AUBURN — Elizabeth K. Sheppard, 54, of Auburn, died Monday, June 24, after a short illness.

She was the daughter of Professor Edmund Macmillan Sheppard and Martha (Wight) Sheppard of Orono. She graduated Cum Laude from Smith College, Class of 1981 and later served as president of the Smith Club of Maine.

Most recently, Beth was the director of development at The Cedars, a large retirement and rehabilitation center in Portland. Before that, Beth served from 1988 until 2010 in several roles at Bates College. She was director of special projects and summer programs, working closely with both the dean of the college and the president, coordinating Bates’ community relations and summer programs, signature events like commencement and convocation, academic symposia and staffing the college’s re-accreditation team.

She joined the Advancement office in 2000, serving variously as director of alumni relations and associate director of annual giving. She also worked with the Friends of the Bates Museum and the College Key, the college’s alumni honor society, which inducted her as a member for her service. Two Bates classes elected her as an honorary member of their classes for her imaginative and extraordinary service administering their 50th reunions.

She was most proud to have been responsible for the creation of the college’s National Day of Service, which has grown to involve hundreds of alumni each year in cities all over America and abroad.

Before coming to Bates, Beth worked at Northeastern University as senior publications editor and later, as a free-lance writer. She started her career in the development office at Emma Willard School as director of public relations and publications and the editor of their quarterly alumni magazine.

Beth was well-known in the Lewiston-Auburn community. She served as a trustee of the Auburn Public Library and chaired the board during the library’s building renovation and expansion, working on the seven million campaign for the new library wing, which opened in 2006. She also served on the board of the Maine Music Society. For a decade, she coached two Odyssey of the Mind teams to world finals and was a tireless fundraiser for Waynflete School.

Beth was held in the highest regard by her colleagues in professional settings and in her community volunteer work. She cared very deeply both about the service she gave and the people in the organizations to which she made commitments.

She was also a widely read and deeply thoughtful intellect, a most reliable friend and a person of great personal bravery and endurance.

She is survived by her parents; her husband, Richard Bevins; her children, Stevenson Whitaker and Katherine Whitaker; her stepdaughter, Sydney Bevins and fiance, Benjamin Hilton; and her brother, Stevenson Sheppard, his wife, Sara (Lello) and their sons, Samuel and Joseph.

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