MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires and Principal John Murray are pleased to share that Michael Bhatia of the Medway High School Class of 1995 is the 2020 Outstanding Alumni honoree and was inducted into the Medway High School Hall of Excellence.
Bhatia was a 1995 graduate of Medway High School and went on to study international relations at Brown University. He later studied at the University of Oxford and was a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and lecturer at Carleton University in Ottawa, and was a published author.
He dedicated his life to humanitarian work and conflict resolution in war-torn countries. He traveled to Western Algeria, East Timor, Kosovo and Afghanistan as part of his work. Bhatia was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 while embedded with the U.S. Army Human Terrain Team #1 attempting to initiate negotiations between local tribes.
Bhatia is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions for his work in Afghanistan, and was posthumously awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom. The Michael Bhatia Fund for Peace-keeping and Conflict Studies was established in his honor at the Watson Institute for International Studies.
The Medway High School Hall of Excellence was created in 2017. Each year, the Alumni Association works with graduating members of the senior class and Principal Murray to recognize and induct a former MHS graduate. The inductees are chosen for their individual or collective achievements, including academic, athletic or artisan achievements, or as a notable alumnus of the school having made outstanding contributions in their careers or to society. Past recipients include Col. Michael Matondi, World War II veterans from Medway High School and Harry “Buzz” Johnson.
Bhatia was nominated as the award recipient by members of the Medway High School Alumni Association and Medway High School student representatives in February before schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The award originally would have been presented at the Alumni Dinner in May, which wasn’t able to be held this year.
A plaque in honor of Bhatia was unveiled during a virtual dedication ceremony held on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Principal Murray and Superintendent Pires were joined virtually by members of the Bhatia family and the Alumni Association.
“The Outstanding Alumni award was created to recognize former Medway High School graduates with significant achievements or who have made outstanding contributions to our society, and Michael is very much deserving of this recognition,” Principal Murray said. “We were honored to dedicate this third space in our Hall of Excellence to Michael, whose efforts and work throughout the world will not be forgotten by the Medway Schools community.”
A recording of the dedication ceremony can be viewed here.