Stanton Environmental Stewardship Award
Honor the environmental leaders among us.
To honor “Uncle Johnny” Stanton, nature enthusiast and faculty member from 1864 to 1906, each spring Bates College and the Stanton Bird Club recognize both a graduating senior and a staff or faculty member for dedication to environmental stewardship. As did Stanton, award winners have put their commitment into practice and inspired others to be more environmentally conscious.
This award was first created in 2000 to honor a student and employee instrumental in achieving one of the goals set forth in the college’s Green Action Plan. With the vacancy of the Environmental Coordinator position in 2005, the award was discontinued, but there has been no shortage of people at Bates working diligently to make the campus more sustainable. We are reintroducing the award in 2013 to recognize these efforts.
Nominate a graduating senior, staff, or faculty for the Stanton Award by filling out this nomination form.
Recipients receive a one-year membership to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, a Maine parks pass or National parks pass, certificate of appreciation, and are celebrated at an Awards ceremony over short term.
“Uncle Johnny” Stanton
Personally recruited by Oren B. Cheney, the founder and first president of Bates, Jonathan Y. Stanton arrived at the college in 1864 to teach Greek and Latin. He also served as librarian and historian of the college, led debates, and taught a popular class in ornithology. Stanton’s favorite topic was ornithology and he complemented his collection of bird books with an equally impressive collection of stuffed birds, many of which he was rumored to have shot himself.
During his time at Bates, “Uncle Johnny” arranged to have horse-drawn carriages bring the freshman class to a picnic at Thorncrag Sanctuary to hear him tell the history of Bates. The tradition, called the Stanton Ride, continued for 100 years and lives on as a cherished part of Bates history. Stanton would also take students on nature walks at Thorncrag. After his death in 1918, students held a design contest to build an Outing Club cabin at Thorncrag to keep Stanton’s spirit alive. Named the Stanton Lodge at a dedication in 1926, the building was used by students until 1975. In 1919, the Stanton Bird Club was founded in his honor and is now a leading organization in the conservation of local land and wildlife.