Honorary Degree Recipients William L. (Bill) & Joan Alfond
Commencement Speaker William L. (Bill) Alfond
This year’s Commencement Speaker and Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree recipient is William L. (Bill) Alfond, a successful businessman, a committed philanthropist and a devoted family man. The third of Harold and Bibby Alfond’s four children, Bill was born in Waterville, attended Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA, and is a graduate of Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA and Colby College. Upon his graduation from Colby, Bill forged his own path of success in business and has never looked back. As a senior executive of the family-owned Dexter Shoe Company, Bill’s expertise was sharpened in all areas of business management including production, finance, inventory management, customer service, sales, marketing and brand management.
Also receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree is Bill’s wife, Joan, who has long had a personal commitment to youth education and assisting international students adjust to life away from home. Born in Eastport, Maine to Allison and Ellen Loring, Joan is a graduate of House in the Pines High School in Norton, MA, and the University of Cincinnati with degrees in elementary education.
In 1986, Bill and Joan created the William and Joan Alfond Foundation, which supports education, health care and charitable institutions in Maine and Massachusetts. Bill is active in a number of community and educational organizations including serving on the boards of Educare Central Maine, the USA Biathlon Committee, alma maters Governor’s Academy and Colby College, and two family enterprises – the Harold Alfond Foundation and Dexter Enterprises, Inc. An owner of the Boston Red Sox, Bill is an unabashed fan of all New England sports teams and will be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2015. Bill follows in the footsteps of his father’s election in 1992 – the first father and son combination ever inducted into Maine’s Hall.
Joan is a co-founder of Concierge for Students, a “Mom away from home” organization that for the past twenty-five years, has assisted thousands of international students from over forty counties through the maze of an American education to help them become independent and self-sufficient people in an ever changing world. In addition, Joan is a Director with the Boston Red Sox Foundation.
Now residents of Boston, Bill and Joan spend as much time as possible enjoying their three children and six grandchildren, life in Maine on Belgrade Lakes and at Sugarloaf Mountain, and enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, golf and skiing. But what remains at their core is their unbridled passion for providing educational opportunities for the youth of northern New England.
Honorary Degree Recipients Henry and Ellen Hinman
Also receiving Honorary Doctor of Humane Letter degrees are Henry and Ellen Hinman.
The Hinmans became involved with Thomas College after hearing, seeing, and witnessing the College’s positive impact on students, families, and employees throughout central Maine. With core values that align closely with Thomas’ mission, Henry and Ellen believe that education is truly the only way to improve quality of life for all of us and for future generations.
Their impact on Thomas College and its students has been transformative, and Hinman Hall is named in their honor.
2015 Convocation Speaker Bill Dubay ’72
Alumnus William “Bill” Dubay ’72 has served on the Thomas College Board of Trustees since 1993. He is a business consultant, working with a variety of companies to rethink and reconfigure operating and growth strategies.
As a Thomas student, Bill commuted to campus from nearby Winslow. He was a working student, attending classes during the mornings and working in the afternoons. While he began his academic career majoring in Business Education, Bill was motivated by his work with Waterville retailer Stearns Department Store, and quickly learned about retail buying. He realized that he wanted to apply his education to operations and management.
Following his Thomas graduation, Bill went on to work in a variety of companies, starting out in ski retail at Peter Webber Ski Shops, and eventually moving on to Sabre Yachts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and then Brunswick Technologies and Saint Gobain. Currently he is working with the Curran Company and Baxter Brewing.
Says Dubay, “I believe Thomas’s mission is to educate students for the business of life. Whether you’re a school teacher, a Vermont state trooper – whatever career you choose – you still have to bank, you still have to buy insurance. You are always going to be in business for yourself. The ability to learn the fundamentals of business can help you work anywhere, in any field.”
Bill and his wife Paula reside in Auburn.
At the Class Reception, alumni couple TJ ’11, MBA ’11 and Casey (Trask) Collins ’11 will be the featured speakers. TJ and Casey are both employed at Haemonetics in Massachusetts, a medical services corporation, and are active Thomas alumni. They met at Thomas and married in 2014.