With countless notable alumni/ae of both Browne & Nichols and Buckingham Browne & Nichols, choosing the recipients of distinguished alumni/ae awards every year is difficult. This year, the committee chose to recognize the Honorable Nathaniel Gorton ’56, James P. Collins IV ’05, Elizabeth Clay Roy ’98, and Trentwell M. White ’50 for their respective legacies.
The 2023 winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award was the Honorable Nathaniel Gorton, an esteemed federal judge. Gorton attended Browne & Nichols school under the former Head of School Edwin Pratt, where he developed lifelong skills and memories. The judge spoke about how things had changed—like the size and name of the school— and how they’d stayed the same, like its dedicated faculty and staff and exceptional students. Addressing the onlooking current students, Gorton expressed gratitude and noted that BB&N teaches life lessons that they’ll still be learning, even 70 years after graduation.
The Young Alumni Award went to James P. Collins IV, a climate strategist dedicated to providing energy-efficient programs to low-income households in the Boston area. Collins relayed his three tips to have a successful career: surround yourself with people who support and challenge you (as his former baseball coach at BB&N did), try new things, and don’t be afraid to fail, and once you find what you enjoy, commit. Through mentorship and trial and error in his educational career, he found his true calling working on climate solutions.
Former BB&N teacher, Lewis Bryant is the namesake of the award given to Elizabeth Clay Roy ’98 to recognize BB&N alumni/ae who have demonstrated a deep and lasting commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and community engagement, and have made a positive impact on the local, national, or international community. Bryant supported Roy and many other students through the years to be their authentic selves and for Roy, that meant embracing her identity and passion for politics. Roy is the CEO of Generation Citizen, an organization that educates students to become active participants in our democracy. She emphasized the importance of the current moment and urged members of Generation Z to push back on recent attacks on our democracy through the censoring of educational resources.
Finally, the winner of the BB&N Medal, an award that began in 2020 to recognize an alumni/ae that represents the school motto of “honor, scholarship, kindness.” This year’s winner was Trentwell M. White ’50, who unfortunately couldn’t attend the ceremony, but still received thunderous applause for his achievements.
Alumni/ae like these are just a small sample of the extraordinary things that BB&N students can do after soaking up all that the school has to offer. They are a reminder that at any age, our students have the ability to make an impact on their community, and the world.
Click here for a gallery from the ceremony.