Edmund Wilson ’62: Papaioanou Award for Extraordinary Service

After receiving the Papaioanou Award for Service, Ed Wilson '62 (center) is joined by Interim President Nancy J. Cable (left) and President of the Alumni Association Roland Davis '92 (right) on June 9. Photograph by H. Lincoln Benedict '09.

The Helen A. Papaioanou Award for Extraordinary Service to Bates recognizes service to our college that is truly distinguished in both quantity and quality.

Presented by Roland Davis ’92, president of the Alumni Association.

On behalf of the Alumni Association, it is my honor to bestow the Papaioanou Award upon Edmund Wilson of the Class of 1962.

Ed Wilson does not just go above and beyond the calling of an alumni volunteer — he defines the role. He embodies the irrepressible spirit and enthusiasm of Bates in everything he does on behalf of the college. Many of you no doubt have received his messages as chair of the Class of 1962 Reunion Committee. The committee’s pre-Reunion newsletters offered a healthy dose of nostalgia with their updates and reminders.

And this is where Ed excels: bringing together Bates people and reconnecting them with memories close to their hearts. The robust and enthusiastic gathering of the Class of 1962 today is ample evidence of that skill and dedication.

Your cup overflows with class pride and Bates pride, and you have used the energy that comes with pride to lead your class to a wondrous 50th Reunion celebration.

Another illustration of Ed’s desire and ability to celebrate and lift up the best of Bates came during 2006. That fall, Ed took action to make sure that a very good man, Alan Goddard of the Class of 1953, felt the support and love of his Bates friends during his final fight.

Al is the namesake of an annual Bates football award that honors his fine qualities as as a football player and alumnus: a desire to hard work, a tremendous attitude and a relentless team spirit. And in 2006, Al Goddard was suffering the ravages of ALS — Lou Gehrig’s disease.

So that fall, Ed did what Ed does best — he made lots of phone calls and sent many emails and letters, all with a polite and persistent and clear call to action. Through Ed, the Bates alumni football community became aware of the important opportunity to honor the life and spirit of one of their own.

And so on a rainy Saturday in October, 37 former recipients of the annual Goddard Award returned to campus to shake Al’s hand for the last time. Well over a hundred more family and friends also joined the circle of support during that bittersweet weekend.

Ed learned his very first lesson about the unimpeachable character of Bates and Bates people well before he matriculated. Firm in his memory is the time two great Bates men, Milton Lindholm and Robert Hatch, made time to meet with him, making him feel welcomed and valued even though Ed didn’t have an appointment for his campus visit.

Since then, Ed has been making time for Bates and Bates people, in a big and generous way.

In Ed’s decades of service to Bates, including a term as Bates trustee, he has carried forth to the present day the lessons that he learned at Bates. For years Ed been our Bates man in Chicagoland — in admissions, alumni and parent programs, athletics, career services, and fundraising.

Ed’s decades of professional achievement in student affairs at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has made their graduate education that much more valuable. (But, Ed: We won’t tell anyone that you were always just a bit kinder to the many Bates alums who came through Kellogg!)

Earlier this spring at the annual Volunteer Leadership Summit, the college honored Ed with a Bates’ Best award. Today, we have the opportunity to recognize him again, in front of this large gathering of the Alumni Association whose members he loves so much.

Ed, you are a model for volunteerism at Bates. Your cup overflows with class pride and Bates pride, and you have used the energy that comes with pride to lead your class to a wondrous 50th Reunion celebration. We thank you for all your time and talent. In this spirit of gratitude, I am honored to present to you the Helen A. Papaioanou Award for Extraordinary Service to Bates.