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Welcome to M Club

The University of Maine M Club

Dedicated to Maine Athletes… Past, Present & Future

HEADLINES: M Club takes on responsibility for Hall of Fame / Support the M  Club  / Order your own “M” plaque / Haskell strikes again / The Maine Book on-line / Seven honorary M’s inducted at Silver & Gold Breakfast / Send us links to former Black Bears.

M Club takes on responsibility for Hall of Fame

The M Club board of directors has enthusiastically assumed the responsibility for administering the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame, taking over for the athletic department, which has administered the hall since it was created in 1986.

The first Hall of Fame dinner to be hosted by the M Club is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30 when the new members will join the current 181 inductees in the Black Bears’ Hall of Fame. A home football game with Bryant is scheduled the following day.

Athletes are eligible for nomination five years after their final intercollegiate competition. Coaches and administrators are eligible two years after retirement or departure from the university.

The M Club committee has selected the final candidates for induction in the Class of 2016 and submitted them for approval by Athletic Director Karlton Creech and final approval by UM President Susan J. Hunter.

Creech met this past fall with the M Club board to assess its interest in directing the solicitation of nominations for the Hall of Fame, selecting the class to be inducted and creating an annual ceremony, beginning this coming fall, worthy of the honor being bestowed.

The induction ceremony has had a checkered past, often being lost in the maze of events of a heavily scheduled weekend. In fact, a 2015 class and induction were canceled because of overwhelming obstacles to doing right by the event and the honorees.

Both Creech and the club’s board felt that the M Club would have the institutional memory to select a worthy class annually and the large volunteer base needed to stage a worthy stand-alone dinner and induction ceremony each fall.

Support the M Club

The M Club’s annual appeal for your support is currently underway, with a new approach and with the backing of a new partnership with the University of Maine Foundation.

In a letter mailed in July to “M and Honorary M Recipients” who have been dues-paying supporters in recent years, President Guy Whitten ’63 noted a few changes as the M Club seeks renewals for 2015-16.

Rather than continuing as a dues organization, the M Club simply seeks your support in the form of totally tax-deductible contributions to the M Club Fund held at the UMaine Foundation. With this approach, the M Club will be able to have maximum positive impact on the lives of current Black Bears.

As a non-profit, the M Club’s sole goal in seeking your enthusiastic support is to pass on your contributions to the athletes in the form of:

* Senior Night and M Plaque Awards for graduating seniors
* Scholar Athlete Banquet and Dean Smith Awards
* Team banquets and special events for current athletes
* Consideration of other requests that benefit current Black Bears
* Honoring alumni Silver (25 year) and Gold (50 year) letter winners
* Hall of Fame Banquet

The initial letter went out to about 1,300 recent dues payers. The campaign is continuing throughout the academic year as we attempt to reach all of the estimated 5,000 letter winners living all over the world.

If you have lost your letter and contribution form, or if you are one of those letter winners we failed to reach, and you would like to contribute, you may do so on-line.  The first form will ask whether you would like to make this a recurring payment; if yes, as you step through the forms you will be asked whether yearly, monthly, etc.

Or, noting that the contribution is for the M Club, you may make your check to the UMaine Foundation (NOT the M Club) and mail it to:

University of Maine Foundation
Buchanan Alumni House
Two Alumni Place
Orono, ME 04469-5792

Order your own “M” plaque

The M Club has been awarding wall plaques with a chenille “M” under a plexiglas shield to all graduating University of Maine varsity letter winners since 2013.

The athletic department now awards certificates, but not actual chenille letters or the M sweaters and M jackets that you may remember.

For former Black Bears, the sweater or jacket may no longer fit, but a wall plaque is forever.  You can order the same plaque with a plate engraved with your name, sport and year of your first varsity letter.  By doing so, alumni letter winners can not only obtain this handsome keepsake for their offices or dens, but will also be helping to finance the program for upcoming letter winners.

To do so, print out and fill out the order form, enclose your check to the University of Maine Foundation and mail as directed.  The plaque will be mailed directly to you.

