Benjamin Bates Society welcomes Lynn Willsey ’54 and Beverly Hayne Willsey ’55

The Benjamin Bates Society recognizes the remarkable philanthropy and personal commitment of Bates donors who have given $1 million or more in lifetime gifts to Bates.

At Reunion, the Benjamin Bates Society welcomed new members Lynn W. Willsey ’54 and Beverly Hayne Willsey ’55, P’79, P’81, P’89, GP’18.

Presenting the citation was Mike Bonney ’80, P’09, P’12, P’15, chair of the Bates College Board of Trustees.

Citation for Lynn W. Willsey ’54 and Beverly Hayne Willsey ’55

Today, we are honored to formally welcome two lifelong champions of the college — Lynn Willsey of the Bates Class of 1954 and Beverly Hayne Willsey of the Bates Class of 1955 — to the Benjamin Bates Society.

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Lynn Willsey ’54 (center) and Beverly Hayne Willsey ’55 acknowledge applause as they are welcomed into the Benjamin Bates Society at Reunion on June 13, 2015. At left is Mike Bonney ’80, chair of the Bates Board of Trustees, who presented their citation. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College)

Membership in the Benjamin Bates Society is the highest distinction conferred upon benefactors of the college. For their extraordinary financial support of the college and the transformative educational opportunities they have created for Bates students, Lynn and Beverly are highly deserving of the honor.

Among their lifetime giving to Bates of more than $1 million, Lynn and Beverly established the Willsey Family Scholarship Fund to provide financial aid for deserving Bates students.

With Trustee Emeritus James Moody ’53, they also established the Charles A. Bucknam ’53 Athletic Fund for the support of Bates athletics programs.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, Lynn has played a vital role in the college’s fundraising efforts, serving in a leadership capacity on all four of Bates’ campaigns. He also served as a class agent and co-chair of 1954’s Reunion Gift Committees four times. Just two weeks ago, Lynn was inducted into the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society.

Equally passionate about the college, Beverly was a cheerleader for three years while she was a student at Bates, a time when cheering was the only varsity sport for women. A member of the College Key, she served as an officer of the Hartford Bates Club and has been class president since her 50th Reunion.

In 2011, the Alumni Council honored her service to the college with a Bates’ Best Award. At Reunion 2006, the college honored both Lynn and Beverly with the Helen A. Papaioanou Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Lynn and Beverly have also generously shared their family with Bates. Three of their four sons — Robert, Class of 1979; David, Class of 1981; and Jamie, Class of 1989 — graduated from Bates. Their grandson Daniel Micah Willsey, son of David ’81, is a member of the Bates Class of 2018.

Lynn and Beverly, it is my great pleasure to thank you for your decades of generous financial support that have strengthened the college and enhanced the educational experience for thousands of Bates students. I welcome you to the Benjamin Bates Society.

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