“You can’t protect what you don’t know.”
– Lars-Eric Lindblad, Swedish-American entrepreneur and explorer who led the first tourist expedition to Antarctica in 1966
Dr. Paul Mayewski, director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, has explored more regions of the Antarctic than anyone else in the world. Over the last four decades, he has led dozens of scientific expeditions to this most pristine of continents that serves as an early warning system for greenhouse gas warming. Known worldwide for his global scale collection and analysis of ice core samples, he has demonstrated the existence of abrupt changes in climates of the past and the impact of humans on the climate, and has made important predictions about the future.
Last January, Paul returned to Antarctica – this time as an expert scientist with a group of 90 tourists as part of an 11-day cruise organized jointly by the University of Maine Office of Development and Travel Dynamics International (NYC). The travelers – including 15 adventurous UMaine alumni and friends – were eager to experience the dramatic beauty of the “white continent” and gain a better understanding of how climate change is affecting our environment.
Aboard the 297-foot Corinthian II, a luxury cruise ship ice-strengthened for voyages into Antarctic waters, Paul presented lectures and seminars to the enthusiastic travelers who hailed from all parts of the U.S., as well as from Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, England and Australia. Utilizing the fleet of Zodiac inflatable crafts, he, with the expedition staff, conducted shore landings and excursions so the group could explore the unspoiled wilderness of the islands, visit scientists at weather and research stations, and enjoy up-close encounters with penguins, seals, whales and icebergs.
Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, sometimes referred to as Fin del Mundo (End of the World), the travelers began their adventure by crossing the Drake Passage and entering the Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica and is a key region in determining global climate. As the ship made its way through scenic waterways, passengers were treated to a panorama of icebergs, glaciers and snowcapped mountains.
“It was really an outstanding trip,” said Dan Churchill ’63, a retired businessman who lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Betty. “Paul’s lectures were a major contribution to our experience. We came away with an increased understanding of climate change as well as a better appreciation of the vibrant beauty of Antarctica. It was a wonderful opportunity to observe such abundant wildlife in this beautiful and unique part of the world and to realize how very vulnerable it is to changes man is making to the environment.”
The Churchills, who have been associated with the Climate Change Institute for many years through their support of graduate research, said Paul has a knack for making complex scientific information understandable and interesting. He offered a fascinating look at how Antarctica is being affected by climate change and explained the implications this has on the rest of the world.
The Antarctic is changing rapidly because human activities have led to greenhouse gas warming of the lower atmosphere and ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, according to Paul. “When we first started working there we thought of it as absolutely timeless. But it is beginning to show dramatic changes. The edges of the ice are melting and contributing thus far to a small amount of sea level rise. We’re seeing the early effects of human source pollutants and we’re seeing stronger winds because of ozone depletion.” People can help mitigate climate change and its impact at the local level by driving more fuel efficient cars, building energy efficient homes, and buying locally grown foods, he told the group.
On the forays ashore, he provided much-needed perspective on global warming as the group toured the Vernadsky Research Station where scientists discovered and now track the Antarctic Ozone hole that is the direct consequence of humanly engineered CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) that are so efficient at destroying the ozone that protects Antarctica from solar radiation.
“He provided a great deal of information on climate history and on the increases in the principal greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane which are now driving this change,” said Dan. “We had many opportunities to ask questions, observe, and learn throughout the trip.”
The Churchills agreed that the shore expeditions were the highlights of the voyage. “The Antarctic Peninsula has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. We were lucky to have such great visibility,” said Betty, noting the sunny days and 30- to 40-degree temperatures typical of the Antarctic summer during which the sun rises at 5 a.m. and sets at 11 p.m.
One minute the voyagers were gazing in awe at craggy peaks and rocky precipices, massive glaciers and spectacular ice formations both above and in the polar waters. The next found them marveling at the diverse marine life and laughing as hundreds of inquisitive Adelie penguins descended upon them, grunting and barking.
“The penguins really are very endearing,” Dan said. “Both the adults and juveniles are curious and without any natural fear of man…they come up and peck at your clothing and gaze at you in a very studious manner. We saw many different seals including a large leopard seal which put on quite a show, investigating us and tasting our Zodiac before porpoising through the sea in pursuit of a penguin which successfully fled for its life.”
