Published February 25, 2020 by Bowdoin News

Bowdoin College Announces 2020 Honorary Degree Recipients

Bowdoin will bestow four honorary degrees at its 215th Commencement exercises to be held Saturday, May 23, 2020, on the Quad in front of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

2020 honorary degree recipients
(L. to r.) Edward P. Ames, Deborah Jensen Barker ’80, P’16, Ann M. Fudge, William F. Lee P’00

Edward P. “Ted” Ames has been a commercial fisherman, scientific researcher, educator, and advocate for marine conservation and for sustainable fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. His contributions to an understanding of the historical, ecological, and economic factors that are connected to the decline of ground fisheries in the North Atlantic earned him a 2005 MacArthur Foundation grant.

Ames grew up on Vinalhaven Island on the central Maine coast and has fished for sixty years (lobstering; ground fishing by tub trawling, gillnetting, and dragging; shrimping; scalloping; and shark fishing). After high school, he served in the US Navy. He earned an MS in biochemistry at the University of Maine at Orono (UMO) in 1971 and taught chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental science at UMO and at Mt. Desert Island High School. He returned to fishing until stocks collapsed in the mid-1990s. Ames turned his efforts to bringing back cod, haddock, and flounder in the eastern Gulf of Maine and to documenting the historical distribution of spawning grounds and fisheries by mapping more than a century’s worth of recorded catches and interviews with fishermen. His historical approach to fisheries ecology demonstrated that cod and other species existed in localized stocks which, once depleted, were not replaced by recruitment from adjacent areas. He also identified the importance of river- spawning species such as alewives for ground fish populations.

Ames has been a leader and activist for sustainable fisheries as the executive director of the Maine Gillnetters Association, a member of the national Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, marine resources director for the Island Institute, president and laboratory director of Alden/Ames Laboratory, and director of the Stonington Fisheries Alliance and the Zone C. Lobster Council. He was one of the founders of the Penobscot East Resource Center (now the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries). He retired from the Center’s board of directors in January of 2019.

Ames was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Maine at Machias. In the 2010–2011 academic year, he was the coastal studies scholar at Bowdoin and a member of the Maine Rivers, Estuaries and Coastal Fisheries Project, a collaboration among Bowdoin, Bates, University of Southern Maine, University of Maine, and Penobscot East Resource Center.

Ames lives in Stonington with his wife, Robin Alden, who is also a prominent member of the marine conservation community.

Deborah Jensen Barker, of the Class of 1980, has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the College for twenty years (from 1999 until 2019). In 2013, she became the first woman to serve as chair of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, and during her tenure (2013­­–2016) she oversaw the transition to a new president of the College. Her role as board chair, and as chair of the former Financial Planning Committee, a member of the former Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, the former Information and Technology Committee, and the former Audit Committee, the Governance Committee, the Committee on Inclusion, the Resources Committee, and most recently as chair of the Governance Review Task Force, underscore the transformations that have strengthened the College over the past two decades.

Barker has a long record of service to Bowdoin and in a broad range of areas. As an undergraduate, she was class secretary and treasurer, was a senior class admissions interviewer, and a member of the Student Judiciary Board. In 1980, she graduated cum laude, with a double major in mathematics and Romance languages. Since her graduation, she has served on the Alumni Council, as class agent, a gift planning agent, and a member of the reunion committees for her class, and as a member of BRAVO (Bowdoin Regional Admissions Volunteer Organization). In 2005, she received the President’s Award for Leadership in BASIC. As a trustee, she cochaired the Bowdoin Campaign (2004–2009), which raised $294 million. In 2008, she and her husband established the Barker Family Scholarship Fund to encourage diversity in the student body. In 2012, she was a speaker at the annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon. Over the years, Barker has given generously of her time, talents, and resources to her alma mater.

Barker earned an MBA from Harvard University in 1985 and for ten years was a managing director for Prudential Securities. For ten years she was a volunteer college counselor at the Chad Science Academy. She has been a trustee of NJ SEEDS, the Pingry School, and the Student/Partner Alliance. She is currently a trustee of The Hyde and Watson Foundation, a member of the Hestia Fund, and vice chair of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. She and her husband, Randy, have two sons: Lee, who is a member of the Class of 2016, and James.

Ann M. Fudge is the former chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, a global network of marketing communications companies. A native of Washington, DC, she graduated from Simmons College in 1973 with a BA in management. Fudge earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1977 and later joined General Mills in Minnesota and was promoted to marketing director in 1983. In 1986, she accepted a position with Kraft Foods, and in 1994 Kraft Foods appointed her as president of the Maxwell House coffee brand, making her the first African American woman to head a major corporate division. In 2001, one year after becoming president of Kraft’s beverages, desserts, and Post division, Fudge retired from the company. After a two-year sabbatical, during which she deepened her involvement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Fudge returned to the corporate world as the chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, remaining in that role until 2007.

A committed philanthropist focused on education and youth, Fudge has been a trustee at Morehouse College and on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Harvard Overseers, and Simmons College. She was named chair of the board of trustees for WGBH Public Media in March 2019, and also currently serves on the boards of Novartis, Northrup Grumman, and Senior Trustee at Brookings.

Fudge has also served as chair of the US Programs Advisory Board of the Gates Foundation and as a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and as a member of the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Fudge has also served on the boards of the New York Philharmonic, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, General Electric, Unilever, and Infosys, in addition to serving on the Harvard Corporation Finance Committee and on the board of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In 2008, Fudge joined President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign finance committee and, in 2010, became a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Association of Corporate Directors Hall of Fame. Fudge has received achievement awards from Ebony, the Executive Leadership Council, and the Harvard Alumni Association. She was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. A former president of the Executive Leadership Council, Fudge was honored in 2005 with the establishment of the Ann Fudge Scholars program, which, to date, has supported the education of eigthty-five young women at historically black colleges and universities. She helped establish the H. Naylor Fitzhugh Chair at Harvard Business School, and she and her husband, Richard Fudge (Bowdoin Class of 1972), have also set up scholarships at Bowdoin College and Simmons College.

William F. Lee, a leading trial and appellate lawyer and intellectual property litigator, is a partner at the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1972, he went on to earn a JD, magna cum laude, from Cornell University, and an MBA, with distinction, in 1976. He began his legal career at the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr in 1976, became a senior partner in 1984, and was named managing partner in 2000. Lee played an instrumental role in the merger with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in 2004. He was an associate counsel in the independent counsel’s office Iran-Contra investigation from 1987­–1989 and led an investigation of alleged incidents of racial bias at the request of the Massachusetts attorney general.

 Lee has established a brilliant legal career, handling high-profile cases on patent infringement (smartphones), remote data storage, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, and genetically engineered food. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he has been appointed to many committees that evaluate the administration of the judiciary on the federal and state levels. As the Eli Goldston Lecturer on Law, he has been a member of the Harvard Law School faculty for fifteen years. He was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers in 2002, a fellow of the Harvard Corporation in 2010, and a senior fellow of the corporation in 2014. His many contributions to Harvard include membership of the visiting committees for the Law School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a committee convened to examine the relations of the university’s police department with the community. Recently he led Harvard’s defense of its admissions policies against charges that it discriminates against Asian American applicants. As the first Asian American to lead one of the nation’s largest law firms, and the first Asian American to be a member of the Harvard Corporation, Lee navigated the turbulent waters of legal and public opinion to a favorable outcome for Harvard—and for other colleges and universities that face scrutiny of their admissions policies.

Lee and his wife, Leslie, have three children and five grandchildren. Their son William Christopher Lee is a member of the Class of 2000, and their daughter-in-law Sophia Mendoza is a member of the class of 2002.