Stangle Award for Distinguished Service
Established in honor of Trustee Emeritus Bruce Stangle ’70, P’96, the Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community recognizes Bates leaders whose body of work has touched countless Bates people and helped them become better professionals in their careers or in their volunteer work.
In 2017, the award was presented to Robert E. Cramer ’79, P’13, P’14 by President Clayton Spencer during Reunion Weekend.
This award, as many of you know, is given to acknowledge Bates leaders whose body of work has helped alumni and students become better professionals, in their careers or in their volunteer work.
Rob, it’s no exaggeration to say that this honor was made for you. As an executive with RBC Wealth Management and now with Oppenheimer, you have, for many years, provided Bates graduates who are interested in the world of finance with invaluable advice. Beyond offering wise counsel that has set many young alumni on the path to career success and lives of meaningful work, you have also, in a number of cases, played a direct role in placing Bates graduates at your firms.
One such grateful alumnus is Zak Ray, of the Class of 2007, who, when asked to share his thoughts about the power of your support, said, “Anything for Rob.”
Zak, who, at the time, was the third Bates graduate Rob brought into the Boston office at RBC, says that Rob knows the adjustment to investment banking for liberal arts students can be a challenge, which is why he structured his analyst program such that each new Bates hire would learn the ropes from a Bates graduate Rob hired two years prior.
“Unlike many investment banking bosses,” says Zak, “Rob encouraged us to be curious about other opportunities and to prepare for them. He also made it abundantly clear that he respected our work and that he would be thrilled to have us stay on for as long as we wished. His devotion to helping students has created, outside of Lewiston, an ever-expanding circle of Bates alumni. We often meet as a group for lunch with him to discuss business opportunities, consult with each other on career opportunities, and most importantly enjoy Rob’s company. Many of us never set foot on the Bates campus together as students, but we all have two things in common — Bates and Rob. From the day we met him, Rob was the best of bosses, our career consultant, and our friend.”
At Bates, we strive to give our students a strong bridge to life after college. Rob, you have been a champion in this effort.
For your long service to Bates as co-chair of the Mount David Society Committee as well as a member of the Alumni Council, Bates Fund Executive Committee, the Parents Fund Committee, the Class of ’79 Reunion Gift Committee, and the College Key — and your dedication to helping Bates alumni acquire the knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary to pursue their career aspirations, it is my great pleasure to present you with The Bruce Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community.
With the alumni honor he is receiving today, it is fitting to say that Ed has achieved the Bates equivalent of horse racing’s Triple Crown. In 2012, Ed received the Helen A. Papaioanou Distinguished Alumni Service Award. That same year, he received a Bates’ Best Award. Today we honor him with the Bruce Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community.
Ed, rarely, if ever, has a Bates graduate received all three alumni awards. We find ourselves faced with the wonderful dilemma of running out of ways to honor you for your long and loyal service to the college and to Bates alumni.
For those of you who may not know, Ed’s service to Bates and his classmates began 57 years ago, when, in his freshman year, he began the first of his four terms as class president. Faculty and staff elected him to the College Key. He also distinguished himself in athletics by captaining the baseball team and winning All-East ECAC honors in football and the team’s Alan C. Goddard Achievement Award.
Not long after graduating from Bates with a bachelor’s in history, Ed landed what he considered to be his dream job — the chance to work at Bates as assistant to Dean of Admission Milt Lindholm. It was, as Ed described it, the chance to learn college admissions from “the master. The dean of deans.” Three years on, his appetite for work in college administration whetted, he left Bates to earn a master’s in student personnel services at Columbia. He then earned an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, where he would become among the school’s most popular administrators over the next 30 years, first as director of admissions and financial aid, then as director of the executive master’s program, and finally associate dean for student affairs.
While he may have rooted for the Wildcats throughout his storied career at Northwestern, he never stopped being a loyal Bobcat. In addition to generously serving Bates as a member of the Board of Trustees, Ed has been a class agent for nearly 20 years, an Alumni-in-Admission volunteer, and a 50th-Reunion chair. He is now a member of the Cheney Society and is hard at work to make sure the Class of 1962 has a splendid 55th Reunion this coming June.
If you ask alumni about Ed, you will hear about his eagerness to mentor alumni and make them feel at home in the Bates community. “After I was accepted to Kellogg,” recalls one alumnus, “I traveled to Evanston to visit the campus. When Ed learned of my arrival, he was kind enough to show me around, introduce me to faculty, and take me to lunch. When I moved there, his grace and generosity only expanded. His selflessness continues to show me what it means to be a loyal and supportive member of the alumni community.”
Ed, through your deep affection for Bates alumni you have done just what the Stangle Award recognizes — you have always helped make connections for Bates people, for the benefit of their careers, their lives, and the college.
