Reunion Roundup


Tales from Reunion Giving

Bert Knight and Howard Collins, co-chairs of the Class of 1946's Reunion Gift effort, embraced cyberspace in 1996, and the result was the largest class gift of the year.

"We didn't have one face-to-face meeting all year," Knight told the crowd at Saturday's awards luncheon. In fact, as he and Collins strode to the microphone to announce the 1946 gift, Knight glanced over at his classmate, a look of mock surprise on his face, and said, "So, Howard, how're you doing?"

Communicating with the Development Office and with each other through e-mail, phone, and fax, the North-South team (Knight lives in Louisiana, Collins in New Hampshire) coordinated a thirty-one-member Gift Committee that raised $1,429,101 during 1995-96 and nearly $50,500 for the Annual Alumni Fund. The class effort began almost two years prior to Reunion. One of the highlights for the class was a nostalgic video Knight and fellow class officers produced for the weekend.

Overall, the largest Annual Alumni Fund gift was from the Class of 1956, which raised $56,087.88. The effort was co-chaired by Nancy Mills Mallett '56 and Sybil Benton Wiliamson '56.

The "worst-to-first" success story of Reunion belonged to the Class of 1990. Last year, the class raised $2,600 from just 17 percent of the class; their participation rate was less than half the overall alumni rate of 40 percent.

But this year, under the leadership of Reunion Gift chair Karen LaConte '90 and a hard-working Gift Committee, the class raised nearly $8,000 from 44 percent of the class, a rate that's now among the highest of any class. The increase in participation -- from 63 donors to 163 -- represents the biggest increase in the fifty-year history of the Annual Fund.

"Our class got the message," said LaConte. "Once they heard that we were the lowest class out there in terms of participation, they got the fighting spirit.

"The message I tried to share is that participation is just as important as dollars raised. I tried to tell them: You don't have to make a big gift; if you've got pizza money, you've got enough to make a gift to Bates."

Overall, alumni participation in the Annual Alumni Fund increased from 39 percent last year to 47 percent this year -- the highest level since 1990.

Record Year Enjoyed by Bates Annual Funds

Total gifts to Bates during the 1995-96 fund year, which concluded June 30, came in at $7.6 million, an increase of almost two-thirds over 1994-95.

Both the Annual Alumni Fund and the Parents Annual Fund established fund-raising records. The Annual Fund, led by Trustee David Parmelee '64, reached a Bates-record of $1.68 million, a 25-percent increase over last year's record. Reflecting the work of more than 300 alumni volunteers, participation increased eight points to 47.3 percent of all Bates alumni.

The Parents Fund, led by Mark Shriver and Dr. Patricia McKay, whose son Andy '96 graduated this past spring, raised a record $258,000 for Bates from more than one thousand Bates parents.

Also contributing to the successful year was a record amount of life-income gifts -- some $2.1 million. These gifts pay their donors a lifetime income, after which they support charitable interests at Bates that their donors have identified.

Basses are Distinguished Young Alumni

At Reunion, David Bass '91 and Nancy Flynn Bass '92 of Scarborough, Maine, won the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, presented to graduates of the past fifteen years who have performed distinctive service on behalf of the College and/or have achieved distinction in his or her career. The citation was delivered by Nancy Higgins '81, vice president of the Alumni Council.

Without a hint of irony or equivocation, we can say that David and Nancy Bass, who graduated only a few years ago, are now veteran Bates volunteers.

Both have served as Annual Alumni Fund class agents since their graduation. In 1992, just a year after leaving Bates, David was appointed to the Annual Alumni Fund Committee, which shapes the College's annual giving program. Working with fellow committee members -- some of whom are forty and fifty years his senior -- David has shown a savvy marketing sense and a sincere desire to encourage the youngest alumni into the ranks of Bates donors. This year, David and Nancy are chairing their respective 5th Reunion Gift committees. The question we ask today: Have the Basses installed a second telephone line in their Scarborough home so they can both make last-minute Class Gift calls at the same time?

As young alumni who have begun careers with prominent Maine-based businesses -- Nancy with UNUM Insurance and David with Hannaford Brothers -- the Basses have responded to invitations from the College's Office of Career Services asking them to share their experiences with apprehensive Bates seniors who are seeking their places in the real world. For seniors coming to grips with abstract and sometimes overwhelming notions of how to pursue employment, David and Nancy are credible and articulate examples of how the process works.

In honoring David and Nancy Bass today, youth is served. The really wonderful thing, however, is that Bates is served, too.

David R. Bass '91 and Nancy Flynn Bass '92: In all your volunteer efforts for Bates, you have displayed an always-important blend of confidence, persistence, and good cheer. For your eagerness to serve, for your understanding of how to get things done, and for your an appreciation of accomplishment without fanfare, I am honored, on behalf of the Alumni Council of the Alumni Association, to present you with the Distinguished Young Alumni Award of 1996.

