Campus News

Kathy Billings Presented With Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff

Story posted June 04, 2002

To read about other awards presented during Reunion click the links below:
Common Good Award: Hanley Denning '92
Distinguished Educator Award: Ray Kierstead '56
Alumni Service Award: Bob Morrell '47

Katharine W. Billings, director of donor relations, was presented the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff June 1, during Reunion Weekend.

The award is presented each year "for service and devotion to Bowdoin, recognizing that the College in a larger sense includes both students and alumni."

For twelve years Kathy Billings has created lasting memories and powerfully moving tributes celebrating the history and traditions of Bowdoin College. Her work has made many of the College's events meaningful to returning alumni, parents, and friends and has garnered the praise and admiration of colleagues across the campus.

Billings graduated from Brown University magna cum laude with a degree in anthropology and was drawn to Washington, D.C., where she began a career working for non-profit agencies. While at the Smithsonian Institution, she earned a master's degree from George Washington University in museum studies. Returning to New England, she began work for several of midcoast Maine's most prominent organizations - for Maine Audubon, for the Maine Maritime Museum, and for the Pejepscot Historical Society, as its executive director.

She came to Bowdoin in 1989 as a researcher and writer. She coordinated the Association of Bowdoin Friends, which links the College to hundreds of Brunswick area residents. In 1991, she became director of Bowdoin's Bicentennial celebration and for the next three years, oversaw a celebration of the College's first 200 years. As Bicentennial director, she worked with scores of alumni volunteers and staff on 16 committees. She was the chief architect of festivities ranging from academic symposia and artistic performances to a James Bowdoin birthday party.

As Bowdoin's first director of donor relations, she has established important links between alumni and students. The Report of Gifts annually chronicles the meaningful and inspirational stories of those who support the College. The Scholarship Luncheon brings together donors and financial aid recipients, strengthening the bonds between those who support Bowdoin's best students and the young scholars in need.

It is her gift of creativity that will endure in the events she continues to orchestrate. She has overseen ceremonies to commemorate the openings of new and renovated facilities - from the Coastal Studies Center to Wish Theater - and milestone moments, from a capital campaign finale to a farewell to a president. Colleagues marvel at her fine attention to detail and her flair for combining Bowdoin's past and future. For the opening of Chamberlain Hall, she asked biographer John J. Pullen H'58 to sign copies of his work on the famed general for the students living there for the first time. For the re-opening of Searles Science Building, a performance troupe defied physics with their deft juggling arts.

Billings remains committed to her community, volunteering for the First Parish Church, Freeport Historical Society, the town of Brunswick, and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. She is a devoted and loving mother to her sons, Ben and Will.

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