Francis H. Duehay Public Service Volunteer Award Presented at Cambridge Boards & Commissions Reception

Cambridge Board Volunteers Event

City officials recently held an appreciation reception at the Royal Sonesta for the more than 500 volunteers who serve on Cambridge Boards and Commissions. Plaques were presented to four recipients of the newly created Francis H. Duehay Public Service Volunteer Award.

The namesake of the award, Frank Duehay, is a former Mayor, City Councilor and educator, with a career in Cambridge city politics that spanned 36 years prior to retiring from public service in 2000.  A lifelong resident of Cambridge, Duehay graduated from Harvard University with a doctoral degree in Educational Administration and also occupied several different positions at the renowned institution, including Acting Director of Admissions in the Graduate School of Education, and Assistant Dean in the Graduate School of Education.  Duehay has served on the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities and as Vice President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.  After stepping down from politics, he still remained quite involved with his community and in 2010-11 chaired Celebrate CRLS, a yearlong initiative to engage the support of all constituencies associated with the high school, and the community in general, in an integrated, extended, and dynamic celebration of the school’s achievements, as well as those of current and former students. 

Recipients of the Francis H. Duehay Public Service Volunteer Award included Mercedes Evan, Bill King, Hugh Russell and Mertin Betts (award was posthumously presented and accepted by the Betts family).

Mertin Betts began his service on the Police Review and Advisory Board in 2004 and served as Chair until his recent passing.  Mertin was deeply committed to his community, always friendly and welcoming, and very helpful in training new commissioners.

Mercedes Evan was first appointed to the Human Rights Commission in 1989 and continues to serve presently. She is a former Chair of the Commission, has served as a Hearing Officer and is very helpful in her role of reviewing Commission determinations. Mercedes also helps trains new Commissioners and volunteers regularly at community outreach events.

Bill King was appointed to the Cambridge Historical Commission in 1973 and has served as Chair since 1986. He has attended over 500 meetings of the Historical Commission, and chaired about 360 of them. During his tenure, the Commission has carried out historic preservation agreements with Harvard University (1986) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2015), established conservation districts in Harvard Square and on Avon Hill, designated many individual buildings as landmarks, and preserved many buildings through the demolition delay procedure.

Hugh Russell has served on several city boards and committees over the years and has devoted thousands of hours of volunteer time to the city. He was appointed to the Planning Board in 1988 and continues to serve presently. He brings deep expertise in architecture and urban design and a real understanding of the essence of Cambridge – what makes this city unique and what is important to the character of different parts of the city.  Hugh’s involvement in other boards and committees included the Board of Zoning Appeal (1975 to 1985), Harvard Square Advisory Committee, CRA Design Review Committee, Citywide Growth Management Advisory Committee, Green Building Zoning Task Force, and the Rooftop Mechanicals Task Force.

Photo: Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi, former Cambridge Mayor Francis H. Duehay, Mercedes Evan, and Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher.



Page was posted on 5/8/2018 7:00 PM
Page was last modified on 2/7/2020 12:24 PM
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