Paul, who calls himself “truly passionate about translating science to the public,” said cruise ship expeditions are particularly valuable in helping people become aware of the impact of climate change.
“They are an opportunity to spend several days with people who are excited about the Antarctic and who can become ambassadors and tell others about the importance and beauty of this region,” he said. “This is a place very few get to visit. Once you see a place, it’s easier to appreciate it. Antarctica has the cleanest air on the planet so you can see long, long distances. And the only thing you can hear is the sound of the natural system – nothing else. There’s no other continent on the planet about which you can say that.”
Sustaining our quality of life requires some effect on the environment, he said. But once people see the Antarctic’s dramatic beauty and learn how it has been altered by human activity, “they will have a better idea of what we’re trading off and how much we’re willing to trade off.”
The cruise created an important link between UMaine and supporters, according to Pat Cummings ’89,’44H, director of development for the College of Engineering. Serving as the university’s representative on the voyage, Pat said the Development Office’s first-ever sponsored trip “highlighted the Climate Change Institute – one of UMaine’s Centers of Excellence – and gave people a chance to get to know Dr. Paul Mayewski, one of our premier researchers, and see the impact of what he does.”
In addition to the Antarctic, Paul has led scientific expeditions to many remote places including the Arctic and the Himalayas. Through his groundbreaking research, he has observed the historic impact of humans on climate, reconstructed past atmospheric conditions, and demonstrated associations between climate and disruptions to civilization. He has received numerous awards and citations for his seminal contributions to the understanding of climate change.
|Author of “The Ice Chronicles,” which was published in 2002 and documents 100,000 years of climate history, Paul speaks to hundreds around the world each year and has appeared on CBS 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, Fox News and NOVA and been interviewed by more than 350 newspapers including the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor, as well as by National Public Radio.|
As director of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, he coordinates more than 50 faculty/staff members and researchers plus nearly 30 graduate students who are experts in the fields of climatology, archaeology, glaciology, geochemistry, ecology, history and marine geology. He founded and currently leads a 21-nation program called the International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE), whose goal is to understand the climate change of the last 200-1000 years in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean.
For Paul, it was as important to educate travelers about the strides UMaine has made in climate change research as it was to educate them about climate change. The university “has been one of the primary sources of researchers working in the Antarctic in the country if not the world,” he said. “We have made a name for ourselves – not just because of the numbers of people and expeditions that UMaine and the CCI have sent to Antarctica, but because of our discoveries.”
UMaine researchers have demonstrated the existence of abrupt climate change, contributed to the understanding of humans’ impact on the climate system through burning fossil fuels and polluting with toxic metals, determined what parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are susceptible to rapid melting, and provided a long term perspective on how the climate is changing, Paul said.
Christopher Stobart, a London businessman who took the cruise along with his wife Diana, said he came away wowed by UMaine’s accomplishments. “I was impressed by the extent of their efforts and the amount of traveling which Paul and others do to collect fresh samples from distant parts of the world. It was very impressive and interesting to see the conclusions and predictions which they derived from their analyses – for example that global temperatures can jump two-three degrees in two-ten years. This was something quite new and startling to me.”
Calling Paul “a knowledgeable and charming man – quite modest as well,” Chris said climate change is a subject most everyone’s concerned about. “It was a great treat and a privilege to speak to someone who is really dedicating his life to finding some serious answers.”
Chris said he enjoyed the Black Bear spirit that was evident throughout the voyage. UMaine alumni and friends regaled their fellow travelers with the Stein Song, one of the most recognized collegiate songs in the U.S. Even those not affiliated with UMaine happily joined in. A game of Maine trivia was met with the same enthusiasm. Answers to such questions as what is Maine’s highest peak, what is the name of Maine’s national park, and who is UMaine’s most famous alumnus (author Stephen King) were accompanied by plenty of laughter and prizes. Flagship pins, Maine Ice Age Trail Maps, and blue and white M & M candies –representing UMaine’s colors – were handed out to everyone.
