C. Lee Herter H’13 died on September 20, 2022, in Manchester, Massachusetts.
(The following notice was shared by President Rose)
To trustees emeriti,
It is my sad duty to inform the Bowdoin community of the death of trustee emerita C. Lee Herter P’76, P’77, H’13 at the age of ninety-one on September 20, 2022, in Manchester, Massachusetts. Lee was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Edward and Caroline Bigelow. She graduated from the Winsor School in Boston and attended Smith College. She married E. Miles Herter in 1951, and they settled in Manchester, Massachusetts, where they raised their family.
Lee had a distinguished record of philanthropy and public service, and all those fortunate to have known her will miss her genuine graciousness and her ability to put people at ease. She was a trustee of the Winsor School, St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, the Beverly (MA) Hospital, and the McCarthy Family Foundation. At Beverly Hospital she was president of the hospital auxiliary and, for fifteen years, worked in the hospital’s development office on a pro bono basis. She also volunteered and served on committees at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In 1976, Lee was elected to the Bowdoin College Board of Overseers as one of the first women to serve on the governing boards. At the time, two of her sons—David Herter ’76 and Edward (Ned) Herter ’77—were students at the College. “I don’t know if they were proud of me,” Lee told her local newspaper, “or if they were saying to themselves ‘Hey, what’s mom doing taking over our school?’” A dozen years later, at the end of her term, Lee remembered that she had made her farewell speech and accepted a parting gift for her years of service when she learned the College wanted her back as one of only fourteen trustees. “It’s nice not to have to say goodbye,” Lee said at the time. “I’m extremely proud and pleased to have become a trustee.” The span of her committee work was broad, and her contributions were substantial. Lee served as chair of the Student Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Minority Affairs, and over the years was a member of the admissions and financial aid, arts, athletics, campaign steering, development, executive, honors, and nominating committees. She also served on the campaign planning and social responsibility subcommittees of the boards. After dedicating twenty years of service to the governance of the College, Lee was elected trustee emerita in 1996.
In keeping with her commitment to ensuring access to a Bowdoin education for deserving students, Lee established the Herter Family Scholarship Fund for Enhanced Diversity in 1997. She supported the College as a Bowdoin parent and grandparent, in addition to her engagement as a board member and trustee emerita. In recognition of her extraordinary service to Bowdoin over the years, the College awarded her the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters in 2013.
Lee was predeceased by her husband, E. Miles Herter, in 2012. She is survived by three sons, Miles (Penny) of Amherst, Massachusetts, David ’76 (Lauren ’82) of Topsfield, Massachusetts, and Edward ’77 (Nancy) of Carlisle, Massachusetts; her daughter, Caroline Winship (Benjamin) of Victor, Idaho; twelve grandchildren (four of whom graduated from Bowdoin); and thirteen great-grandchildren.
We will share information on arrangements for a memorial service when they become available.
We join with Lee’s family and her many friends and admirers in our gratitude for the life she shared with us and for the many ways in which she served the College and the common good.