Montpelier — Thursday evening the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees inducted its second alumni Hall of Fame class and raised over $110,000 for student scholarships.
The VSC Hall of Fame Class of 2017, left to right: Darren Perron, Stephanie Thompson, Gary Moore, Peter Smith, Robert Babcock Jr. (seated), Jay Fayette, Alice Whiting, Marty Babcock
“The strong show of support for the Vermont State Colleges and our students exceeded our expectations. We are very grateful for the recognition of the critical role the VSC plays in the state’s economy and in opening doors of opportunity for Vermonters,” said VSC Chancellor Jeb Spaulding.
The event drew over 300 to Montpelier’s Capital Plaza Hotel, where seven honorees were inducted into the Vermont State Colleges’ Hall of Fame. College presidents introduced their alumni awardees and Governor Phil Scott gave the Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Dr. Peter Smith, a founder of the Community College of Vermont. Dr. Robert Babcock, the first Chancellor of the VSCS, posthumously received the second Award for Extraordinary Contribution for his visionary leadership and service to Vermont. His daughter Marty Babcock received the award on his behalf.
Former State Senator and longtime Johnson State College faculty member William Doyle received recognition from the Board for his distinguished service to the college system. Chancellor Spaulding announced that $2,500 of the Hall of Fame event proceeds will go to the William T. Doyle Scholarship Endowment at Johnson State College.
2017 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees are:
Castleton University: Darron Perron (‘95)
Perron graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media Communications. He now anchors the WCAX-Channel 3 News at 6 and 11 p.m. Perron went to WCAX in 1995, where he worked as a weekend anchor for nearly a decade before replacing longtime anchor Marselis Parsons. Perron has received several awards including an Emmy, the VAB Broadcaster of the Year Award, nine Edward R. Murrow Awards, and twelve Associated Press Awards.
Community College of Vermont: Stephanie Thompson (’07)
Thompson exemplifies leadership through a demonstrated commitment to her community. She is a member of Springfield’s Project ACTION (Assembling Community to Improve Our Neighborhoods), which is working to address the opiate epidemic. She is Executive Director of the Springfield Prevention Coalition, Town Administrator for Londonderry, Vice Chair of the Springfield Select Board, and board member of Emerge VT. Thompson teaches for CCV.
Johnson State College: Alice Whiting (’56)
Professor Whiting has had an exceptional career in education in Vermont, New England, and beyond. Her career spanned 50 years of teaching, including nine years at the elementary level and 41 years at Johnson State College (1965-2006). She impacted the lives of thousands of graduates as a teacher and department chair, and through her guidance of licensure students. Whiting is well known for her leadership in local, state, and regional educational organizations.
Lyndon State College: Gary W. Moore (’71)
Gary Moore was the recipient of Lyndon’s 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, and the Student Veterans Center was named in his honor in 2015. Moore was first appointed to the VSCS Board of Trustees in 1991, serving as chair from 2006 until 2014. He supported the work of three chancellors and 16 presidents. Moore is president of Gary W. Moore Associates, assisting municipalities, state agencies, and industry in community and government relations and emergency planning and training.
Vermont Technical College: Jay Fayette (’85)
Fayette graduated from Vermont Technical College in 1985 with an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology. He serves as a corporate officer and senior vice president at PC Construction. Jay is also a founding partner and chief operations officer for Tech Group and Tech Vault. He serves on the Board of Directors for KidSafe Collaborative of Chittenden County, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Spectrum Family & Youth Services, and the Vermont State College Alumni Council.
2017 VSC Board of Trustee’s Awards for Extraordinary Contribution went to:
Dr. Peter P. Smith
Smith is the founding president of Community College of Vermont, serving from 1970-1978. He traveled the state to promote the alternative education option that would become community-based education for many Vermonters who otherwise would not have an opportunity to go to college. Dr. Smith also served as a state senator for Washington County and then as Lieutenant Governor of Vermont for two terms, continuing to support education for all Vermonters. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. Since leaving federal office Dr. Smith has served as the dean of graduate education for George Washington University, and then became the founding president of California State University, Monterey Bay. He also served as assistant director general for education of UNESCO.
Dr. Robert S. Babcock
Babcock blended his interests in academic affairs and political activities by teaching as an admired professor of political science at the University of Vermont, serving in the Vermont House and Senate, as Lieutenant Governor under Governor Robert Stafford and as Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs for Governor Joseph Johnson. Dr. Babcock was appointed by the VSCS Board of Trustees as the first CEO (Provost) to be in charge of the state colleges at Lyndon, Johnson and Castleton. It was his priority to transform all three schools, into larger and more broad-based liberal arts colleges, providing quality education at affordable cost. Babcock also initiated the formation of the Community College of Vermont during his tenure. After retiring as provost in 1974, Babcock returned to the State House, where he represented South Burlington as a representative from 1976 through 1980. Later in life Dr. Babcock and his wife, Anne, donated the Babcock Nature Preserve, 1,000 acres of boreal forest to Johnson State College.
For further information about the VSC Hall of Fame inductees or the VSC Foundation, please visit www.vsc.edu.