ORONO – The University of Maine announced a million dollar gift on Friday, June 15, at its annual recognition dinner for top philanthropic donors. The Stillwater Society Dinner, held at Buchanan Alumni House, also featured the recognition of four distinguished alumni couples for their dedication and long-term support of their alma mater.
President Robert Kennedy announced the new $1 million gift from UMaine alums H. Allen (Class of 1954) and Sally (Class of 1955) Carroll Fernald of Camden, co-chairs of Campaign Maine, UMaine’s largest-ever private fundraising campaign. The Fernalds’ gift, which will support the arts and academics at UMaine, brings the campaign total to over $60 million in just two years. UMaine’s goal is to raise $150 million by 2011.
“(Allen and Sally’s) long-term generosity has positively affected this university for many years, and their great accomplishments — and the way they live their lives — have brought honor to their alma mater,” Kennedy said.
“Sally and I first met at the University of Maine and all three of our children have UMaine degrees, so it is a place that means a great deal to us,” says Allen Fernald. “Like so many of our friends and countless others we have encountered in our personal and professional lives, we know this wonderful university helped put us on a path to a successful and rewarding life. We continue to gain great satisfaction from watching UMaine grow and adapt to meet the needs of its students and our state and we are pleased to participate in helping the university’s leaders chart the course for UMaine’s future.”
The alumni couples receiving UMaine’s prestigious Stillwater Society Presidential Awards were:
“Each of these individuals represents what is best about our university, each has made a personal commitment to its greatness,” said UMaine President Robert Kennedy in announcing the awards before an audience of 225. The Fernalds received Stillwater Society Presidential Awards in 2005.
The Stillwater Society was created in 2000 to recognize people who have made significant financial contributions to UMaine. Currently there are 525 individuals in the society, including 21 new members inducted Friday evening.
Image Description: Stillwater Society honorees Dick and Anne Collins
Image Description: Sally and Tom Savage
Image Description: Phil and Susan Morse
Image Description: William and Betsy Leitch
John McDonough, former associate dean of the University of Maine College of Engineering, spent more than 30 years here providing students with the knowledge and skills to go out into the world and be successful. With characteristic kindness and patience he also offered academic and career guidance that helped them lay the foundation for a thriving professional life.
But before retiring in June, 2007, he gave UMaine students one final gift.
Along with his wife, Claire, a former nurse and UMaine graduate, Professor McDonough provided scholarship aid to undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Engineering Technology and the School of Nursing who demonstrate excellent academic performance and exhibit outstanding personal characteristics that promise successful careers.
The decision to establish the John and Claire McDonough Scholarship Fund came easily to the couple who say they wanted to honor their careers and pay tribute to the University that has given them so much.
“It’s been a wonderful life here and I wanted to give back,” says Professor McDonough, director of the School of Engineering Technology from 1983 to 2001.
“We are both firm believers in higher education and we wanted to help somebody who’s going to go on and earn a degree,” says Claire, who received a bachelor’s degree in University Studies in 2001. She recently retired after 24 years as a nurse with the American Red Cross in Bangor.
The couple’s generous gift received a boost at Professor McDonough’s retirement party when friends, family and colleagues contributed towards the fund. They raised more than $3,000.
“It was a great addition,” Professor McDonough says.
A professional engineer, he is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education. His career took an unexpected turn in the 1970’s when he taught for two years in Afghanistan and one year in Algeria. He remembers his stint in Afghanistan — where he helped establish a college of engineering — with particular fondness.
“We loved the country and the opportunity to travel to other parts of the world,” he says. “I also enjoyed working with the local people to try and get the college up and running.”
Residents of Orono, the McDonoughs are the parents of four adult children, two of whom are UMaine graduates.
With their professional lives behind them, the couple say they look forward to traveling, golfing, gardening and spending time with their nine grandchildren.
But Professor McDonough admits that it won’t feel quite the same without UMaine in the picture.
“I’ll definitely miss everyone – the students, my colleagues, the staff,” he says.
Image Description: John and Claire McDonough
University of Maine journalism students will be able to get the inside scoop from veteran reporters thanks to a new fund established by alumna Anne Lucey in memory of her late husband, Alan Miller, who taught journalism at UMaine for more than two decades.
The Alan Miller Fund for Excellence in Communication and Journalism will revive a lecture series from the 1970’s and 1980’s in which outstanding journalists came to UMaine to give talks, attend classes and offer valuable career advice and insight. Students were able to hone their craft with journalistic icons such as Rushworth Kidder, then editorial page editor for the Christian Science Monitor, and David Lamb, then foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
A member of the faculty from 1967 to 1991, Miller was chair of the journalism department and advisor for the student newspaper. He was an enthusiastic supporter and coordinator of the lecture series which enabled experienced journalists to motivate and excite aspiring reporters.
