John S. Amols ’72
John Amols has lent his considerable powers of vision to the betterment of Bates
All first-rank colleges depend upon the life-long support, interest and creative suggestions of their alumni. John Amols has been such an alumnus for Bates, with wide interests, expertise and philanthropic support to bring to his college.
An economics major and varsity basketball and soccer player at Bates, John played for four years for George Wigton, the legendary Bates coach who was inducted as a faculty member of the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society last year. Following his graduation, John earned his law degree and practiced law for several years before returning to Bates to serve a year as the interim basketball and tennis coach while Coach Wigton was on sabbatical leave — as nearly as records show, John is the first and only practicing attorney ever to be also the head coach of two sports at Bates.
Following his service at Bates, he practiced law with another Bates alumnus in a real estate development firm in Lewiston-Auburn, thinking about how imaginatively to foster economic growth with new buildings and rehabilitation projects. This proved to be a harbinger of the future, for by 1993 John with two partners had founded the Glenwood Development Company in North Carolina, a real estate development, management and investment firm that today owns and manages several dozen commercial retail properties in six states.
John has been a strong and passionate supporter of Bates, both for core purposes, and to help us think about the future in ambitious and positive ways. He has endowed a scholarship fund at Bates to honor his parents, and each year provides additional gifts for other purposes: for sports teams, and for capital projects, especially for spaces which will enhance Bates’ ability to do its work well, effectively and with the right atmosphere.
John cares a great deal about Bates athletics, and has helped Bates conceive of and start programs to build pride in our athletic teams. He has been a member of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Athletic Fundraising that gave birth to the Friends of Bates Athletics, and helped organize several golf tournaments for supporters of the basketball and other teams. He has also helped organize his class reunions, and to build support for the Bates Fund.
Thoreau once said that castles should be built in the air: that is where they belong, and then we are to put foundations under them. John is a skilled and successful businessman who knows how to raise important key questions and push for resolution of complicated situations. A good many years ago he, with one of the Bates Trustees, wrote a very long letter to the then-President on what was needed to make the men’s basketball team a source of great pride for Bates. Much of what they wrote about has been accomplished in the record of the team, and much might remain to be done with respect to facilities. As a real estate developer, John has over several years been thinking about Bates’ programs and facilities in this way, posing questions and asking good “castles in the air” questions about what Bates will need for athletic facilities, and what might be possible to do in the years ahead.
For John Amols’ sustained, imaginative and forward-looking support of his college and its athletic teams, we are proud to induct him into the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society