College Key Newsletter — Fall 2016

College Key-to present

Welcome from the President

Dear Members of the College Key,

161019_campus_0064I hope this newsletter finds you all well and enjoying autumn. More than 2,000 alumni, parents, and friends attended Back to Bates: Homecoming & Family Weekend Oct. 7–9. I was in attendance for Alumni Council meetings, participated in a Veteran’s Luncheon, and provided the color commentary on the webcast of the Bates vs. Williams football game, which the Bobcats won 29–17! I hope that some of you were able to join in the festivities on campus, which included athletics, arts performances, student and faculty presentations, a conversation with President Clayton Spencer, and much more.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, it’s my great privilege to share with you the latest information about the student programs we support as members of the College Key. I hope you enjoy this issue of the Key newsletter and take pride in all the programs and services we support.

My best from Maine,
Jeff Sturgis ’69, President

College Key Mission and Values

The College Key recognizes outstanding Bates men and women; encourages and recognizes student academic and extracurricular achievement; supports academics, athletics, and student life; provides student aid, including scholarships and other kinds of financial assistance; serves as a resource for student internships; supports campus improvements; and contributes to the general welfare of the college.

Members of the College Key are inducted in their senior year along with a small number of juniors who are selected to the Key by virtue of their leadership in academic and extracurricular work. Alumni are elected each year as well, by virtue of their volunteer work for the college and other achievements. Any Bates alumnus can nominate a fellow alumnus for membership in the College Key.

A Leadership Update from the Executive Committee

Due to increased demands in her professional life, Kristin Barber ’07 reluctantly resigned from her role as president of the College Key in April 2016. Then-vice president Jeff Sturgis ’69 presided at the Key’s annual meeting in June, and was nominated and confirmed to serve a three-year term as president by a vote of the members present.

Over the summer, the Nominating Committee vetted candidates for vice president and nominated Karen Finocchio Lubeck ’92 to fill that office. During the Key’s September meeting, the Executive Committee voted to accept the nomination and to welcome Karen as the new vice president. The membership will be asked to confirm her at the annual meeting on Friday, June 9, 2017, during Reunion Weekend. The intent is for her to serve as vice president for two years and nine months, and then ascend to the presidency when Jeff’s term expires in June 2019.

This is the first time in anyone’s memory that a vacancy has occurred in the College Key presidency mid-term. While there is no express procedure in the bylaws to handle such an occurrence, the Executive Committee felt this approach made sense and is consistent with the intent of the bylaws. This will be clarified in the review of the bylaws so that a clear process is in place moving forward.

A Call for Leaders
If you are interested in a leadership position within the College Key, please consider serving on the Key’s Nominating Committee, Alumni Membership Committee, Student Membership Committee, or the Scholarships and Programs Committee. Please contact College Key President Jeff Sturgis ’69 at

Distinguished Alumnus in Residence:
Brian McGrory ’84

Brian McGrory ’84, editor of the Boston Globe, returned to Bates on January 27, 2016, as our latest Distinguished Alumnus in Residence. This was McGrory’s first visit to campus since he graduated 32 years ago. He faced a full day of activity that rivaled any he had experienced in his days as an undergraduate.

The first order of business was a campus tour, including stops in many new and recently renovated buildings. Impressed by these facilities and pleased by the opportunities they create for current students, he good-naturedly wished, as many of us do, that these updates had been in place years ago.

After the tour, he had lunch with Julia Mongeau ’16, editor-in-chief of the Bates Student, and her staff. The conversation was so lively that most of his sandwich remained uneaten. Then it was on to Pettengill Hall to meet with students in “Public Opinion,” a politics course taught by Associate Professor John Baughman. From there, he met with Bates Communications Office staff: Chief Communications Officer Sean Findlen ’99, Bates Magazine Editor Jay Burns P’17, P’19, and Director of Media Relations Kent Fischer. Later, after a meeting with President Clayton Spencer and Vice President of Advancement Sarah Pearson ’75, McGrory dined with a group of rhetoric majors, who engaged him in a lively discussion about their field of study.

160127_mcgrory_032He finished the day with his Distinguished Alumnus in Residence Lecture, “The State of Journalism in America,” before a packed audience in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall. During a biographical sketch of his journalism career, McGrory underscored how his Bates education gave him the foundation to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a journalist. He felt that the liberal arts background provided him with a broader view of life, enabling him to become a better professional. Turning his focus to the present state of journalism, he launched into a description of how the digital age has affected traditional print journalism. The free news content on the web and accompanying decline in advertising revenue has decimated the budgets and staff of traditional newspapers.