Lucey, who earned a degree in journalism from UMaine in 1982, recalls how students looked forward to hearing the reporters reminisce about their journalistic exploits.
“Interacting with working journalists who go into the classroom, help with writing skills and tell war stories can be a powerful thing,” she says. “It was for me.”
Senior vice president for regulatory policy at CBS Corporation in Washington, D.C., Lucey says her goal now is to celebrate her husband’s love of journalism and teaching.
“UMaine brought together everything he loved.”
Lucey’s generous gift will “develop a new tradition for a new generation of journalism students, maintain and strengthen the Communication and Journalism Department’s connection to the Maine Press Association, and keep alive Professor Miller’s work of connecting students with successful professionals,” says John Sherblom, chair of the department.
Noting Miller’s “enormous impact on the lives and careers of his students,” UMaine President Robert Kennedy says he is “delighted and tremendously thankful that Anne Lucey has chosen to honor her late husband with a gift that will benefit our journalism students for many generations to come.”
Journalism Professor Kathryn Olmstead, who helped coordinate the visiting writer program, says she is pleased that it’s making a comeback because it had been a valuable addition to the curriculum.
“These successful journalists were extremely inspiring. They would talk about their achievements and serve as professional role models for students who would ask questions about their work and their experiences.”
Author of “The History of Current Maine Newspapers,” Miller was familiar with almost every daily and weekly newspaper in the state and so was able to help students obtain summer internships and jobs after they graduated, Olmstead says.
He was committed to staying in touch with real-world journalism himself, she adds. Long after he was a full professor he continued to work in newsrooms during the summer and on sabbaticals.
“He believed he should keep up with a profession transformed by technology in order to be an effective teacher.”
Stories about Miller still circulate, according to Ann Leffler, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “What I hear was how he mentored students and encouraged them to become journalists and to believe they had stories to tell. He reminded them journalism was a calling and encouraged them to heed that calling and its high standards.”
Miller was indeed a guiding force, former students agree.
“He’s the reason I’m now into journalism,” says Steve Betts, who grew up in Stonington, earned a journalism degree from UMaine in 1981, and is now editor of the Courier Gazette in Rockland.
“He was passionate about his profession and transferred that passion to me.”
Steve Olver, a Hampden native who also graduated in 1981 with a degree in journalism, says Miller was a gifted teacher who enjoyed working one on one with his students.
“He was such a pro — he’d go over everything and really explain the craft of writing,” says Olver, design editor at the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Her late husband was the quintessential newsman, says Lucey. Publisher and editor of the Amherst (Massachusetts) Journal which he purchased after graduating from Boston University in 1952, he subsequently worked for a number of other newspapers including the European edition of Stars and Stripes. An overseas correspondent for the Springfield (Massachusetts) Union Leader, he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall.
As advisor for the UMaine student newspaper, he loved editing students’ writing and “probably knew more about what was happening on campus than anybody,” Lucey says.
“He read all these stories from all these kids who were out reporting, whether their articles made the newspaper or not.”
A lover of words, her husband often perused the dictionary for entertainment and was rarely without a notebook and a pen to record observations about the world around him.
“The written word was his life,” she says. “He was always leaving me notes. I’d wake up and there would be a note on the counter. It was his way of starting and ending the day.”
Image Description: Alan Miller
University of Maine graduates living in the Atlanta area are one step closer to forming an alumni chapter.
They recently got the ball rolling thanks to Pete and Ada Lee Correll who hosted a dinner at their Atlanta home attended by more than 50 UMaine alums as well as by President Robert Kennedy and representatives from the University’s Office of Development.
The idea was to see if there was any interest in developing a UMaine alumni chapter.
Several Atlanta alumni pronounced the event a huge success. They praised the Corrells for their graciousness and said they welcomed the opportunity to meet other Black Bears. They said they enjoyed listening to President Kennedy discuss the exciting projects in which UMaine is involved. With more than 350 graduates in the Atlanta area, the time is ripe to create a UMaine alumni organization, they agreed. Members could build support for UMaine, spread word of the impressive things happening on campus, and even recruit students.
“All it takes is two or three people with some ideas and the willingness to pull people together,” says Patrice Krant ‘78, who planted the seed for the Atlanta event and co-hosted with the Corells.
For Patrice, it’s an especially fitting time to form an alumni group. “We’ve got Campaign Maine to tie it to,” she says, referring to UMaine’s $150 million campaign currently underway.
David Driscoll ‘87 is ready to roll. “I’d like to start laying the groundwork. I think there’s enough people who have shown an interest. I got several business cards from folks and I definitely will start getting in touch with them.”
The event was the first opportunity for Dan Lawless ‘75 to meet alums from Atlanta. He says he looks forward to more occasions to connect with UMaine grads.
“It would be great to build relationships around the University – it’s something we all have in common.”