For their part, the Churchills are grateful for the unique opportunity to help raise awareness about the Antarctic and its vulnerability to human activity. They said the UMaine trip helped them nurture a deep sense of environmental responsibility and that they have indeed been inspired to talk to others. They know they are educating people every time they share pictures and stories about their adventures.
“People really do become ambassadors for the Antarctic once they appreciate the beauty and the vulnerability of the region and understand the risks of climate change,” said Dan.
The UMaine Office of Development plans to offer a cruise to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic from July 31-Aug. 15, 2010, featuring Dr. Paul Mayewski as lecturer. For more information, call Dorain Foster at 581-1159.
Image Description: Members of the UMaine Office of Development Antarctic Expedition
Jon Ippolito, an assistant professor of new media who believes that art should be displayed and not hidden away in a closet, has donated to the University of Maine Museum of Art eight oil paintings by his father, Angelo Ippolito, internationally exhibited artist and renowned member of the New York School of abstract expressionism.
Works by Angelo Ippolito, who died in 2001, are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution. His paintings also hang in numerous corporate, university and private collections in Europe.
Now Maine residents will be able to see Angelo Ippolito’s oils, famous for their bright, colorful, abstract shapes. The works are planned to be unveiled late next fall at the UMaine museum in Norumbega Hall, downtown Bangor, as part of an Angelo Ippolito exhibition.
“I feel that the best place to store a painting is on the wall at a museum,” says Jon. “And my father would be happy to find that was the destination.”
The paintings, valued at an estimated $350,000, will provide a significant boost to Campaign Maine, the University’s six-year, $150 million comprehensive capital campaign.
Angelo Ippolito was a “pretty colorful character,” says his son. Born in Italy in 1922, he came to New York when he was nine. Unable to speak English, he dropped out of school and enrolled in art classes at the Brooklyn Museum. After serving in World War II, he continued to study art both in the U.S. and in Europe. He helped found The Tanager, one of the first art galleries in New York City’s downtown, which became the “epicenter of the art world.”
A tenured professor despite never having graduated from high school, Angelo Ippolito served as faculty or artist-in-residence at a number of universities including Michigan State University, Binghamton University, Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Angelo enjoyed watching the blossoming young artists find their personal niche, according to Jon. “He believed in listening to students and helping each one find her own voice.”
Charged with making sure his father’s art “goes to good homes,” Jon says that UMaine’s museum struck him as the perfect spot for the paintings, some of which are 10 feet wide. “The space has to be capacious and airy and befitting the scale and ambition of these works. The UMaine Museum of Art fits the bill.”
Professor Laurie Hicks, interim director of UMaine’s museum, says the paintings are a welcome addition. “This is a very substantial gift that’s going to move the museum toward a broader sense of itself. I’m excited by the fact that we’re going to exhibit them in the very near future.”
Jon, who says he will enjoy having some of his father’s paintings in his own backyard, was impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of Professor Hicks and her staff.
“They not only welcomed my gift but also very quickly put together the legal, financial and logistical instruments to make this happen. I’m so grateful to them for helping make this possible.”
Image Description: Sunset Regatta by Angelo Ippolito
Alumni Rendle and Pat Jones wanted to support the University of Maine with a gift that would encourage pre-law students who plan on going into public service.
Excited that the Honors College enables motivated students to receive a private school type of education at a public school price, the Camden couple decided this was where they would direct their support.
They established the Rendle A. & Patricia K. Jones Honors Thesis Fellowship Fund for students who express an interest in legal service in the public arena. A preference will be offered for students who wish to explore the history of the law or current affairs related to public health and human services, community development, and conservation or policy issues on a wide range of topics. In addition, a “Legal Quad” will be designated within the renovated Colvin Hall Honors Residence to inspire students to consider the legal profession.
The generous gift from Rendle, an attorney who graduated in 1964, and Pat, a real estate agent who earned her bachelor’s degree in 1965, will be endowed in the University of Maine Foundation and perpetuated through a trust in the Maine Community Foundation.
“This is our way of helping the University nurture the bright people who hopefully will stay in the state and help Maine grow,” says Rendle. “The Honors College provides a special niche in the education market. It’s like having an Ivy League school within the public university. It helps elevate the whole institution.”
