Bates students recognized for political activism

Two Bates students are among 30 students nationwide recognized for their activism by Young America’s Foundation, a conservative outreach organization.

Nate Walton ’08 of Marblehead, Mass., and Melissa Simones ’06 of Greene were honored in April as members of the foundation’s Club 100. A campus activist rewards program, Club 100 gives points to members based on outreach activities such as bringing speakers to campus and raising money for their programs.

Students earning 100 points or more are invited to an annual retreat at Rancho Del Cielo, the ranch of the late President Ronald Reagan. Walton, who chairs the Maine College Republicans, ranked fifth in the nation, with 150 points. Simones, with 120 points, ranked 15th. The point score winner was Elizabeth Koren of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with 250.

Last month, Walton received the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Freedom Center Award for Student Leadership by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

“It was a moving experience to be at Rancho Del Cielo,” said Simones. “I not only heard about President Reagan’s accomplishments but also gained a better sense of his truly great character. Despite being the most powerful man in the world, President Reagan took great pleasure in simple pastimes such as building fences and riding horses.”

Simones served as secretary of the Maine College Republicans in 2005 and 2006 and has been involved with that organization and the Bates College Republicans since her first year at the college.

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