Alvin Bess ’77 to Receive 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award

Please join us on Tuesday, November 21 at 1 p.m. as we present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Alvin Bess.
The Country School honors our students’ creativity, sense of wonder, and intellectual curiosity. Our integrated curriculum aligns rigorous academics with a commitment to character and leadership development. We nurture every student’s unique role in the community, empowering each to serve the common good. Graduates of The Country School face the future with confidence and an education that lasts a lifetime.
So reads The Country School mission statement. Each year, the school presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to a former student whose words, actions, and/or deeds reflect the school mission. This year, we are honored to present the award to an individual who truly embodies our mission: Alvin Bess ’77.
A transportation planner by profession, Alvin is also a prolific writer and public speaker who exudes creativity and intellectual curiosity in all he does. A natural leader and teammate during his Country School years, when he embraced every opportunity and  challenge he faced, whether in the classroom, in the athletic arena, or on stage, he is someone who truly cares about — and cares for — each member of the community.
Those of us lucky enough to have spent time with Alvin over the years can attest to his innate understanding that we all bring unique gifts, experiences, and perspectives to the table and that they are each worthy of recognition. (Some of us have a collection of thoughtful notes, emails, texts, and/or social media messages exuding that uniquely positive, upbeat, inspiring Alvin Bess good will.) In short, Alvin lives with the common good always in mind and an understanding that “education” is about more than just books; it is about coming together, learning from and engaging with each other. Even without intending to be, he is an ambassador for education that lasts a lifetime.
In recent years, Alvin has visited campus several times, including this past August, when he drove to Connecticut from Maryland to attend our end-of-summer reunion, where he shared his warm smile and positive presence with other attendees. In 2019, he joined us to speak with 6th Graders who were engaged in their yearly Elmore Leadership Expo. (He also visited virtually with the subsequent classes during Covid.) During his in-person visit with young Elmore Leaders, Alvin talked candidly about obstacles we all face in life. He also spoke with gratitude about how his Country School years instilled in him a love of learning and how it remains with him today. 
At that visit, Alvin was joined by his mother, Rosemary Bess, who sadly passed away right after the reunion in August. When he drove up from Maryland to stay with her so he could attend the summer reunion, Alvin said his mother was so pleased that he’d gone and excited to hear what had taken place. Like her son, Rosemary Bess was a firm believer in the power of education to transform lives, and she was grateful that her three children — Michael Mayfield ’73, Sheila Mayfield Morris ’75, and Alvin — had benefited from a Country School education. In her later years, Mrs. Bess devoted her free time to raising scholarship funds so Students of Color in the New Haven area could attend college, believing everyone deserves the benefit of an education that lasts a lifetime.
Please join us on Tuesday, November 21 at 1 p.m. as we present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Alvin Bess.
341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.