Dorcas Goodwin Wilkinson ‘78 and ‘80 also is enthusiastic about the prospect of an alumni organization.
“Our primary mission should be to help share information about the great things that are happening at UMaine and engage alumni in supporting our alma mater. When you hear Dr. Kennedy and others speak about the important research going on and the great students we are recruiting, you want to give back because you realize you can have an impact.”
Alumni agreed that among the highlights of the dinner event was President Kennedy’s presentation about the cutting edge research and development initiatives UMaine is spearheading — such as the work being done in the Antarctic to find solutions to global warming — and the new educational opportunities the flagship University is providing – including the creation of the new school of policy and international affairs.
“It’s good to know UMaine is still growing,” says David.
Atlanta alumni say they were impressed with President Kennedy’s vision and leadership as well as his focus on economic development.
Patrice noted his obvious pride in UMaine and in the widespread recognition the flagship University is receiving both from in and outside the state.
“He’s a very good leader, very engaging,” she says. “He’s humble but his confidence in the school comes across.”
Alumni agree it did their collective hearts good to belt out the Stein song and reminisce about old times.
“It just warmed my heart to see to see so many people with fond memories and a strong connection to Orono,” says Patrice. “Everybody had a different story.”
Image Description: UMaine alums gather at Atlanta home of Pete and Ada Lee Correll
Aiming to make it easier for University of Maine students to pursue a career in construction management, the well known Brewer building firm of Nickerson & O’Day has established a scholarship in the name of its immediate past president, John F. “Jack” Kelley III.
Kelley, who led Nickerson & O’Day for the past 25 years, helped the company establish a strong reputation for quality construction of schools, nursing homes, churches, hospitals, offices, community centers and commercial buildings throughout the state. Signature projects during his tenure include Hermon High School, Camden Public Library and UMaine’s Buchanan Alumni House.
Now, thanks to the scholarship, eligible undergraduate students can receive financial help as they earn a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management Technology and learn to oversee all aspects of civil construction projects.
Kelley, who was on hand when the scholarship was awarded for the first time in April during a ceremony at the School of Engineering Technology, says he is honored to have the scholarship in his name and that it’s crucial to help the next generation of engineers.
“We have a responsibility as practitioners to invest in the future of our industry,” says Kelley, who recently stepped down as president of Nickerson & O’Day.
Times have changed in the construction management field, he points out. It used to be that people could “learn by doing.
“Now, a formal education is basically a necessity in our industry.”
Well-known in state and national constructor organizations, he served as president of the Associated Constructors of Maine in 1987 and earned ACM’s highest individual honor, the Major Achievements in Construction Award. He was elected president of the Associated General Contractors of America in 2003 and was a founding member of the AGC of the Maine Education Foundation, which provides college scholarships to Maine construction students.
Kelley established ties with UMaine several decades ago and continues to support and advocate for the flagship university. He has served on the Construction Management Technology’s industrial advisory board for many years and was presented with the University’s Francis Crowe Award which honors outstanding contributions by alumni and others to the several disciplines of engineering. He frequently is on campus as a guest lecturer on construction ethics ” a topic that never fails to generate stimulating conversations among students. Over the years, he has hired dozens of UMaine engineering graduates.
“The University of Maine Construction Management Technology program has been very responsive to the needs of the industry,” he says. “Students who have gone through the program have a great work ethic and a commitment to excellence in their profession as well as loyalty to the State of Maine.”
The new scholarship not only will be a boon to those currently enrolled in the College of Engineering, but also will attract more students, says Dana Humphrey, interim dean.
“This is absolutely vital. We need more graduates from Construction Management Technology and from the entire College of Engineering,” he says. There’s a great demand for graduates and we need to be able to attract more students into the program. Scholarships are one way to do that.
Calling Kelley a longtime friend and supporter of the Construction Management Technology program, David Dvorak, director of the School of Engineering Technology, says he is pleased that Karl Ward and Nickerson & O’Day have chosen to honor Jack in a memorable way that directly benefits our excellent students.
Establishing the scholarship “recognizes Jack’s contribution in a lasting way to the Maine construction industry,” says Karl Ward, who recently succeeded Kelley as president of Nickerson & O’Day.
“Jack guided the company through good times and bad,” he says, noting that the hallmarks of his leadership were frugal fiscal management, conservative business strategy and “insistence on the highest level of ethical practice in construction.”
The company continues to follow Kelley’s lead and is passionate about bolstering the strength of the construction industry in Maine and supporting youth sports and education activities, according to Karl, a graduate of UMaine’s Construction Management Technology program.
“We are fiercely loyal to Maine construction,” he says. “We also believe very strongly that we need to support the University of Maine and its Construction Management program. By creating the Jack Kelley Scholarship, we will be doing just that” now and in to the future.
Image Description: Jack Kelley III