NRS Award and Whitaker Service Medallion recognize significant contributions to RIT

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Elizabeth Torgerson-Lamark

The 2009 Nathaniel Rochester Society Award recipients Ann Sevier-Buckingham and William Buckingham were honored at a July 9 celebration. The Buckinghams are shown above with Bill Destler, RIT President, at left, and Larry Lovejoy, chair of the Nathanial Rochester Society Awards Committee, at right.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Nathaniel Rochester Society has given its highest honor to Bill Buckingham and Anne Sevier-Buckingham, residents of Rochester.

The presentation of the 2009 NRS Award was made on July 9 during a ceremony at the RIT Center for Student Innovation. The annual honor recognizes individuals who have contributed to the university’s advancement in an outstanding and significant manner.

Bill Buckingham has been a part of the RIT Family since the early 1960s. He is a 1964 alumnus of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business with a B.A. in business administration. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1979, including serving as the first alumnus chairman from 1997 to 2002. He has also been honored as the distinguished alumnus for the Saunders College of Business in 1976 and the RIT Outstanding Alumnus in 1983.

Bill Buckingham is a life member of the Nathaniel Rochester Society and has been a long-time advocate for the university’s mission and its students. He was a member of the National Alumni Council, the precursor to the Alumni Association. He served as alumni chair of the Access to the Future campaign, and he was a Top 75 Regional Division Chair for the Mathematics, Science & Technology Campaign. Most recently, he served as co-chair of the Powered by the Future campaign.

Anne Buckingham has also been a valued advocate for RIT, serving as a director for the NTID Foundation, and a member of RIT’s Women’s Council. The Buckinghams are members of RIT’s Ellingson Society and have supported a wide range of initiatives at the university, including the Buckingham American College Scholarship, the Mathematics, Science & Technology Campaign, the Science Lab Facility, the M.R. Rose NRS Scholarship, the RIT Trustee Fund and the Schmitt Interfaith Chapel.

Whitaker Service Medallion

The Nathaniel Rochester Society also presented the Whitaker Service Medallion to Jay and Lauren Judson of Victor.

The Whitaker Service Medallion acknowledges leadership displayed throughout years of service to RIT. The medallion is named for RIT trustee Gaylord “Gee” Whitaker, who founded the organization in 1967 and served as its first chair. The Nathaniel Rochester Society recognizes RIT’s most generous supporters and encourages a closer bond between the university and members of the community.

The Judsons have been active society members since 1988. They have served together on many of the organization’s leadership committees, including the Membership Committee (1991), Program Committee (2001-2005) the Executive Committee (2001-2003) and the Awards Committee (2001-2003).

They were co-chairs of the NRS Awards Committee (1999-2000) and the Program Committee (2001-2003). They helped lead the organization as vice-chairs from 2003-2005, co-chairs from 2005-2007 and co-chairs of the Executive Committee from 2005-2007.

In addition to their service to the organization, the Judsons have also advocated for RIT in other capacities. Jay Judson served on the Rochester Presidential Search Forum in 2006 and the Civil Engineering Lab Fundraising Committee during the Powered by the Future campaign. Lauren Judson is a member of the RIT Women’s Council. Both have been loyal supporters of RIT’s students through the T.F. Judson Sr. NRS Scholarship, the NRS general scholarship fund, the Gordon Field House and Activities Center, and the RIT Athletic Association.

The mission of the Nathaniel Rochester Society is to develop friends and ambassadors to promote and support RIT. The NRS Award, established in 1972, has been permanently endowed through the generous gift of Mr. and Mrs. Marcus N. Barbour, charter members of the society.

The NRS Award presentation piece is the creation of Leonard Urso, an internationally recognized, award-winning silversmith and the Mowris Mulligan Distinguished Professor in RIT’s School for American Crafts. The award, contemporary in design, embodies the timeless values of past, present and future.