Campus News

Sandy Sistare '50 Recognized for Alumni Service

Story posted June 07, 2005

Sandy Sistare.

Sanford R. "Sandy" Sistare of Brunswick, Bowdoin Class of 1950, has been recognized by the Bowdoin Alumni Council with the 2005 Alumni Service Award, presented June 4 during Reunion weekend.

The Alumni Service Award is the highest honor given by the Alumni Council to a Bowdoin volunteer. Established in 1932, it is presented annually to the individual whose volunteer service to the College is most deserving of recognition.

Sandy Sistare has demonstrated exemplary loyalty and service to his alma mater. His devotion to Bowdoin is boundless and his mark on the College is indelible. For decades he has shared that enthusiasm with alumni, none dearer than his beloved classmates. Along with fellow members of the self-named "Biggest and Best" Class of 1950, Sistare has been a fixture at Bowdoin events large and small.

A graduate of Berkshire School, Sistare was an active student while at Bowdoin, serving as varsity football manager, on the Campus Chest Executive Committee, and as a member of the Interfraternity Athletic Council. A member of the Zeta Psi fraternity, he served on its executive committee and as house secretary.

Following graduation and four years in the U.S. Air Force, he earned a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, then taught for several years in Philadelphia area day schools. He later joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as director of public relations. In 1968, he returned to academe at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, where he held numerous teaching and administrative posts, including director of admissions and dean of students. Upon his retirement in 1989, he and his wife, Mary, moved to Brunswick.

With a seemingly limitless affection for Bowdoin, Sistare has volunteered for the College in multiple ways. He was director of the Bicentennial Committee, leading a volunteer group through a yearlong celebration of the College's heritage. He has been chairman of many Reunion Committees of the Class of 1950, which has celebrated together at each Reunion Weekend since its fifth reunion. Sistare's enthusiasm was never more evident than in 2000. His creative leadership led to a spirited 50th reunion, replete with fife-and-drum corps, class auction, memorial service, tree planting, and, as always, clickers, the small noisemakers that classmates have used for years in lieu of applause. To ensure that the clicker legacy endures, Sistare and classmates distributed commemorative clickers to the Class of 2000 at their Commencement.

He also served as alumni marshal for the Commencement ceremonies. He has served twice as Class Agent, first from 1966 to 1976, and again from 1990 until the present. In 1976, he was elected to a four-year term on the Alumni Council, with committee assignments including the College-wide Committee for South Africa. Since returning to Brunswick, Sistare has served as a member of the Career Advisory Network, conducting interviews on campus with seniors interested in teaching. He has been a capital campaign volunteer, president of the Zeta Psi house corporation board, volunteer women's hockey coach, and a member of the Bravo! Committee, which raised funds for the renovation of Pickard Theater. He is a past winner of the Foot Soldier of Bowdoin Award (2001), given to an alumnus for unselfish service, and the Robert M. Cross Award (2000) for his excellent service to the Alumni Fund.

Long an active volunteer in his community, Sistare has been highly involved in the Brunswick area as treasurer of the Oratorio Chorale and secretary of the Midcoast Hospital Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Cultural Committee of the Brunswick Comprehensive Plan, the Midcoast Senior Health Center building committee, and the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Statue Committee. He is a volunteer for the Maine State Music Theatre, the Appletree Homeowners' Corporation, the Brunswick Rotary Club, and the Maine Maritime Museum.

He and Mary are the parents of five children: Debra S. Holsapple '76, Arthur M. Sistare, Julia R. Helferich, Willard M. Sistare, and Jonathan B. Sistare. They have 11 grandchildren. He is the uncle of Francis W.P. Littleton '76.

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