Following a two-year delay, seven winners of Middlebury College’s Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen’s Medal were awarded at an in-person ceremony on Tuesday, September 13th. Middlebury College President Laurie Patton presided over the event and noted that recipients of the 2020 and 2021 McCardell Citizen’s Award were being recognized for their “remarkable contributions to the community.”
“This celebration is a public recognition of the historic connections between the citizens of Middlebury and the college that grew from the town leaders’ vision more than two centuries ago,” Patton said. “During the College’s Bicentennial celebration in 2000, several community members received the first Citizen’s Medals in honor of their many contributions to the quality of life in Addison County. Since then, the college has continued to host a dinner each year where it honors outstanding local citizens with medals. These awards were renamed the Bonnie and John McCardell Citizen’s Awards in 2009 to recognize their generosity and their remarkable contributions to this community for over 30 years.”
Patton went on to say, “The McCardell Citizen’s Award program celebrates this special relationship between Middlebury College and its community by honoring individuals who have made notable contributions to the life of Addison County with no expectation of reward or recognition,” adding, “their selflessness and dedication is inspiring.”
Every recipient of the Citizen’s Award receives a locally crafted medallion from Danforth Pewter. Patton remarked, “With the addition of these honored tonight, we now have awarded 87 medals to local citizens.” The honorees for 2021 included Laura Asermily, Kelly Hickey and Tom Scanlon. Glenn Andres, Sadie Brightman, Amy Mason and Langrock attorney Emily Joselson were the recipients for 2020.
“These individuals have given so much of themselves so that all of us can live and grow in a stronger, healthier, safer and more connected community,” Patton said.
Patton’s comments of honoree Emily Joselson were as follows:
Emily Joselson, partner in the law firm Langrock Sperry & Wool, you have long been a champion for those members of our community who are typically underserved and needful of help. Your concern for the hungry, sick, homeless, and mistreated is evident in the many local organizations that have benefited from your service as a volunteer or on their boards. You were a board member of the Parent/Child Center for over 20 years, served as a co-chair of the Addison County Hunger Council, served on the board of Addison County Home Health and Hospice, and have consistently volunteered for Standing Up for Racial Justice and the Middlebury Task Force on Homelessness.
Recognizing your dedication to just causes, Governor Madeleine Kunin appointed you to the Vermont Human Rights Commission, which you chaired from 1991 to 2000. Your care for your neighbors has extended to your law practice, where you have consistently represented vulnerable individuals and groups of people who have needed your calm strength and knowledge to advocate for them and help bring about justice.
As a dedicated, perceptive member of our community, you realized when a need to address factious disputes and incivility within our midst became urgent. You co-created a series of events in 2017 called Community Conversations, public meetings where an expert or panel of experienced and knowledgeable citizens led discussions on issues ranging from racism and gun violence to hate speech and protection for migrant farmworkers. You also saw a need in the community for a place for young people to gather and cofounded Addison Central Teens in 2008. You found space, staff, and funding to start it, an effort that included visiting every select board in Addison County and attending town meetings to garner support. You have also served on the board of Havurah, the Jewish Congregation, for almost 30 years.
You are an exemplary model of what a caring, concerned citizen should be, and for your work addressing inequality and division in our town and state, it is our pleasure to honor you tonight.
To read Angelo Lynn’s Addison Independent article in its entirety and hear Patton’s remarks to the other honorees: https://www.addisonindependent.com/2022/09/15/seven-receive-mccardell-citizens-awards/