Citation for Ralph T. Perry
President Hansen, I am honored to present Ralph T. Perry, Class of 1951.
On this day of high achievement and eager anticipation, we might observe that the Bates experience of each graduate seated before us shines just a bit brighter thanks to the philanthropy of people who care deeply about this place.
The gifts of Ralph T. Perry provide luminous examples of the power of philanthropy to transform hope into reality, and dreams into truth.
As a student, Mr. Perry majored in history, earning dean’s list commendation. He wore the garnet as a varsity athlete in football, basketball, and baseball, sustaining the Bobcat reputation as a tenacious competitor. And if he seemed serious-minded, as the yearbook said in 1951, just “wait for that grin.”
Entrepreneurial success gave Mr. Perry great resources. That he chose to invest them in Bates and in Maine revealed the soul of a philanthropist. His landmark gift for scholarships for Maine students leveraged the high aspirations that he saw among young people of his adopted home state. Momentous support for the academic realm revealed principled devotion to the human scale of liberal learning. In helping to create the signature Joan Holmes Perry Atrium, a memorial to his late first wife, he honored the love that first blossomed at Bates years ago.
For his acts of generosity, for his belief in Bates College and in Maine, and for his unrelenting efforts to build the College’s strength and elevate its excellence, I present Ralph T. Perry, Class of 1951, for the degree Doctor of Humane Letters.
Ralph Perry, your gifts to Bates College resonate across campus like the clear peal of the Hathorn Bell and, by their example, have inspired others to consider their own tradition of philanthropy. Therefore by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities which here and everywhere pertain to this degree.