Reinforcing the noble role played by public service lawyers also was important to Rendle, who knows something about the satisfaction that comes from helping ensure that everyone has equal access to justice. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and government from UMaine and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law, he served as a staff attorney and director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, an organization that provides free legal services to low income people. In 1968, he joined the Camden law firm of Gilbert Harmon, which later became Harmon, Jones & Sanford, LLP, where he is the senior partner.
“People in private practice can take of themselves financially and don’t need coaxing,” he says. “Those going into the public arena need a little encouragement to choose a life of public service. Whether they decide to work for an organization like Pine Tree or the U.S. Department of Justice, or become a district attorney or judge, they ought to be encouraged.”
Established in 2003, the Honors College wasn’t around when Rendle and Pat were undergraduate students. But they recall the enthusiasm generated by its predecessor, the Honors Program, headed at the time by Professor Bob Thompson, Rendle’s advisor and one of his favorite teachers.
“He was terrific. He made the subject interesting. I took every course I could get from him because I enjoyed him so much,” says Rendle.
The couple was thrilled to discover that the small Honors program they were familiar with had blossomed into a full-fledged Honors College with its own dean, curricula, and living and learning environment. Today, more than 700 motivated students are enrolled in the Honors College where they investigate diverse academic areas and engage in thoughtful, provocative discussion with fellow students and enthusiastic, distinguished faculty.
Honors College Dean Charlie Slavin says the thesis fellowship fund will enable students to be “more committed” to the time-consuming, difficult task of writing their Honors Thesis. He was especially pleased with the gift because it reinforces the academic goals of the Honors College. “The study and practice of law require an ability to think critically and to read carefully. Those are two skills that are the hallmarks of the Honors curriculum, and we think our students excel in those areas. In addition, law requires the ability to research carefully – and that’s what the thesis is all about.”
Rendle and Pat, who met when they were in their first year at UMaine, credit their alma mater with giving them the foundation that enabled them to launch successful careers.
Personal motivation, along with the support and guidance of his professors helped him graduate in three years, says Rendle, who grew up in Richmond. A history and government major, he planned on going into law ever since graduating from high school.
Pat, a Deer Isle native, took a more roundabout route to what would become a thriving real estate career at Town and Country Realtors in Camden. A microbiology major, she recalls the small, yet “stimulating” program that enabled her and seven classmates to interact with faculty, graduate students and each other. They even were involved in the same cutting edge plant research being done at the time by The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor.
With a bachelor’s of science degree from UMaine, Pat had no problem landing numerous jobs at labs in hospitals throughout southern and eastern Maine. After staying home with the couple’s two children for a time, she went to work in Rendle’s firm as a real estate paralegal. She found the work so fulfilling that she enrolled in real estate courses at what is now University College in Rockland.
“From there, I decided to become a real estate broker. I’ve been a realtor for 20 years and I enjoy meeting people, seeing homes, and walking a lot of land.”
Pat and Rendle, who keep in touch with a number of their classmates, frequently are reminded of their Black Bear connections. “It’s a small state, and we’re always bumping into people who went to UMaine,” Rendle says.
Drawing on their deep sense of community spirit, the pair is active on a variety of boards and organizations. Chair of the Camden National Corporation, one of the largest banks in the state, Rendle has served as member and chair on the board of Penobscot Bay Health Care and is former president of the Knox County Bar Association and governor of the Maine State Bar Association. He also is past chair of the Real Estate Section of the Maine State Bar Association. In 2003, he received the Townsperson of Year award from the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Selected “The Best of the Best” in real estate in 2005, Pat also was named Realtor of The Year by the Penobscot Bay Board of Realtors for her community involvement and service to the board.
The couple’s days are jam-packed as they attend to their respective businesses and meet their community service obligations. On weekends they kick back and enjoy reading, skiing and attending UMaine hockey games. From May through October they can be found cruising Penobscot Bay in their Back Cove power boat, Blue Magic.
Their home state has given the couple just the life they wanted.
“After graduation, a lot of our classmates left to find employment elsewhere,” says Pat. “But we decided we wanted to stay here and we’ve never regretted it.”
