May 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.-Douglas C. Wilson '62, a resident of Amherst who retired after 27 years in the office of public affairs at Amherst College last November, will receive the college's Medal for Eminent Service at the college's commencement exercises on Sunday, May 25.
The Medal for Eminent Service is presented to an Amherst alumnus who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to his or her alma mater.
Wilson became associate secretary of the college in 1975, and in 1977 rose to the position of secretary. For the next 21 years carried the responsibility for college publications, Amherst magazine, the Amherst College Press, media relations and official events such as inaugurations, memorial services, convocations and commencements-including every annual commencement until this one. He was named college editor in 1998.
Wilson had worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal for 13 years, starting out in its Pawtucket, R.I., bureau and later being assigned to its news staffs in Newport, Providence and, from 1969 to 1975, in Washington, D.C. In 1975 he received the Merriam Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents Association for the first news report of President Nixon's decision to resign.
As an Amherst undergraduate Wilson had majored in history and was chairman of The Amherst Student. He earned an M.A. degree in international studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University in 1964. Wilson's historical essay "Web of Secrecy: Goffe, Whalley, and the Legend of Hadley" received the 1986 Walter Muir Whitehead Prize in Colonial History from the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
Wilson has been a member of the Western Massachusetts Broadcasting Council, and the Town of Amherst Historical Commission and Conservation Commission.
Founded in 1821, Amherst College is consistently ranked one of the nation's best colleges. Amherst enrolls 1,650 students from nearly every state and more than 40 other countries. Amherst offers the B.A. degree in 33 fields of study.