top container

Headmaster Burke Receives Middlebury's Alumni Plaque Award

Headmaster Burke Receives Middlebury's Alumni Plaque Award

During his 50th Middlebury College Reunion on Saturday, June 10, Headmaster Bill Burke was presented with the 2023 Alumni Plaque award for his loyalty and many contributions to his alma mater. Every June during Reunion Convocation, the Alumni Plaque is awarded to two alumni for their exceptional service to Middlebury, its students, and alumni. 

Below is the citation read by Meg Storey Groves, Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Programs, during the Convocation:  

Bill was a hockey player at Middlebury and graduated with a degree in political science. A position as an English teacher, coach, and dorm head at Holderness School in New Hampshire launched Bill’s career in independent-school education. During his time at Holderness, he earned an M.A. in English from Boston College, had four sons with his wife, Patty, and returned to Middlebury to attend the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. Since 1990, Bill has served as the head of school at St. Sebastian’s in Needham, Massachusetts.  

Over the years, Bill has volunteered as an Alumni Admissions interviewer, served on his reunion committee, and kept his classmates connected. But his efforts on behalf of Middlebury have gone well beyond traditional volunteer service. Over the past two decades, Bill has frequently returned to share his belief in the power of sports and sportsmanship during J-Term classes, helping student athletes see how they can incorporate lessons learned as athletes at Middlebury into their lives as alumni. Bill has also generously hosted Middlebury events at St. Sebastian’s and entrusted the College with the education of his son Matt ’04, who met his wife while both were students. 

Bill’s Middlebury friendships have led to decades of reunions with hockey teammates, Delta Upsilon brothers, and even a long-running Middlebury Book Club that he and his friends started in 1997.  

In recognition of Bill’s generosity, kindness, and commitment to Middlebury, its students, and its alumni, we are honored to present him with the Alumni Plaque Award as he celebrates his 50th Reunion.

Photo (left to right): Davis Ellis '09, Alumni Association President, Headmaster Bill Burke, Middlebury College President Dr. Laurie Payton, and Meg Groves, Associate Vice President for Alumni and Parent Programs.