Those that have failed to adapt have gone out of business. Those that have survived have had to establish online editions and identities that are constantly shifting. For example, while the Globe’s Sunday print edition circulation has fallen from 800,000 in the mid 1990s to just 250,000 today, it receives over a million visits to its digital sites and maintains 70,000 digital subscriptions. However, pricing is an issue and much of this digital content is provided for free. McGrory concluded that solving the issues caused by this transition to digital is essential for the preservation of our democracy.

160127_mcgrory_080Following his presentation, Mongeau interviewed McGrory and moderated a Q&A session with the enthusiastic audience. The interview provided insight into the Globe’s “Spotlight” series and its extensive coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.

After a night in Dunn House and before returning to Boston, he had breakfast and debriefed with College Key Executive Committee members.

For more information about the 2016 Distinguished Alumni in Residence program, check out the Bates News Article and the video of his presentation.

Distinguished Service Award:
Associate Dean for Off-Campus Study Steven Sawyer

Steven Sawyer has said his commitment to Bates was primarily about his relationship with students. In July 2016, after serving Bates for 30 years — most recently as associate dean of students and director of the Off-Campus Study Program — he retired with plans to focus on his relationships with family. In recognition of his service to the college, students, and alumni, the College Key presented him with its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

Sawyer came to Bates in 1988 bearing a keen understanding of life at a highly selective New England liberal arts college and the professorate. He knew the NESCAC scene from his undergraduate days at Middlebury. He knew the world through his pursuit of a master’s and a doctorate in geography at Clark University. And he knew the faculty perspective from his 10 years as a professor of geography at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Through his role as director of off-campus study — and inspired by his own adventure between college and graduate school as a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia — Sawyer expertly assisted Bates students with their efforts to infuse their own college careers with global perspectives. During his tenure, he helped more than 7,000 Bates students with their study-abroad plans. As in recent years under his guidance, about 60 percent of current Bates students study abroad, making the college the envy of its peers.

160611_key_sawyerAt the 2016 Annual Meeting, Sawyer accepted the award from Courtney Fleisher ’94, who proclaimed “For your 30 years of service to generations of Bates students who have benefitted from the relationships you have fostered and the experiences around the world you have helped to create, we are honored to present you with the 2016 College Key Distinguished Service Award.” In his remarks, Sawyer assured members he would never be a stranger to Bates and would continue the wonderful relationships he developed at the college.

Students Get a More Full Bates Experience With Help From Key

Throughout its history, the College Key has helped provide students with financial support to enrich their college experience. Due to our close relationship with the Bates faculty and administration, the lines of communication are open to measure ongoing needs and to identify new ones. Each year, the Key’s Board evaluates its budget and finances, and offers support depending on the evolving needs of students.

The Key has always provided assistance for students with travel expenses for family emergencies, internships, interviews, and other related requests. In the 2015–16 academic year, the Key was able to help a student participate in a transformative Short Term experience. T. Glen Lawson, Charles A. Dana professor of chemistry, and Claudia Guzmán, associate professor of Spanish, developed an interdisciplinary science-humanities course to bring a group of students to study biomedical science in Latin America and its impact on human rights. The 12 students who participated ranged from first years to seniors. They studied the Chilean mining population and the impact of science on health rights. The first two-and-a-half weeks of the experience were spent on campus, followed by a nine-day trip to Chile, and the final week of Short Term was back on campus. The Key was able to provide the $500 deposit necessary for a financial-aid student to enroll in the course and to participate in the off-campus component in Chile.

In recent years, the Key has partnered with the Bates Career Development Center (BCDC) to support students’ professional endeavors. In 2015–16, annual dues and donations sponsored 33 students, allowing them to participate in Career Development Internship Program opportunities all over the world. The Student Travel Fund also supported five students who attended three different innovative conferences across the United States.

One of the most successful programs sponsored by the College Key in recent years has been the Winter Coat Fund. Many students come to Bates from regions where winters are mild or nonexistent. For some of these students and their families, purchasing basic winter gear is a significant financial burden beyond the startup expenses associated with the first year of college. The College Key Winter Coat Fund helps by providing up to $5,000 to defray the cost of winter jackets, boots, hats, and gloves for first-year students in need. The program is a wonderful partnership between the Key, the Dean of Students Staff, and the Office of Equity and Diversity.

