The BBC is proud to announce that we have renamed our Young Birder’s Scholarship as the Bill Drummond Young Birder’s Scholarship, in honor of one of our club’s most important and most inspiring leaders. Bill was a lifelong birder who learned to identify birds while growing up in Youngstown, Ohio. After his graduation from John Carroll University in 1965, he won a scholarship to attend Boston College, where he received his M.A., and started his career teaching mathematics at Malden Catholic High School. He served the BBC for four decades, as trip leader, board member from 1975 to 2003, bulletin editor and field trip coordinator from 1975 to 1985, and as club president from 1987 to 1989. Best known for leading an astonishing number of club trips, he was admired by countless club members for his enthusiasm, teaching skills, and helpfulness in nurturing beginning birders of all ages. Many BBC members will never forget Bill urging them to maintain their “birding intensity” and to “get on this bird if it’s the last thing you ever do!” In addition to field trips around Massachusetts, he led BBC members on private trips around the country and around the world. At a 2014 members’ meeting, five years before his death, the BBC recognized and celebrated Bill’s tremendous contributions to our club.
The naming of our annual scholarship program is a fitting tribute to Bill. As a BBC leader and as a much beloved math teacher at Andover High School for forty years, he dedicated much of his life to teaching and guiding young people through life. Birding brought him a wide circle of friends as well as his wife Barbara, a dedicated teacher herself, who met Bill on a BBC trip and married him in 1980. Barbara came to realize over the years that “Bill loved birds, but more than that, he loved showing birds to people. It was the human connection that motivated him.”
The BBC scholarship program, initiated in 2015, has been a great success, awarding scholarships to eleven young birders to attend National Audubon’s Hog Island camp in Maine. The 2020 summer camp sessions were cancelled, but the BBC has reserved slots for our two recipients in the 2021 summer camp and hope to award two new scholarships in 2021. These scholarships are supported through member donations. Members can go to the BBC website and make a donation of any amount, in Bill’s honor, to the Bill Drummond Young Birder’s Scholarship.