Alumni Distinguished Service Award Goes to Barbara Abbott Hall '41

Barbara Abbott Hall '41 of Baltimore, Maryland, won the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, presented to an alumnus or alumna for truly distinguished serving to the College in both quality and quantity. The citation was delivered by Nancy Higgins '81, vice president of the Alumni Council:

From her alphabetically prominent perch at the beginning of the Class of 1941, class secretary Barbara Abbott Hall has spent much of the last fifty-five years chronicling the lives of her classmates, keeping them in touch with each other and with their alma mater, forging lifelong bonds of friendship, loyalty, and service.

Just six months after the Class of 1941 graduated from Bates, the United States entered World War II. Instead of the usual, ebullient accounts of new jobs, new spouses, and new babies, class secretary Barbara Abbott had to keep track of classmates who were fighting and sometimes dying on the battlefields of Guadalcanal, France, northern Africa, Italy, and Germany.

For this generation of Bates alumni, it was a sobering introduction to life after college. Barbara responded by keeping her classmates focused on life. Through the years, Barbara has filled her class letters with upbeat family vignettes and happy reminiscences of College days as well as news about Bates today. As a daughter of a Bates graduate -- Charles Abbott '12 -- Barbara Abbott Hall learned early the importance of community and the life-affirming sustenance gained from true friendship.

Barbara's work as an Annual Alumni Fund class agent the last two decades, working with lead agent Dick Lovelace, is a testament to her community-building efforts. The Class of 1941 regularly wins the Mary M. Pike Award for the best Annual Fund participation, with nearly 80 percent of the class making annual gifts to Bates.

Barbara has been a Trustee of the College and has regularly served on Reunion Social and Gift committees, including this year's 55th Reunion committees. She has served as president of the Alumni Association and has represented Bates at a number of college inaugurations.

An active volunteer in the Baltimore area, where she and husband, Richard -- as loyal a Bates spouse as any -- have lived for many years, Barbara is a well-known community volunteer, and has been a trustee of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and a member of the area Girl Scouts Council.

Barbara Abbott Hall's love for Bates and Bates people scales the highest heights: One summer day atop Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island, Barbara and Dick were approached by a young Bates couple, who had spied the Bates sticker on the Halls' car. Greetings were exchanged, a conversation begun, and hospitality extended from the Halls in the form of an evening dinner invitation. On that breezy mountaintop, Barbara Abbott Hall brought warmth and good fellowship to two more members of her Bates community.

Barbara Abbott Hall: For your lifelong efforts to maintain connections among your Bates classmates, for your inexhaustible reservoir of good cheer and hospitality toward all Bates people, and for all your efforts to bring your alma mater to new heights, it is my honor, on behalf of the Alumni Council of the Alumni Association, to present you with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

Reunion Recognition

Winners of the Reunion Golf Tournament held at Prospect Hill Golf Course in Auburn: Richard Keach '44 of Wethersfield, Connecticut (gross 76) and Greg Hite '91 of Charlottesville, Virginia (net 73).

Senior member of the alumni community in attendance at Reunion: Crete Carll Tracy '21 of Concord, New Hampshire, who celebrates her ninety-sixth birthday in September.

Member of the alumni community traveling the longest distance to attend Reunion: Samad Dada '91 of Karachi, Pakistan, approximately 6,960 miles from Lewiston.

The College Key Plaque (best Reunion attendance for the class with more than 100 but fewer than 250 living members): the Class of 1946.

The Alumni Association Cup (best Reunion attendance for the class with more than 250 members): the Class of 1991.

College Key Plaque for Costumes: "Still Red Hot" Class of 1965. Honorable mentions, classes of 1941 and 1946.

Nominees for Alumni Trustees for the 1997 ballot: Joseph M. Barsky '71 of Eden Prarie, Minnesota; Grant C. Reynolds '57 of Potomac, Maryland; Deborah Thyng Schmidt '77 of Oswego, New York; and Lois Stuber Spitzer '55 of Fayetteville, New York. The alumni body will nominate two to the Board of Trustees in the spring of 1997.

Alumni Council officers and members for 1995-96 are President Geraldine M. FitzGerald '75, Vice President Nancy E. Higgins '81, Secretary Scott E. Steinberg '86, and members at large Robert B. Bowden '67, Mary A. Capaldi '88, Mark G. Doctoroff '94, Janet Face Glassman '71, Bradford Hobbs '86, Rosalyn Scudder Harrold '59, Thomas A. Kolodziej '71, Jamie P. Merisotis '86, Arlene Wignall Nickerson '63, Kendall A. Snow '62, Jodi D. Sturgis '93, and Susan Peillet Yule '78.

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Last modified: 11/21/96 by RLP