Image Description: Rendle and Pat Jones
For Richard Higgins, graduating from the University of Maine’s College of Engineering proved a double blessing. Not only did his UMaine diploma help the 1979 alumnus land a great job with the prestigious Boeing Company, but it also allowed him to feel comfortable working with top-notch professionals at the world’s premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft.
“The training I received at UMaine was so spot-on that within six months at Boeing I had been accepted as a member of the engineering team and was being recognized as a promising engineer,” Richard says. “There I was, working on the most advanced projects at the greatest aviation company in the world. UMaine helped me land this dream job.”
Recently retired from Boeing after a successful career that spanned nearly three decades and included three vice-presidential assignments, Richard has moved from Seattle to Santa Fe where he lives with his wife, Jean, who graduated from UMaine in 1976. She retired after 12 years at Costco Wholesale, first as the executive assistant for chairman of the company, and then for the executive vice president who headed up both Costco’s International Division and the ancillary businesses.
Neither Richard nor Jean has forgotten their Black Bear roots. Grateful for the outstanding engineering background Richard received at UMaine thanks to caring, knowledgeable professors, the couple provided a generous endowment gift so civil engineering students could get hands-on learning opportunities.
At the Richard and Jean Higgins Materials Testing Laboratory, undergrads test materials like shear plates, concrete cylinders and wooden trusses to determine their strength.
“That’s how you learn about the properties of different materials and why they’re well suited for certain types of engineering design,” says Richard, recalling the many hours he spent at the Boardman Hall facility when he was a student.
“We loved breaking things to test the materials and see how strong they were. It was fun stuff. At the same time it provided dramatic hands-on learning to reinforce the classroom learning.”
Knowing they are helping to ensure that the highest level of standards is maintained in the lab is gratifying to both him and Jean, says Richard. The decision to support the facility had been a family affair, with daughter, Colleen, also an engineer, weighing in as well.
“We wanted to give back to the University in a way that was measurable – to do something visible and effective. This was a place where we knew we could have a serious impact on the education students receive,” Richard says.
A native of New Jersey, Richard had a political science degree and a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard under his belt when he enrolled at UMaine and found “the greatest teachers I ever met.
“My professors were extraordinary,” he says. “Jean remembers me coming home from school and talking about these guys whom I respected so much. They were great engineers who took me under their wing and got me out of there in three years. Every time they saw me they stopped what they were doing and asked if I was sticking to my academic plan, how I was doing in class and if they could do anything to help.”
Under his professors’ tutelage, Richard earned stellar grades which became a constant source of pride. “Every time I succeeded at UMaine, I thought, ‘wow, I’m measuring up to what these professors see as good.’ It gave me confidence.”
That self assurance would prove to be a boon at Boeing where employees are hired based on their college performance. The company also places great importance on the ability to stand up for one’s beliefs.
“We’d have discussions with senior engineering experts with whom you’d have to argue your points about design,” says Richard, who had learned from his UMaine professors “not to be shy and not to hang back, but to push forward new ideas.’’ These discussions could be both animated and demanding of highly sophisticated engineering judgment. Safety is always first at Boeing. UMaine gave me both the technical skills and self-confidence to be a full participant in these discussions.”
Jean says her UMaine degree in psychology helped her launch a successful career as the Controller of a real estate development company, and then as an executive assistant at Costco where she performed a host of duties including organizing schedules and trips, planning meetings and developing presentations, doing financial analysis and working with the senior management teams and employees from all over the globe.
“The people skills that were required were pretty sophisticated. And the knowledge I gained at UMaine made all the difference.”
A firm believer in lifelong learning, Richard subsequently earned an MBA from Seattle University and now is working on a master’s degree in military history from Norwich University in Vermont through a rigorous, on-line program.
Passionate about military history – especially the Civil War — since he was a child, Richard says that, for him, the battlefield represents “the other side of the coin.” Aviation brings people together to solve problems while war drives them apart.
“It’s very important to understand why humans resort to conflict to solve problems,” he says.
His love of military history became “an important part of my career” when, as an executive, he would travel the globe, discussing with world aviation leaders how Boeing could facilitate aviation in their particular country.
“But we couldn’t talk about airlines all day and so this would give us common ground,” he recalls. “I’d ask, ‘didn’t such and such a battle happen close by here?’ It would open up a whole new discussion. They’d take me on tours of battlefields and everybody would go away feeling honored that I’d taken time to learn about their country. For myself, I gained great insight into their history and culture.”
