The Thomas C. Sweetser, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund is growing thanks to a gift from his wife, Mildred Sweetser.
The fund, which provides financial aid to students in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, was established in 2004 to honor Sweetser, who died in April of that year. A 1950 UMaine graduate, Sweetser earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, and spent more than 30 years with the UMaine Cooperative Extension Service as a county agricultural agent, educator, and research and development coordinator.
In April, 2009, Mrs. Sweetser decided to commemorate the fifth anniversary of her husband’s death by donating $5,000 to his scholarship fund.
“Dad would be thrilled. He loved the university and felt strongly about public education,” said Sweetser’s daughter Barbara Lovley, who graduated from the University of Maine in 1998 with a master’s degree in special education and is an adjunct professor for UMaine. After participating in the Maine Literacy Partnership Program on the UMaine campus, she earned certification as a literacy coach and now teaches UMaine graduate courses to teachers at Fort Kent Elementary School.
Her father talked often about his undergraduate years at the university, according to his daughter. “The farm” was the center of all activity for the agricultural students, he would say, referring to what is now the Page Home Farm Museum. His fondest college memory was “socializing with my fellow aggie students.” A loyal alumnus and advocate for the university, he urged his former classmates to “participate in UMaine reunions and other functions. Remember our classmates and stay in touch with each other as best we can.”
Tom Sweetser thoroughly enjoyed working as an extension agent, providing practical solutions based on university research, and answering people’s questions about gardens, farming practices, and pest management, his daughter said. He received a master’s degree in sociology from North Caroline State University in 1972 and continued at UMaine as a community research and development coordinator.
Even after he retired in 1987, he and Mildred often would spend Sunday afternoons “riding around the university and seeing what was going on,” Barbara recalled. “He was always interested in keeping up to date with UMaine. He and Mom frequently attended performances at the Maine Center for the Arts and hockey games at Alfond Arena.”
Her father was delighted when her brother enrolled at UMaine, Barbara said. Thomas Sweetser III graduated in 1979 with a degree in chemical engineering and now works at Temple-Inland in Orange, Texas. Barbara’s oldest son, Shawn Lovley, earned a mechanical engineering degree from UMaine in 1998. Another son, Seth Lovley, plans to continue at UMaine in the fall, completing his program in civil engineering.
“UMaine has become something of a family tradition,” Barbara said. “Dad would like that.”
Image Description: Thomas Sweetser, Jr. at Eagle LakeThe Thomas C. Sweetser, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund is growing thanks to a gift from his wife, Mildred Sweetser.
As a successful entrepreneur, Dennis Doyle ‘67 can attest to the excellent business education he received at the University of Maine. His classes provided him with a strong background that went a long way towards helping him launch a handful of thriving businesses. As testimony to the College of Business exposure, he is listed in the U.S. Library of Congress as the author of 65 textbooks on financial planning topics.
But Dennis, retired founder, chairman and president of Educational Training Systems, a leading provider of online training for the financial services and insurance industries, says it wasn’t only his classroom experiences that gave him the tools for a rewarding career.
A member of the Black Bear football team, Dennis says it was “on the field” that he gained valuable life skills that have stood him in good stead over the years. He names a few:
· Life is hard work and playing a sport is hard work; work hard no matter what you do.
· Remember you’re part of a team; getting along with people is essential.
· Be disciplined.
· Don’t accept mediocrity – strive constantly to improve yourself.
· Consider competition a good thing; it makes you work harder.
· Be persistent.
· Focus; don’t lose sight of your goal.
A native of Auburn, Maine, Dennis lives with his wife Patricia in Southborough, Mass. An active and loyal alumnus, he is a generous contributor to the Black Bear football program and he has helped garner support for UMaine capital campaigns. In 1996 he and his brother Joseph established the Doyle Family Athletic Scholarship fund for student athletes.
“UMaine gave me an athletic scholarship, so I want to pay back the favor,” Dennis says.
Being a Black Bear athlete was the highlight of Dennis’ years at UMaine, affording him the opportunity to make a host of close friends and many wonderful memories.
”We had a terrific bunch of guys and some great, great coaches.”
