The University of Maine is a great place for non-traditional students, say Dr. Wayne and Wendy Waterman of Bangor, both of whom earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maine in 1992 when they were well into adulthood.
UMaine understands the specific issues relating to older non-traditional students and recognizes their diverse learning styles, experiences, and multi-faceted lives, according to Wayne, a neurosurgeon at Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Wendy, a stay-at-home mom who has been teaching childbirth education and doing postpartum doula work for the past 16 years. She also is certified to teach prenatal yoga. The couple met while living in York Hall, UMaine’s residence hall for non-traditional students. Wayne graduated from the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture,while Wendy earned her degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The parents of three children, Wayne and Wendy are devoted alumni who have generously supported the University’s Annual Fund over the years.
“As successful alumni we believe in giving back to the University so others can have the opportunity to have the same wonderful experience we did and ultimately become active, engaged professionals and citizens,” says Wayne. “One of the appealing things about UMaine is that it is a major research university but still is a personal, close-knit community.”
As a young boy growing up in New Jersey, Wayne and his family would spend each Thanksgiving at the camp they built in Jefferson, Maine, near Damariscotta. He attended the University of Maine at Augusta for one year before returning to New Jersey to start his own construction company. Because the allure of Maine was still strong, he decided after five years to continue his education at the flagship campus, selling all his equipment to finance the move back to Orono. Majoring in biochemistry, he thrived at NSFA where he enjoyed his classes and his professors who, he says, presented lively lectures, found ways to connect with all their students, served as caring mentors, and allowed for an open and honest learning environment.
“I got a great science foundation thanks to the availability and diversity of the course offerings in virology and molecular biology,” says Wayne who earned a medical degree from the Midwest College of Osteopathic Medicine in Chicago and practiced medicine for several years in Philadelphia.
A natural childbirth instructor who has held numerous jobs including as a paralegal, property manager, and private investigator, Wendy spent part of her childhood near Boston and moved to Bremen, Maine, when she was 14. She enrolled at UMaine after learning about the wonderful educational opportunities from a CLAS faculty member. Majoring in psychology “because it applies so broadly to many professional fields,” Wendy says UMaine opened up a whole new world for her and Wayne.
“Our years in Orono were important to both of us. Living in York Hall with other non-traditional students enabled us to meet people who fully appreciated our educational opportunities because we all had experience in the working world. We had fun but we were committed students who valued the way UMaine initiated programs and services that improved the university experience for nontraditional students.
“The wonderful education I received at the College of Liberal Arts has had a positive impact on every aspect of my life.”
The experiences of Wayne and Wendy Waterman at UMaine have provided them with noteworthy forward momentum in both their personal and professional lives. The University is proud to have such engaged and dedicated individuals among our alumni.