Annual Meeting, 2015
Read transcriptions of the MV Medal Acceptance Speeches by
2015 MV Medal Winners (from left to right):
Pat Morgan, Dan Carbon (for Pat Gregory), and Cynthia Riggs
Martha's Vineyard Medal Recipients
Pat Gregory (posthumously)
Presented by Cynthia Mitchell to Dan Carbon, Pat's son-in-law
Pat Gregory first came to the Vineyard in 1971, unaware of the special community that existed here and the impact that he would eventually have on it. As a schoolteacher at the Tisbury School, and later the West Tisbury school that opened in 1974, Gregory's strong influence on the Island began right away and never faded. His impressive legacy later expanded to include the opening of the enduring business EduComp with his wife, as well as his 23-year tenure as the West Tisbury town moderator.
Over the years, Gregory was involved with Community Services, Hospice, the Public Charter School, Daybreak Club House, as well as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. More recently, he took an active role in opening the Vineyard House, a place for those struggling with addiction. Gregory always maintained a connection to the soccer fields as well, coaching and refereeing for various leagues around the Island.
Sadly, Gregory was killed in May 2014. Though his life was tragically cut short, his legacy on the Island continues to this day. Gregory's compassion could be felt with his every action—whether it was teaching children, coaching soccer, or calming voters at a town meeting. His impact on the Vineyard was profound, and for that we recognize and honor his life.
Presented by Jill Robie-Axtell
Pat Morgan is the head of the Beagary Family Charitable Trust, an initiative developed to sponsor various educational and research missions in support of diverse forms of learning for both children and adults. The Beagary Trust was founded in Brooklyn, CT in 1995 with Morgan's husband John and brother-in-law Ben, both deceased. Since its establishment, the Trust has helped enrich the Sterling Community School, the Pomfret School, and the Mystic Seaport Museum.
As a seasonal resident, Pat Morgan has just a few months out of the year to make an impact on the Island, leading her charitable work to be even more impressive. She is on the Board of Directors for both the YMCA and the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust. Morgan is also a generous friend of the Museum, helping to sponsor the catboat VANITY, as well as various other causes. The Beagary Family Charitable Trust has allowed the Museum to reach out to more Island children with its education programs.
Presented by Dan Waters
Cynthia Riggs is an accomplished writer, having been published in National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Magazine. She has also penned fourteen fictionalized mystery books that draw inspiration from the Island. The series follows Victoria Trumbull, a 92 year-old amateur detective, as she attempts to solve various crimes that take place around the Island. The Vineyard Haven Library named Riggs the Celebrated Vineyard Author for 2012. Her impressive resume also includes working in public relations for the American Petroleum Institute, running the Chesapeake Bay Ferry Boat Company, and serving as a rigger at MV Shipyards.
As a 13th generation Islander, Riggs' connection to the Vineyard runs deep. Much of her influence on the Island stems from her work done to promote and foster the arts. She is involved with the Martha's Vineyard Cultural Council, as well as various community outreach initiatives. This includes teaching courses at the Vineyard's Adult and Community Education program, and her On Island Writing television show. Most notable perhaps is the 1700s Cleveland House, a bed and breakfast for poets and writers that she operates with her husband. Riggs is also a commissioner of the Martha's Vineyard Commission.