AARP Maine recently announced that retired educator and Portland resident, Nelson Megna, is the winner of the 2013 Andrus Award named in honor of AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The Andrus Award celebrates and honors individuals who make a difference in the lives of others, and is the most prestigious and visible award AARP can present to an individual.
Nelson Megna’s extraordinary public service actively embodies Dr. Andrus’ motto “To Serve, Not To be Served.” Currently volunteering with several organizations, Nelson says his desire to be of service to others in the community is simply part of who he is and he is proud to help others in ways large and small.
Nelson has a long and varied history enriching, enlivening and safeguarding the lives of people in Maine. In his professional life, he focused on education and served in multiple important roles. He was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Maine Higher Education Council, and Chair of the Committee on Vocational Education for the Maine School Superintendent’s Association. Nelson helped organize and served as Chair of the first Board of Directors at the Mount Merici School and he also served three terms as Chair of the Board of Overseers at St. Joseph’s College in Windham. When he retired, Nelson served on the City Council of Waterville and was later to become mayor.
Together with his wife, Dottie, Nelson offers his remarkable energy and talents to a spectrum of worthy causes in our state. Nelson previously served as a Eucharistic Minister at Maine Medical Center, and currently volunteers with the American Friends Program at Catholic Charities in Maine, The Maine Labor Relations Board, and AARP Maine where he also served as state president from 2007 to 2010. Nelson is the treasurer of the AARP Portland Chapter, a position he has held since 2010, and he and Dottie volunteer with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program.
Nelson’s exemplary career has earned well-deserved recognition from many sectors. He received a legislative citation for distinguished service to education in Maine, The Servium Award from the Ursuline Sisters (together with his wife, Dottie), an Outstanding Educational Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyons, as well as an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Joseph’s College.
Nelson is delighted to receive the Andrus award this year and, in his characteristically generous way, gives the credit to others. “I am fortunate to work with so many friends and fellow-volunteers on a multitude of projects that we hope make a difference in the lives of others,” he said. “As a volunteer, it is a special privilege to support an organization like AARP whose mission it is to assure that people can age with dignity and with the assurance that they will have access to health care and to the services they need. I am humbled and honored to receive the Andrus Award in Maine.”
AARP Maine celebrated Nelson in grand style in Augusta at the Hill Mansion during their annual volunteer recognition celebration with many members of the Megna family in attendance. Nelson and Dottie have been happily married for 55 years and have four children, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Rich Livingston, current AARP Maine Volunteer State President, stated “The AARP Maine Andrus Award acts as a symbol to our members and to the public that we can all work together for positive social change. We are deeply proud to be presenting this year’s award to Nelson Megna whose record of achievement, service and commitment provides an excellent example of one person making a significant difference in the lives of others.”
AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve. We welcome new volunteers to serve in a variety of roles with AARP Maine and hope you will take a look at our website, or call our office at 1-866-554-5380 if you would like to join our volunteer team.
About the Author
Jane Margesson is the Communications Director for AARP in Maine. She can be reached at 1-866-554-5380 or firstname.lastname@example.org.