The Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes long-term dedicated service to Bates and to the College Key.

James Reese, Associate Dean of Students:  the College Key gave its Distinguished Service Award in 2011 to longtime Associate Dean of Students James Reese, an attentive, involved and principled member of the Bates community since his appointment by Dean of the College Jim Carignan ’61 in 1977. It was serendipity that Carignan, celebrating his 50th Reunion, got to introduce Reese at the club’s annual meeting Friday afternoon in Muskie Archives.

Wylie L. Mitchell, longtime Dean of Admissions, was awarded the College Key’s highest honor at the Annual Meeting of the Key in June 2010. Bill Hiss ’66 delivered the citation, noting, “…(Wylie) deeply cares about young people.  He likes them, he listens to them with interest and sympathy and imagination, and he wants them to succeed…If we brought into the new Commons all the alumni who came here in significant part because of Wylie’s personal warmth, interest, encouragement and judgment, it would fill the place to the four walls…”

Marcy Plavin, beloved founder and director (1964-2004) of the Bates Modern Dance Company and instructor in dance, was awarded the College Key’s Distinguished Service Award, at the June 2009 Annual Meeting.  Plavin was nominated by protogee Michael Foley ’89.  Unable to attend the meeting because he was on a Fulbright Grant in Mexico, Foley sent a video expressing his congratulations.  Fellow dancer and longtime friend Dervilla McCann ’77 presented Marcy with the award.

Marcy, daughter Linda Plavin Fitzgerald ’79, Dr. Dervilla McCann ’77, and
College Key President Lisa Romeo ’88 at the 2009 Annual Meeting.

Carl Benton Straub was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Service Award by 1994 award winner, colleague and friend Jim Carignan ’61.  Straub was cited as an architext of the modern Bates experience, a distinguished scholar, an inspiring teacher and mentor, and good citizen of the Bates community.

Dean Straub with Geri and Clark Griffiths ’53 at the  2008 Annual Meeting.

College Key President Roland S. Davis ’92 with Dean  Carl Straub and
Dean of the College Emeritus Jim Carignan ’61, who spoke about his longtime
friend and colleague at the 2008 annual meeting.

Recent Winners of the College Key Distinguished Service Award


  • Professor J. Dykstra Eusden, Jr. ’80,  Whitehouse Professor of Earths and Sciences (2021)
  • Professor Mike Retelle, Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences (2021)
  • Professor Leslie Hill, Professor Emerita of Politics (2020)
  • Professor John E. Kelsey, Professor Emeritus of Psychology (2019)
  • Professors Georgia Nigro, Professor of Psychology and Robert Farnsworth, Senior Lecturer Emeritus of English (2018)
  • Professor Thomas F. Tracy, Phillips Professor of Religious Studies (2017)
  • Stephen W. Sawyer. Associate Dean and Director of Off-Campus Study Programs (2016)
  • Sawyer F. Sylvester, Professor of Sociology (2015)
  • Scott E. Steinberg ’86, Director of Admission (2014)
  • Pamela J. Baker ’70, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty and Helen A. Papaioanou, Professor of Biology (2013)
  • John R. Cole, Thomas Hedley Reynolds Professor of History (2012)
  • James Reese, Associate Dean of Students (2011)
  • Wylie Mitchell, Dean of Admission (2010)
  • Marcy Plavin, Founder and Director Emerita of the Bates Modern Dance Company and Lecturer Emerita of Dance (2009)
  • Carl Benton Straub, Dean of the Faculty Emeritus and Griffith Professor of Religion & Professor of Environmental Studies Emeritus (2008)
  • Judith Ann Marden ’66, Director of Bates Morse Mountain Conservation Area (2007)
  • William Bergevin, Campus Landscape Coordinator (2006)
  • Leigh Campbell ’64, Financial Aid Director (2005)
  • F. Celeste Branham, Dean of Students (2004)
  • William C. Hiss ’66, Vice President for Alumni & External Affairs (2003)
  • Eugene G. Taylor ’56, Planned Giving Officer (2002)
  • Gene Clough, Lecturer in Geology (2001)
  • Elaine T. Freeman, Associate Director of Maintenance (2000)
  • Bernard R. Carpenter , Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer (1999)
  • John A. Tagliabue, Professor Emeritus of English (1998) – deceased
  • Richard W. Sampson, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics (1997) – deceased
  • Walter Slovenski, Coach of Men’s Track & Field  (1995) – deceased
  • James W. Carignan ’62, Dean of the College and Associate Prof. of History (1994)
  • Margaret T. Nichols, Registrar Emerita (1993)

Alumni Nominees 

  • Elizabeth Levin Campbell ’99
  • John G. David ’64, P’96
  • Donna Waterman Douglass ’89
  • Ashley M. Elysee ’09
  • Ronald T. Green ’64
  • Katanya Hamilton Woods ’74
  • Thomas J. Leonard ’78, P’10, P’15
  • Paul Marks ’83, P’17
  • Janice E. McLean ’79
  • Esther Rosenthal Mechler ’64
  • Christopher J. Murtagh ’11
  • Elizabeth A. Rubino ’64
  • Emma A. Sprague ’10
  • Gregory P. Sundik ’99
  • Anthony D. Timberman ’09
  • Barbara Van duzer Babin ’59
  • Christopher A. Wright ’89