Head of School Bob Henderson ’76 presented Mike Vance ’77 with the 2013 Distinguished Graduate Award in assembly on Monday, Oct. 21.

Vance is vice president for field operations at Actions for Boston Community Development (ABCD). ABCD is the largest nonprofit organization serving low-income residents in Boston and greater New England. He oversees 17 neighborhood centers that provide social services—housing, food pantry, Head Start programs, fuel assistance and job readiness. In addition, he supervises and supports the Housing and Homelessness Department and the Legislative Liaison.

Vance is a longtime community leader. He has served on several boards in Boston, including the Yawkey Club of Roxbury (formerly known as the Roxbury Boys and Girls Club of Boston), the Roxbury YMCA, Bedford High School Site Council, Bedford METCO Parent Advisory Board and two HUD 202 elderly housing boards. In August 2013, he was named the Ruth M. Batson Advocate of the Year by the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.

In addition, he is a trustee of Nobles and of the Urban College of Boston.

Vance told students that one does not have to go to Nobles to benefit from Nobles. He encouraged students to continue giving back to the community. “Keep doing what you’re doing,” he says. “It makes a huge difference.”

He noted that the Nobles community raised about $90,000 and logged 18,000 hours of service last year alone. “I am so proud to say that I am a graduate of Nobles,” he says.

“I have no doubt in my mind that every one of you in this room will do well,” he says. “But the question is ‘Will you do good?’ That’s the real challenge. Nobles prepared me to do well and I have, but the ‘good’ part, that’s what is important. You heard the long list of stuff that I do, that’s what the school is about for me.”

Read more about Vance in the winter Nobles magazine.

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