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Andrew W. Kendall, 1983
Doctor of Humane Letters
Andrew Kendall is president of The Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to “preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.” The organization now owns more than 25,000 acres of historical buildings, woodlands, parks, gardens, waterfalls, coastline and other areas, and it protects these “reservations” from development and environmental degradation.
Kendall grew up in Sharon, Mass., where family hiking and snowshoeing excursions helped him develop an affinity for the natural world. After earning bachelor’s degrees in astronomy and economics from Amherst and then an M.B.A. from Harvard, he worked for two manufacturing companies. But he missed working with local communities and experiencing the great outdoors. “I decided to try to combine my business [and management] skills with my commitment to the environment,” he said in a 2000 interview for the Harvard Business School Bulletin.
He joined the New Hampshire Audubon Society and eventually became its executive vice president. Then he shifted focus to Honduras, Belize and Costa Rica, where he led efforts toward carbon sequestration and sustainable, community-based harvesting of hardwood trees. In 1996, he returned to Massachusetts to work with its Audubon Society on a $10 million effort to redevelop part of an abandoned hospital site and to oversee the development of a 70-acre nature education facility for low-income youth. Kendall assumed his current role with The Trustees of Reservations in 2000. Since then, the organization has doubled its membership, expanded its land protection and undertaken not only the largest capital campaign in its own history but the largest environmental campaign in the history of Massachusetts.
In 2009, the Barr Foundation awarded Kendall a three-year fellowship for his “extraordinary work in broadening support for conservation and for strengthening bonds between urban residents and neighborhood land” in the Boston area. Kendall is also chairman of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and a trustee of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.
Listen to Conversations with Honored Guests, talks by honorary degree recipients.