2018 Sesquicentennial Award

Established in 2005 in honor of the college’s 150th anniversary, the Sesquicentennial Award is presented to an alumna/us for a single academic, artistic, or scientific achievement.


In 2018, the award was presented to Louis Weinstein ’68 by Lisa Romeo ’88, president of the Alumni Association, during Reunion Weekend.

It is my great privilege to present this year’s Sesquicentennial Award to Louis Weinstein of the Class of 1968.

This award was established in 2005 in honor of the college’s 150th anniversary, and is conferred annually to an alumnus or alumna for a single outstanding academic, artistic, or in the case of this year’s recipient, scientific achievement.

Louis’s remarkable work resulting in the discovery of a severe form of preeclampsia has been cited as one of the 10 most important publications in the field of obstetrics in the 20th century. He was a young doctor serving his fellowship in 1979 when Louis experienced his first pre-natal maternal death of a patient — an experience that would alter the course of his career. His 21-year-old patient had died of an unrecognizable disease at 25 weeks gestation. Guided by the methods of scientific inquiry he learned at Bates, Louis sought to explore this often missed or misdiagnosed ailment. He spent the next two years studying similar cases and providing medical care to women exhibiting related symptoms.

This work resulted in the discovery of the HELLP syndrome in 1982, named by Louis for its symptoms of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets. HELLP is now recognized worldwide as one of the most serious complications of pregnancy, and Louis’s original publication of his findings has been cited over 6,000 times in medical literature.

His work has saved, and will continue to save, the lives of countless women. And while this particular achievement may be a highlight of Louis Weinstein’s career, we also acknowledge the many years of medical care he has provided to women all over the country. His lifelong commitment to helping others is a source of great pride for the Bates community.

On behalf of the Alumni Association and the college, it is my honor to present Louis Weinstein with the
2018 Sesquicentennial Award.