November 5, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: October 30, 2002

Bicentennial Citizens Medals -Middlebury CollegeMIDDLEBURY, VT- Middlebury College President John M. McCardell Jr. presented Bicentennial Citizens' Medals honoring five residents of Addison County at a ceremony and dinner at the Middlebury Inn on the evening of Friday, Nov. 1. The medal recipients, who were recognized for their contributions to the community, were Dottie Nelson, Adèle Eells Pierce, Frederic D. Powell and Barbara A.B. Wagner. James W. Rubright, who was unable to attend the event, accepted his medal from McCardell on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Eric Davis, secretary of the College, said, "The medals were presented to residents of Addison County who have helped strengthen the community, and whose service has been sustained and distinguished. Oftentimes, their efforts have gone unrecognized for many years."

In November 2000, during the College's Bicentennial celebration, Middlebury College honored 10 residents of Addison County with the presentation of the first Bicentennial Citizens' Medals. "We decided to continue the practice since the Bicentennial celebration truly demonstrated that the town and the College share both a history and a future," said Davis. Nominations for the 2002 citizens' medals were submitted by members of the College community, and the winners were selected by McCardell and other members of the administration.

Dottie Nelson, a resident of Middlebury for 24 years, is currently the community service coordinator for Middlebury Union High School (MUHS), a part-time position she has held since 1993. Her 24 years of service to the Addison County Humane Society include work as an employee, a volunteer and a board member. From 1986 until her retirement last fall, she was the organization's education outreach coordinator; from 1978-1986, she was an education volunteer; and from 1979-1982, she was a board member. In the 1980s, Nelson served as a member of the Middlebury Area Refugee Sponsoring Committee, helping many Cambodian families who had moved to Vermont.

Adèle Eells Pierce has lived in Middlebury 30 years. As a staff member at the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History since 1982, Pierce serves as coordinator of the annual Vermont Symphony Orchestra concert that benefits the museum, and manager of the museum's shop, which she started in 1983. She also organized a successful capital campaign for the museum in the mid-1980s. Pierce's many community projects include serving as a member of the committee that oversaw the restoration of the Vermont State Craft Center building at Frog Hollow in Middlebury as well as the committee currently organizing the restoration of Middlebury's Town Hall Theatre.

A resident of Middlebury for 10 years, Frederic D. Powell retired in 1992 after a long career as an engineer following several years of service in the Navy. Powell, who holds four United States patents, has contributed numerous articles to engineering publications and other journals. Since moving to Middlebury, he has volunteered as a tutor in math, physics and languages at MUHS. He also donated funds to establish a math essay award in his name, an annual prize?first awarded in June 2002?for an outstanding essay on a mathematical topic by an MUHS student.

Barbara A.B. Wagner, who has lived in Bridport for 31 years, is an emergency room nurse at Porter Medical Center, where she has worked in this capacity for 28 years. She has also worked for Addison County Home Health since 1996, and for Cedar Ledge Family Practice as a relief nurse since 1985. She currently serves as a volunteer for a number of organizations, including the Vermont Emergency Nurses Association, where she is the chair of the pediatric/trauma committee and assists with conference planning as a member of the group's state council; Town Line First Response in Bridport and Addison, an organization of which she is a founding member; and the American Red Cross, where she teaches CPR and first aid classes.

A resident of Cornwall, James W. Rubright has lived in Addison County for 30 years. He is the proprietor-with his wife Cathy-of Middlebury Bagel & Deli and a supporter of local youth and youth organizations, donating countless brownies and other food items to school events and other activities. He also employs youth staff members and allows them flexible work hours. Many other members of the community have benefited from his generosity as well-last year his numerous donations included rolls for a holiday dinner for local seniors. Commenting on his award, Rubright said, "I've always enjoyed helping out at community events when food is required. It is a way of thanking the community for supporting us. Our success comes from sharing with others."

(From left to right): Barbara A.B. Wagner, Frederic D. Powell, Adèle Eells Pierce and Dottie Nelson were presented with Middlebury College Bicentennial Citizen Medals on Nov. 1 at a dinner in their honor at the Middlebury Inn.

Top Image: Jim Rubright (center) accepts his Middlebury College Bicentennial Citizen Medal from Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr. as Jim's wife Cathy Rubright looks on.