Both the Student Travel Fund and the Winter Coat Fund provide critical financial assistance for students. At the same time, the Key serves as a role model for alumni supporting Bates and its students. As students who have received Key funds graduate and begin their careers, they will have a strong example of how they can help future generations of Batesies. Your generous support of these important initiatives is greatly appreciated by the college, the student recipients, and by members of the Executive Committee. Thank you!

Senior Class Bates Fund Gift

Since 2008, the Key has provided matching funds to bolster each class’ senior gift to the Bates Fund as a way to encourage a new generation of philanthropy and engagement among our youngest alumni. Because of the generous support of Key members’ annual contributions, we were able to play this catalyzing role for the classes of 2015 and 2016.

senior_gift_chairsThe class gifts for 2015 and 2016 earned matching funds from the College Key for a combined total of $7,500. These funds were offered as a combination of matching gifts for donations of $25 or more, as incentive for seniors to give to Bates and for a percentage of class participation. At the end of last fiscal year, 76 percent of the Class of 2016 raised nearly $8,700. Alicia Rea from the Office of Advancement worked closely with the Senior Gift Committee, attended our annual meeting in June, and received our matching funds.

Bates is grateful for this critical financial support and for the role that Key members play in modeling philanthropy. Thank you for your generous support of the Bates Fund and for your support of the Key’s match of the senior class gift!

New Members Welcomed

Student Inductees

The Key Committee on Undergraduate Members, which includes Bates faculty and staff, selects student members each year. The students were nominated by members of the college faculty and staff based on their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the college and community.

Alumni Inductees

The following alumni members were welcomed to the College Key at our 2015 and 2016 annual meetings. These alumni were nominated by their classmates, friends and colleagues in recognition of their continued support of the college. All are active volunteers who serve in many capacities on behalf of Bates. Please congratulate our new members!


  • Susan Bourgault Akie ’75, P’08
  • Elissa A. Bass ’85
  • Elizabeth E. Brown ’70
  • Joshua D. Dietch ’90
  • Maurice L. Dube ’73
  • Janet B. Haines ’75
  • Candis Yimoyines Hine ’71, P’99
  • Deborah Bednar Jasek ’75
  • Brendan M. Julian ’10
  • Zachary E. Jylkka ’10
  • Sagun KC ’00
  • Karen Finocchio Lubeck ’92
  • Faith E. Minard ’75
  • Sarah Risley Pearson ’75
  • Pamela Johnson Reynolds ’67
  • David A. Reinhart ’80
  • Merton E. Ricker ’55
  • Craig O. Saddlemire ’05
  • Ingrid Earn Shea ’67
  • Lisa M. Virello ’85
  • A. Clayton Spencer


  • Jeremy B. Chase ’91
  • Alexander W. Connor ’08
  • Alice Brooke Gollnick ’56
  • Judith Williams Gordon ’61
  • Sharon Hartnett Hall ’91
  • Jodi L. Kopke ’96
  • Carolyn Gordon Ladd ’76
  • Dorothy Sweetser Larsson ’61
  • James D. Lowe ’96
  • Ruth Foster Lowell ’56
  • Paige Scovill Negus ’56, P’83
  • Catherine Burke Rowe ’89
  • Pala Shea Stabnick ’91
  • Elizabeth Glover Wiers ’71
  • Michael A. Wiers ’71
  • Sarah Utz Young ’66

College Key Dues

The College Key is wholly dependent on member dues and contributions for the programs we run in support of Bates gifts, and the internship travel program.

For online payments: Please note that our payment processor is PayPal. You do not need an account to pay through PayPal; however, if you have an account, PayPal will require you to use a credit card that you have on file with your account.

For payment by check (including online bill pay checks): Please fill out the secure donation form first. The form updates our records and allows you to choose the programs to which you want your donation applied. Then, send your check to:

Carol A. Spencer
The College Key
126 Brazos Drive
Cedar Creek, TX 78612

Please remember that paying your College Key dues should not replace your annual support of the Bates Fund, which remains critical to the college’s annual operations.

 Executive Committee 2016–17 Officers

  • President, Jeff Sturgis ’69
  • Vice President, Karen Finocchio Lubeck ’92
  • Recording Secretary, Courtney Fleisher ’94
  • Treasurer, Carol Prochazka Spencer ’74
  • Immediate Past President, Kristin Barber ’07
  • Corresponding Secretary, Cary Gemmer ’07, Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement
  • Staff Liaison Support, Penney Ward, Office Manager, Annual Giving
  • Advisor, Marianne Nolan Cowan ’92