Bates Alumni Community Service Award
The Alumni Community Service Award is given annually to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated distinguished leadership and commitment to serving the community in which they live or work. The award recognizes the values of service and civic responsibility that are fundamental to a Bates education.
This award was presented to Win Brown ’89, P’21 in 2018 during Back to Bates: Homecoming and Family Weekend.
It was a nudge from late Dean of the College James Carignan ’61 that helped Win Brown get his start in the healthcare field in 1996. Since that time, Win has worked tirelessly to promote the health and well-being of the people of the communities in which he’s lived and worked. Most recently, as President and CEO of north-central Massachusetts’ Heywood Healthcare, he has initiated a wide array of innovate programs and services that tackle complex and urgent issues in healthcare—including behavioral and mental health, food insecurity, and treatment for addiction.
Win’s passion for effecting systemic change is evident not only in the work he does, but by the issues he sets as personal and organizational priorities. In true Bates fashion, he is described by associates as a servant leader who seeks to empower his colleagues and friends to take action and think outside the box.
Unsurprisingly, Win’s service also extends to the Bates community. As a core employer for the Purposeful Work Internship Program, he has made it a priority to hire and mentor Bates students. He is a longstanding class agent for the Class of 1989, and with daughter Kathryn in her second year at Bates, also serves as a Parents Fund volunteer.
For epitomizing Bates’ fundamental tenets of advocacy and service to others, I am honored to present Win Brown, Class of 1989, with the 2018 Alumni Community Service Award.
In 2017, the award was presented to Nathaniel Boone ’52, P’82 by Lisa Romeo ’88, president of the Alumni Association, during Back to Bates: Homecoming & Family Weekend.
As a young man, Nate saw military service as not only a means of serving his country, but also a pathway to education. He entered basic training in 1946 at Camp LeJeune’s racially segregated Montford Point facility in North Carolina, as one of 20,000 African American Marines — the first men of color to serve in the Marine Corps.
Racial tensions ran high, on the base in and in town, and Nate and his fellow Montford Point Marines found that they were, as Nate says, “sort of fighting the war before we encountered any enemy.”
But Nate persevered in the face of prejudice, heeding the call to service, and helped to break the color barrier for future generations serving in the U.S. military.
Nate served honorably until 1948, when he began attending Bates on the GI Bill. After graduating in 1952, he attended Boston University law school and went on to practice for more than 35 years in Hackensack, N.J. In 2012, Nate and 419 of his fellow Montford Point Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at the nation’s Capitol.
In retirement, he and his wife, Harriet Howell Boone, also of the Class of 1952, relocated to Manchester, Vermont, where Nate served on the boards of civic organizations, helped to establish nonprofits, delivered meals for the local food cupboard, and counseled prisoners at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility.
He also devoted himself to Bates over the years. His lengthy career includes service on the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Council, the College Key, his Reunion Gift Committee, and service as a Class Agent. He and Harriet are also proud Bates parents of Daryl Boone, Class of 1982.
Nate, thank you for your courage and heroism, as well as your long dedication to the Bates values of service and civic responsibility. It is my great privilege to present you with the Bates Alumni Community Service Award.
Sylvia, your more than 55 years of community, health, and educational development work have improved the lives of thousands of people in Watertown, New York, and throughout the Empire State. With a career that long, I doubt I can recount everything you have accomplished in service to others, but here are some highlights that speak to your passion for your fellow citizens and their well-being.
After graduating from Bates with with a degree in sociology and membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Sylvia, her husband, Dr. Walker Heap, also of the Class of 1950, and their two children moved to Watertown. This would prove to be a stroke of good fortune for a local citizens committee eager to host a community college. Barely settled, Sylvia asked the committee chair, “Is there anything I can do to help?” She was soon meeting her new Watertown neighbors one-by-one as she went door-to-door, stumping for support. She undertook letter-writing campaigns and met with organized labor and civic groups — all in an effort to launch what would become Jefferson Community College, which this year turns 56. JCC wisely asked Sylvia to chair its Advisory Board of Continuing Education, a position she held for 30 years.
As chair, she organized a task force to study the need for continuing education programming, resulting in JCC’s development of bachelor’s programs in nursing, business, and public management, as well as a master’s in adult education. To expand access and opportunity, she and the committee organized child care and city transportation for JCC students.
In the midst of it all, while working on a master’s in education at Syracuse, Sylvia also organized and produced a series of short television segments about osteoporosis for a local CBS affiliate and a series of continuing education programs for Jefferson County physicians, with professors of nutrition from Tufts and Syracuse.
She has been named Watertown Citizen of the Year for her service to JCC, the American Association of University Women, the Watertown Lyric Theater, and public television station WPBS, among other organizations.
The values of service and civic responsibility are fundamental to the Bates education. Sylvia, in countless ways, you have exemplified these values in your service to the people of greater Watertown, New York. We have no doubt that your parents, the late Helen Hill Stuber of the Bates Class of 1925 and Stanley I. Stuber of the Bates Class of 1926, took great pride in your accomplishments — as does the entire Bates community.
Congratulations on winning the 2016 Alumni Community Service Award!