The pinnacle of his UMaine football career came in 1965 when the team was selected to participate in the Tangerine Bowl against East Carolina.
“We lost the game, but we played hard,” Dennis says. “We were there and we did our best. It was a terrific experience. The whole state supported us. There was a parade when we returned. It was a thrill for all of us guys and our coaches.”
To date, his team remains the only one from UMaine to have competed in a bowl contest.
A member of Phi Mu Delta and the Sophomore Owls honor society, Dennis was busy both on and off the football field.
“I’ve always had a warm feeling toward the university. I really enjoyed my time here. My experience was so positive that my four younger brothers and sisters all decided to come here. It became a family thing.”
Nowadays, Dennis stays busy traveling, playing golf, and managing several health and fitness clubs which he co-owns. He has kept in touch with many of his former classmates.
“Forty two years later, a dozen of us still get together every summer with our wives and kids,” he says proudly.
Each football season he follows the Black Bears and attends as many games as he can. He credits President Robert A. Kennedy, Athletic Director Blake James, Coach Jack Cosgrove, and Assistant Athletic Director for Development Patrick McBride for his renewed interest in supporting UMaine athletics.
He praises them for being wonderful advocates for UMaine.
“They are the magnet that attracted me to become more involved with the university.”
Image Description: Dennis Doyle '67
Central Maine Power has given a financial boost to students in the University of Maine’s Electrical Engineering Technology Program.
The public utility company, which has hired many UMaine graduates over the years, provided a gift and four-year pledge for annual scholarships for four or more deserving undergraduates representing all class levels from first-year to seniors. The scholarships may be renewable for four years based on satisfactory academic performance and continued enrollment in the EET program.
“Maine companies are already competing for people with degrees and experience in power engineering, and I think we’ll see new opportunities in the state’s emerging renewable energy industries,” said Sara Burns, president of Central Maine Power. “We want to help the university attract top students to the EET program, and we’re especially hopeful that these scholarships will be used to encourage young women to pursue careers in the industry.”
Six EET students have received the first Central Maine Power Electrical Engineering Technology Scholarships. They are: sophomores Jack Bruce and Tyler Harvey; juniors Ben McPheters and Patrick Buchanan; and seniors Abby Snow and Brandy Chase. Two more scholarships will be awarded to first year students. The scholarships may be renewable for four years based on satisfactory academic performance and continued enrollment in the EET program.
“These scholarships will allow us to recruit and retain students and provide a continuous source of talent,” said Paul Villeneuve, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology. Many EET students are the first in their family to attend college and these families often lack the financial capabilities to support their children’s education, he pointed out.
“Scholarships will help these students pay for a portion of their schooling.”
Judith Pearse, associate professor and coordinator of the electrical engineering technology program, called CMP’s gift “a wonderful boost.
“We’ll certainly use it to attract and retain exceptional students who can be assets on the CMP team someday,” she said. “With many changes occurring in the power industry and many people retiring, we need qualified power engineers in Maine.”
CMP Vice President of Technical Services Stephen Robinson ’80 said his company is excited about helping to support the College of Engineering and build the next generation of engineer leaders.
“UMaine is where we look first for potential hires. UMaine graduates come to us with a strong educational and technical foundation. They’re quick learners and they’re enthusiastic. “
Across the country, power engineering programs are “few and far between,” Robinson said. Many utility companies in other states must convince universities to create these programs to fill the demand.
“We at CMP feel very fortunate because UMaine has an engineering program that already boasts a strong power component,” he said.
Robinson, who handed out the scholarship awards to the six students during a recent ceremony, said it turned out to be a wonderful way for CMP to have a presence.
“It was fun for me personally as a past student of the program,” he added. “I was able to see a few old friends and make some new ones.”
Scholarship recipients said after the event that they greatly appreciated the financial shot in the arm from CMP.
“This will be very helpful,” said Jack Bruce. “I really had to struggle this year. Now I won’t have to worry so much about tuition.”
Patrick Buchanan seconded that notion. “This is a huge help to me, especially as an older student who’s on my own.”
Based in Augusta, CMP delivers more than 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly to 600,000 retail electric customers in central and southern Maine. CMP’s 11,000-square-mile service area contains about 78 percent of Maine’s population.