Submitted on Tuesday, 4/10/2012, at 3:40 PM

April 3, 2012

AMHERST, Mass.—Businessman George W. Carmany III, a member of Amherst College’s Class of 1962, will receive the school’s Medal for Eminent Service during its commencement exercises on Sunday, May 20. The award is presented to a member of the Amherst community who has demonstrated exceptional devotion to the college.


Carmany, who operates an advisory business in financial services and life sciences, is a director of the Macquarie Infrastructure Company; a senior adviser to Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, EnGeneIC Ltd. and The Asia Link Group of Beijing; and a member of the Educational Advisory Committee of the Harvard Medical School. He has served as a class officer and a member of the Alumni Council for his alma mater and is vice president of the Society of the Alumni for 2011–12. He has volunteered to participate in the college’s two most recent capital campaigns and, in 2009, founded and organized, along with classmate Gerald R. Fink, Amherst’s annual Fink Bioscience Symposium, which “enables students who aspire to careers in health care policy, medicine and bioscience research to interact with Amherst alumni who are leaders in these fields.” Already a recipient of a 2001 Distinguished Service Award from Amherst, he is also an Amherst College parent: His son, Bill, graduated in 1995.

In a letter congratulating Carmany on the honor, Amherst College President Biddy Martin said the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to award Carmany the medal in recognition of his “extraordinary contributions to the life of Amherst College over many years.” “Your reputation as a passionate, dedicated, and effective volunteer is well earned, and your efforts on Amherst’s behalf are admired,” she wrote. “You are one of Amherst’s finest.” 

Originally from New York, Carmany graduated from Amherst with a degree in political science. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1962 to 1966, he began his business career with Bankers Trust Company in its International Banking Department. Starting in the mid-1970s, he held senior positions at the American Express Company and its investment management and private banking subsidiary, The Boston Company.

Carmany retired as a director of Sun Life Financial in 2010 and, until 2005, was chair and CEO of Helicon Therapeutics. He is a former chair of The New England Medical Center and of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He is also a member of The Presidents’ Circle of the National Academies and a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of Bentley University.

Each year, the Amherst College Board of Trustees, in consultation with the secretary of the Society of the Alumni, selects a recipient of the Medal for Eminent Service, which is awarded at Amherst’s commencement ceremony. The medal was established in 1934 as a means of recognizing exceptional and distinguished service to the college for a great period of time, often in a variety of areas.