Everett Brown Carson ’69

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Citation for Everett Brown Carson, 2005 Common Good Award recipient.

"Everett Brown Carson of the Class of 1969, for nearly forty years you have been the very definition of an ethical and principled leader and have been a passionate advocate for the causes you believe to be right and true.  Your work over the years, as one colleague has noted, “will long outlast your footprint on this Earth.”

Born in rural Virginia, you grew to love Maine at a young age during trips to your family’s cabin in the north woods.  This affection helped you find Bowdoin College, and it was on this campus that you began your remarkable life as an activist and environmental warrior.

Your career as a Bowdoin student was interrupted by a two-year enlistment in the United States Marines and a five-month tour of duty in Vietnam.  You served your country and your comrades in arms with distinction until you were wounded in combat.  You returned to Bowdoin with a renewed focus.  It was this homecoming that sparked your rejuvenation as a leader, as you soon began organizing Maine veterans and students in the movement against the war.  In those volatile and difficult days you established yourself as a calm and sensible voice of reason, fiercely committed to your convictions but wise enough to respect the views on the other side of the battle.

In the winter of your final year at Bowdoin you sought the counsel of two of your most respected mentors, John Donovan and Paul Hazelton.  With their support, you made a run for one of Maine’s seats in Congress, and while you did not claim victory in that effort you made a remarkable showing on the ballot.  Undeterred, you quickly found other ways in which you could make a difference.

You served many students with little opportunity for higher education as a four-year teacher and counselor in Bowdoin’s Upward Bound program.  After earning your law degree from the University of Maine, you served many families with scant political voice or legal representation during your six years with Pine Tree Legal Assistance.  In 1983, you joined the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and you began the work that has defined your life ever since.

You have said that outside of your family, it is the environment for which you care the most.  Your tireless dedication to keeping Maine’s lakes, rivers, soil, and air clean and safe has proven this to be true.  Your staff agrees that the work you do “is so far beyond just being a job” for you.

You have been at the very front of the battle against mercury pollution, corporations whose by-products foul our air and water, dams that inhibit the flow of water and aquatic life in Maine’s rivers, and the development of the same north woods that drew you to Maine so many years ago.  Without your leadership, Maine would not have the effective and comprehensive recycling plan that it does today.  Your stewardship of the Natural Resources Council of Maine has fostered tremendous growth in the organization in terms of staffing, budget, and clout in Maine’s political landscape.

Everett Brown Carson, for your fearless leadership, undying commitment to fighting the good fight, and to the many battles you’ve won for the people and the environment of the state of Maine, we are honored to present you with the 2005 Common Good Award."

June 4, 2005