Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award
June 20, 2022
As you know, the Class Executive Committee recently established a new award, the Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award, and I appointed a committee to first to work out the guidelines for the award, then to accept nominations for the award and to make recommendations to the Executive Committee, which voted on the initial award recipients. The Committee is chaired by Dick Glovsky and includes Paul Tuhus and Greg Lau. I also serve on the Committee ex officio.
The Committee received many worthy nominations for the Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award. In working the through the nominations, the Committee decided to concentrate on nominees whose record of service to the Class and the College has stretched over decades. For this initial award cycle, the Committee recommended two nominees to the Executive Committee, one of whom is posthumous, and the Executive Committee approved them both with great enthusiasm. The Committee plans a second award cycle culminating with one or two awards to be made at the Homecoming dinner. Nominees from the first award cycle who are not being recognized with an award tonight will be carried over to the second cycle automatically, and a new call for nominees will be sent out to the class so that additional nominees can be considered, as well. But that is in the future; let’s get back to now.
One of the initial recipients of the Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award is no longer with us, but with this award, we honor his memory and his decades long service to the Class: David Lyon Prentice. David was at the heart of our class from graduation until his untimely death in 2021. He served as Newsletter Editor for the class for about three decades, edited and produced our 25th Reunion book, and co-edited and produced our monumental 50th Reunion book. Aside from these official duties for the class, David was a constant presence at virtually every Homecoming and Reunion. As one of his several nominators put it, David was "the glue that held the Class together." We have no immediate family member here to accept the award, but I ask Paul Tuhus to accept it as one of David’s many friends in the class.
The other recipient of the initial Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award is, I am happy to say, alive and kicking, though he did give us a bit of a scare not long ago: Richard G. Willets. Rick, would you come forward please? Rick is recognized for decades of service to the class, formally as class Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and chair or co-chair of innumerable Homecomings and Reunions. (Rick’s wife Joan is a mathematician, so I feel that I must define innumerable: not infinite, just a finite number that I could not determine.) Informally, Rick has always done what was needed without title or credit, whether it was managing the class’s storage unit, regularly erecting the class tent, or acting as master of ceremonies for Class Connections trivia nights. As one of his several nominators wrote, “He is the go-to guy for anything and everything, a true ombudsman, with a healthy block of granite in both his muscles and his brains…” Rick, I am delighted to present you with the Class of 1969 Outstanding Service Award.