College conveys Citizen's Medals to three local residents
March 6, 2009
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz presented Citizen's Medals for distinguished service to the community to Margaret "Peg" Martin, G. Kenneth Perine, and Ann McGinley Ross at an awards ceremony on March 4.
Since the College's bicentennial year in 2000, it has been customary for the College to confer Citizen's Medals to area residents for their sustained service. The recipients are nominated by members of the community and are selected by a committee of College faculty and staff.
Peg Martin who represented Middlebury in the Vermont Legislature for 10 years, was the first woman elected to serve on the Middlebury Select Board. She founded the Middlebury Day Care Center, which later became the Mary Johnson Children's Center; served on the first board of the Champlain Valley Community Action Program; and was one of the originators of the Middlebury Area Land Trust.
From left, President Emeritus John McCardell; Citizen's Medal recipients Peg Martin, Ken Perine, and Ann Ross; and
President Liebowitz cited Martin as an irreplaceable force in human services, childcare, and protection of the environment. "Without Peg's leadership," he said, "Addison County would look significantly different today."
Martin currently serves as Middlebury's tree warden, Green Up Day coordinator, and as a member of the Cross Street Bridge Committee.
G. Kenneth Perine was nominated for his deep commitment to local non-profit organizations including the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Porter Medical Center, Middlebury ID #4 School District, Vermont Catholic Charities, Town Hall Theatre, United Way of Addison County, Addison County Community Trust, Hospice Volunteer Services, and others.
Perine has been president of the National Bank of Middlebury since 1992 and is active in state and regional banking, including a term on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
"People may not always be able to define civic responsibility," President Liebowitz explained, "but they know it when they see it. And in Ken Perine, we see it in overwhelming measure."
Ann McGinley Ross, a member of the Middlebury College Class of 1953, served as a teacher at the Middlebury Cooperative Nursery School and Mary Hogan Elementary School, and as principal of Weybridge Elementary School. She was one of the founders of the United Way of Addison County, the Children's Art Exchange, and the Champlain Valley Unitarian-Universalist Society.
|Selectboard chair John Tenny and Citizen's Medal recipient Ann Ross|
President Liebowitz commended Ross for her "creative outlook, fervent energy, selflessness, and generosity," and noted that her reach has extended to Meals on Wheels, the Middlebury Recycling Committee, Spring Into the Arts, and the summer lunch and recreation program.
He remarked: "Ann Ross champions the cause of peace as an active member of the Addison Peace Coalition, a role that leads her to the peace vigil in Triangle Park every Saturday morning, no matter the weather."
During the ceremony, President Liebowitz announced the re-naming of the award. Henceforth it shall be known as the Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen's Award, in honor of President Emeritus John M. McCardell Jr. and his wife Bonnie who have been exemplars of community service in Addison County since 1976.
The McCardells fostered an ethic of public service on the Middlebury College campus and in the community that has had a positive impact upon the region's youth and family services, literacy, health services, education, and business development.
Said President Liebowitz: "We are naming this award, which recognizes citizens' contributions to the benefit of Middlebury, in recognition of Bonnie's and John's dedication to the town. Their generosity to the community embodies the essence of the award, and so it is fitting that, on the 10th anniversary of the award, we rename it in their honor."
This year's recipients join 42 other area residents who have been so honored during the past decade. For a complete listing of medal recipients, click here.