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New England College to Host Annual Fall Festival The Evening of Excellence Awards Dinner

Premier Event at College’s Annual Alumni Weekend.

New England College will host its annual alumni awards dinner, The Evening of Excellence, during Fall Festival Weekend on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner is a highlight event of the Festival, which is the longest standing alumni event in the College’s history.

The Evening of Excellence Dinner is designed to show pride for the College’s most impressive alumni, by annually conferring the College’s prestigious Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Award on those who have achieved notable distinction. Honorees are nominated by fellow alumni and recognized for their exemplary service to New England College and its mission, civic and professional leadership, and personal commitment and dedication to the community.

President Michele Perkins will present the awards. “The Evening of Excellence Awards Dinner is such an important milestone in our academic year, because in so many ways, it reminds us all, as a community, that we are engaged in a great mission, a mission that has been passed on from class to class for almost 75 years.” Perkins said.

This year New England College will present the following awards at the dinner:

Athletic Hall of Fame

Inductee: Billy Watson ’74 (posthumous)

The purpose of the New England College Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize those outstanding individuals (or teams) who have contributed to the ongoing success of the New England College Athletic Program.

William “Bill” Watson graduated from Concord High in 1969 and completed a post graduate year at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine. He then attended New England College where he graduated with a degree in Sociology in 1974. Bill was a consummate athlete. As a child in Concord, he could be found daily at White Park with his brother and friends in the neighborhood. At New England College he played three years of varsity baseball as a pitcher and four years of varsity hockey as a defenseman, where he was voted captain for three seasons.

After college, he coached hockey at Concord High and Tilton Academy. Later, he was a member of the National Ice Hockey Officials Association NH chapter. As he grew older, he could be found skating around Lake Morey and looked forward to an annual skating reunion with his college hockey teammates.

Honorary Alumni Award

Inductee: Scott Simpson

The Honorary Alumni Award may be given annually, when there are deserving candidates, to an individual or individuals who are non-alumni members of the College community-at-large, and who have demonstrated continued loyalty, interest, and service in the spirit of New England College.

Scott Simpson, an architect, author, and educator, has served as a trustee of New England College since March of 2010. He is the former President and CEO of The Stubbins Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has also served on the national board of directors of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, and the Design Futures Council in Atlanta. Simpson has published more than 180 articles on issues of innovation in the design and construction industry and authored three books: How Firms Succeed, The Next Architect—A New Twist on the Future of Design, and Lessons from the Future. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences and symposia and has lectured at a number of design schools across the country, including Yale and Harvard, where he is an emeritus member of the Alumni Council. Scott’s expertise has been put to good use at New England College, particularly for the new John Lyons Center, Putnam Center, and Athletic Center projects. He also serves on the Infrastructure and Audit Committees.

The Deborah Spring Reed ’60 Alumni Achievement Award

Inductees: Diana Merriam ’78, Peter Merriam ’78, and Ray Apy ’89

This award was established in 1994 to recognize an alumnus who demonstrated prominence in his/her profession and contributed significantly to the betterment of society, thus contributing to the honor and distinction of New England College.

Diana ’78 and Peter ’78 Merriam are the co-founders of Merriam Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA. Peter Merriam brings his love for living on the edge and finely tuned sense of focus to his vineyards and winery, with passions that span from the extreme in adrenaline to the extreme in patience. As a vintner, Peter finds that the discipline, determination, and singular focus that he has developed through skiing and fishing are the same skills that serve him well in the vineyard. A natural conservationist, he has always been an outdoor person. It was the beauty of Sonoma County that compelled him to plant vineyards and build a winery in the Russian River Valley.

Diana Merriam was raised in a New England home where food was not only the focus of the kitchen, but also the means of the family’s livelihood, she was transformed when she was introduced to the intricacies of food and wine during her honeymoon in France. It was there that her natural spirit of warmth and hospitality found new inspiration. The creative force behind the Merriam Vineyards Tasting Room, she hopes that guests leave Merriam Vineyard’s with feelings of generosity and abundance, reminiscent of her visits to the heart of France. A natural cook, her kitchen is where her family thrives. She also cultivates a garden every summer at their home in Maine, where she harvests a variety of vegetables.

Ray Apy ’89 is the former President and CEO of Annese & Associates, Inc., a tech solutions provider. As CEO he took the company from $50M in annual revenues to over $100M. In 2017, he sold the business to the $1.5B technology solution provider, ConvergeOne, Inc. He still works in the business today as a Vice President.

Outside of work, Apy serves on the board of directors for Syracuse, NY based software company Symphony Video, Inc., as well as on the New England College President’s Advisory Board. Together with his wife, Francine, they engage in many philanthropic activities as donors and active participants.

The Lee Clement ’49 Outstanding Alumni Volunteer Award

Inductee: Tom Farmen ’74

The Lee Clement ’49 Outstanding Alumni Award will be given to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding volunteer service, leadership, and commitment to goals in the spirit of the alumnus/a for whom it was named.

Thomas Farmen ’74 is the Headmaster Emeritus of Rumsey Hall School in Washington Depot, CT. He worked at the School since his graduation from New England College in 1974, was appointed Headmaster in 1985 and retired in 2016. A Trustee at New England College since 1999, Tom is a member of the Executive, Development, and Trusteeship Committees, and chairs the Audit Committee. Tom also serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of NEC Hockey.

In addition to his volunteer efforts at the College, Tom serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics of New Hampshire and is a member of the Development Committee for West Central Behavioral Health, a nonprofit, community-based, mental health organization serving the needs of individuals and families in New Hampshire’s lower Grafton and Sullivan Counties.

He and his wife, Ashley, have two grown sons. Farmen recently released his first book titled Bessie’s Story – Watching the Lights Go Out. A story about how a devoted dog’s advancing blindness provides timeless life-lessons on the art of aging gracefully.

William Troy Award

Inductee: TJ Whitelaw ’76

The William C. Troy Award is given in memory of William “Bill” Troy, Class of 1952, who was killed in action during the Korean conflict. The William C. Troy Award is presented in appreciation and esteem for dedicated service to New England College.

TJ Whitelaw holds Bachelor’s degrees from New England College in both Education and Sociology (Magna Cum Laude 1976) and an MBA from Northeastern University (1986). As an alumnus, Whitelaw served as Co-chair of the New England College Golf Classic for many years in addition to being involved in a variety of Alumni activities. In 2011, he joined the New England College Board of Trustees and currently serves as the Board’s Vice Chair, Chair of the Trusteeship Committee, Vice Chair of the Finance and Investment and the Academic Affairs Committees, and is also on the Enrollment and Student Engagement Committee. In addition to his New England College activities, Whitelaw served on the Board of Concord Country Club for many years and currently volunteers as an Ambassador at the Mount Sunapee Ski Area.

He was employed with Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP for over 27 years, moving on in 2005 to join Riverbed Technology as Director of Business Development. He and his wife, Jae ’75, have two adult daughters, Kate and Lindsay.

Tickets to the reception and dinner are $30. To register for The Evening of Excellence Dinner follow this link: