formidable talent in her own right, bringing new life to the small drama department. She searched for scripts that would fare well with a predominantly female cast, invested many hours pulling together funds and supplies, built sets, directed plays and taught the art of drama. The hours were long, and the adrenalin-charged post-midnight practices bore the discipline of military precision. But the outcome was extraordinary, and those who studied under her describe those classes as defining experiences.

Many attribute their careers in theater, television, film and teaching to her mentorship.

Sally Wheeler Maier is developing a theater department for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She wrote, "I turn to her regularly for information and inspiration. She is the bar against which I have held all other instructors in my academic career."

Students know her home phone number; alumni stop by her house when in town. She constantly gets letters and e-mail updates. Edith Busbee Gholson '83, who has spent nearly three decades in nonprofit management, took directing classes under Hadley. Over the years she has returned for career advice, applying her insights to organizational management, fund development, adherence to deadlines and supervision of human resources.

The opening of the Jane and Charles Hadley Theatre in 2005 is a tribute to the impact she and her husband have had upon the very fabric of Queens.

"It is so easy to salute the achievements of medicine and science, of technological advances, or the drama of a well-fought legal battle," wrote Cynthia Mills '84 in her nomination letter. "How powerful instead to celebrate communication through the dramatic arts at a time when the level of our interactions has been reduced to inane 140 character tweets...and to honor a woman whose entire career is marked by humility and service in shaping lives." 

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the School of Communication, Hayworth College for Adult Studies and the Andrew Blair College of Health which features the Presbyterian School of Nursing.
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