In 2015, the award was presented to Jennifer Guckel Porter ’88, P’15 by Michael Lieber ’92, president of the Alumni Association, and Lisa Romeo ’88, vice president of the Alumni Association, during Back to Bates: Homecoming & Family Weekend.
Since she graduated from Bates in 1988 with membership in Phi Beta Kappa and honors in economics, Jennifer Guckel Porter has compiled a resume that is, without a doubt, a Fortune 500 headhunter’s dream: an MBA from Stanford, vice president of operations for Einstein Bros. Bakery, chief operating officer of the corporate concierge service Circles, managing partner of the consulting firm Spencer and Bean, chief operating officer of Sentinel Jet, and now founder and managing partner of The Boda Group, where she now provides leadership development and executive coaching to a broad range of multinational companies, all household names.
In that same time, she has compiled a record of service to Bates and her fellow alumni that is equally impressive. A Bates Trustee since 2005, Jennifer was one of the founders of the Bates Boston Business Network and has been an active member of the Alumni Council, the Bates Fund Executive Committee, her Reunion Gift Committee, and the Parent’s Fund.
It is especially fitting that Jennifer receives this award since she frequently shares her expertise in leadership development and coaching with other alumni, offering invaluable career advice to those in need — something she generously credits Bruce for doing with her and so many other Bates alumni. Jennifer, the same can be said of your stewardship of the Bates community.
Jennifer, you are a tireless and devoted champion for our alma mater, demonstrating the power of engagement in service to alumni and the college. On behalf of the Bates College Alumni Association, it is our privilege to present you with the Bruce Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community.
In 2012, Bruce Stangle ’70, P’96 was the inaugural recipient of this award in recognition of his work mentoring, guiding, hiring, and advocating for Bates students and alumni of all ages throughout their career exploration, professional advancement, and service to the College.
At Bates, Bruce majored in English. He played hockey, golf, and intramural sports. He earned an M.S. in management and a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bruce’s wife, Emily Siegel Stangle, Class of 1972, and their children join us this evening.
Bruce has always been a very engaged alumnus and Trustee. He sits on the Board’s Governance, College Advancement, and Investment committees. He served on the Leadership Gifts Committee and the Campaign Committee for the most recent Campaign for Bates. Bruce and Emily have generously supported the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, student and faculty research in Economics, the Betty Doran Stangle Chair in Applied Economics, Frank’s Lounge in the dorm at 280 College Street, and Pettengill Hall. Bruce chairs the Friends of Bates Athletics Leadership Council and was an early and active supporter of the Garcelon Field Project. He is also a founding leader of the Boston Bates Business Network, serving on the Steering Committee and vocally supporting the Business Networks for the past ten years.
But even beyond his great dedication and general service to the Bates community at large, we create and confer the new Bruce Stangle Award with a focus on Bruce’s extraordinary leadership in career development. Bruce has devoted countless hours to talking with, advising, and connecting Bates students and alumni so they could reach their full professional potential. Bruce has served as a Bates Career Development Center advisor, a Career Discovery Internship sponsor, a speaker, and a host for many Career Development and Business Network events. He and his firm have been committed to recruiting and hiring from Bates for many years. This goes beyond just looking at Bates resumes: Analysis Group actively recruits Bates students and creates internships for them during school breaks. In addition, Bruce gets personally involved and provides critical feedback to Bates about how our students are faring, what additional preparation they need, and what is necessary for them be competitive in the job market.
A true testament to the depth of his personal commitment, Bruce often has the most significant impact behind the scenes. Whether it’s a current student who has no idea where they’re headed and sends him an email, a recent alum he meets at a BBBN event, a mid-career acquaintance considering a career shift, an entrepreneur with a new idea, or a Bobcat nearing retirement, Bruce can be counted on to listen, offer thoughtful and straight counsel, make an introduction, and give endless encouragement.
Beyond helping Bates students and alumni in their careers, Bruce has mentored many Bates volunteers to achieve excellence in the work they do for the College. From brand new alumni serving on a committee, to members of the Business Network Steering Committee, to fellow Trustees looking for guidance in fulfilling their potential, Bruce provides clear insight, straight talk, helpful guidance, and warm support. Bruce’s impact will ripple through the Bates community and multiply in the world for decades to come, as the alumni he has touched go on to accomplish great things and serve both our community and society at large in countless important ways.
Bruce, you and your family have given more to Bates and our community than we could ever thank you for. Your career development leadership on behalf of Bates students and alumni, your gifts of time and talent to important programs at the College and in the wider world, your personal leadership, shining example, and long dedication to so many priorities for Bates – all these things have had immeasurable impact on Bates and the world. We are forever touched, and ever grateful, for your generous devotion.
It is our distinct honor to present to you this inaugural Bruce Stangle Award for Distinguished Service to the Bates Community.