Haskell strikes again

Former University of Maine athletic director Stu Haskell has done it again. Building on his epic effort, “The Maine Book: University of Maine Athletics 1881-2007,” Haskell has compiled comprehensive all-in-one lists of both men and women’s “M” winners over the years, and centuries, 19th into the 21st.

It totals up to approximately 13,000 names, according to Haskell, although he did not count them line for line. Nevertheless, when added to all the information in “The Maine Book,” these new lists, A to Z, combining all sports, Black Bear enthusiasts now have as complete a history of UMaine sports as is possible.

The M Club appreciates Stu’s efforts, and his allowing us to bring this priceless information to you.

The Maine Book on-line

“The Maine Book: University of Maine Athletics 1881-2007,” a massive undertaking and labor of love for former UMaine athletic director Stu Haskell ’56, is posted on-line on the M Club website.

Every team, every athlete, everyone who ever performed for the Black Bears through 2007 is here. The records, the statistics, team photos. If it’s not in the book, it didn’t happen.

The M Club owes Stu many thanks for making the complete record book, almost 800 pages, available to everyone.

Seven honorary M’s inducted at Silver & Gold Breakfast

The M Club inducted seven new honorary members during the annual Silver & Gold Breakfast held on Saturday morning of Homecoming in the Wells Conference Center.

Also honored during the breakfast were letter winners of 50 and 25 years ago. Receiving certificates in honor of the golden anniversary of their first “M” were Ed Ainsworth (soccer, first letter earned 1965), Dave Ames (baseball 1965), William Blaine (riflery 1965), Richard Clark (cross country 1965), Dennis Doyle (football 1964), Wayne Hanson (riflery 1965), Bruce Hauck (tennis 1964), Ron Lanza (football 1963), Rick Marco (skiing 1966), Thomas Miller (soccer 1966), Walter Nelson (football 1965), Pete Norris (football 1965), Jerry Perkins (football 1965), Ray Severy (cross country 1965), Robert Stolt (football 1965) and Norm Viger (skiing and golf 1963).  Silver recipients were Kelly Callahan Townsend (softball 1990) and Marci Train (swimming 1992).

Inducted as honorary members of the M Club were Paul Hannigan, Ronald Morrill, Hayden Shaw, Dr. Robert Strong, Janine Tremble ’86, and John ’64 and Betsy Vickery.

Hannigan was nominated for an honorary “M” by Seth Woodcock, associate director of athletic development, who notes that Hannigan “has been a steadfast supporter of UMaine athletic programs for several decades.  Paul’s support and loyalty represent the very best in our fans and we are lucky to have him on our team.”

Morrill “has been a devoted supporter of the women’s hockey program since its inception 18 years ago,” according to women’s hockey coach Richard Reichenbach. “He continues to lead our friends group and support the program in any way he can find helpful to us.”

Shaw has been a board member of the Friends of Maine Football, working on the growl towel, youth day, golf tournament and Alfond Challenge fundraisers. Nominated by Lynn Coutts, senior associate director of athletics, he also is a board member of Friends of Maine Hockey and Baseball.

Strong has served as the NCAA faculty athletic representative for the past seven years. He is a great supporter and advocator for the University of Maine, but more specifically, he was a great ambassador for Maine athletics, according to Eileen Flaherty, former senior associate director of athletics, who nominated him.

Tremble has been a tireless advocate for UMaine athletics while serving as president of the Black Bear Board. She has been instrumental in helping to make successful signature events such as the Super Supper, according to Greg Jamison, former president of the Black Bear Board of Advisors, who nominated her.

The Vickerys’ support of UMaine athletics goes back many years, notes Barb Dalton, a member of the Black Bear Board of Advisors, who nominated them. Betsy has served on the Black Bear Board for many years, and has been a supporter of the Super Supper. The Vickery family owns W.S. Emerson, which is a licensed  vendor of Black Bear apparel. The Vickerys have made considerable in-kind donations to all UMaine athletic programs.

Send us links to former Black Bears

If you know of any newspaper or magazine stories about former Maine athletes in their current lives, be it business, family or still in sports, let M Club board member Bob Kelleter know and we’ll link it up below for all to see. E-mail him at bob@kelleter.us with the URL. Thank you!

(The M Club board meets every third Wednesday, September through May.)