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On Monday, April 30, Colby College alumnus Elmer C. Bartels, commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, will receive the 2001 Carl Nelson Sports Achievement Award. The Colby C Club, an organization of alumni, parents and friends whose mission is to support Colby athletics, will present Bartels with the award at a dinner in Portland, Maine, in honor of his noteworthy success in a career related to athletics.
Bartels, a member of Colby’s Class of 1962, was paralyzed from the shoulders down during an inter-fraternity hockey game at Colby in December 1960. He continued his studies at the college and went on to obtain a master’s degree in nuclear physics from Tufts University. Bartels worked as a computer programmer and analyst for the Laboratory of Nuclear Physics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later as a department manager for Honeywell Information Systems. Since 1977 Bartels has served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. He helped establish the first Bay State Wheelchair Games and The U.S. Sports and Fitness Center for the Disabled.