Nowadays, in addition to working on his master’s degree and serving on a number of organizations, Richard keeps busy as a member of the Dean’s External Advisory Committee for the College of Engineering which meets several times a year to determine the overall direction for the College; provide input from the perspective of major employers; identify trends in the engineering industry; and advocate for the College and the University.
Richard says he is particularly proud of the group’s work helping to develop a new minor in Engineering Leadership and Management. The curriculum, which includes courses on professional communication, environmental and business ethics, critical thinking and decision making, aims to provide undergraduate engineering and engineering technology majors with an understanding of how to inspire others to want to achieve the vision and goals of an organization.
“Today, you need engineers who are more than engineers,” he says. “The most critical need in the industry is to be not just a good engineer, but someone who has the capabilities to lead a team of people from around the world to achieve a solution to a challenging problem.”
The new curriculum can help Maine engineering graduates be at the top of their game and enjoy a career as rich as his was, he says.
Image Description: Interim Chair and Professor of Civil Engineering Eric Landis; Jean Higgins; Richard Higgins; College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey
Each time University of Maine alumnus John Bridge gives to his alma mater he is improving upon a family tradition.
For generations, the Bridges have been staunch philanthropists, committed to giving generously to a variety of non-profit organizations, four in particular: their church, the YMCA, the hospital and the United Way.
But John decided another beneficiary should be added to his family’s list.
“For me, education came in as number five.”
Supporting UMaine has indeed become a priority for the civil engineering major who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1957 and a master’s degree in 1963. He also taught civil engineering at the University from 1957 to 1960.
Named Maine’s Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2005, John was inducted into the Francis Crowe Society as a Distinguished Engineer in 2003. His many gifts to the flagship University span a wide range of interests.
With his brother, Dave, he gave to the Chester G. Bridge Tennis Complex – to honor his father who introduced his four sons to the game. John is passionate about tennis to this day. He contributed to the Honors College which he says “maximizes the talent” of UMaine’s best and brightest. He established the John C. Bridge Civil Engineering Professorship, creating a permanent commitment to quality education at the flagship University. Most recently, he created a two-year fellowship for a graduate student in the English Department to write the history of Bridgecorp, the road construction company founded by John’s great grandfather, Amos Bridge, in 1875 in Hazardville, Conn.
“The fellowship is a way to fund the University and the student, and to help me at the same time,” says John, who served for more than 30 years as president and CEO of the family business which was sold to Pike Industries of New Hampshire in 2004. Today, John, who spends winters in Florida and summers in Manchester, Maine, works part-time as a consultant for Bridgecorp, visiting clients, inspecting projects, and working with legislators to improve Maine’s transportation network.
The story of Bridgecorp illustrates the importance of hard work and entrepreneurship as well as the huge changes that came about when machines began replacing man, says John, adding that Amos Bridge would be pleased knowing his legacy is being memorialized.
“There are eight file drawers of old material worthy of summarizing on paper,” John says.
John credits the University not only with giving him a strong technical background that helped him successfully lead the family business, but also with expanding his horizons through a broad array of general subjects – writing, speech, and business courses — that “prepared me for life in general.”
Some of his fondest Black Bear memories stem from his association with the tennis team.
“I like to say that I was number seven on a six-man team,” John recalls, laughing. “We had a lot of good times. My senior year Bob Chase and I were undefeated in doubles until the last match at Bowdoin.”
John particularly enjoyed his time as an instructor. Teaching six classes while earning his master’s degree made for days that were chock full – but happy and stimulating as well.
“I had always been interested in furthering my education, and the opportunity arose when the University offered me a job on the faculty,” says John whose teaching style was inspired by his former instructor, civil engineering Professor George Wadlin.
“I loved his discipline – correcting every homework paper for every student for every class,” says John. ”
Busy as he was back then, John tried as often as possible to work in a game of tennis. The courts then were located next to Boardman Hall, the civil engineering headquarters where he spent most of his time.
“My office was on the top floor and I could look right out onto the tennis courts,” he recalls. “I almost could have played between classes. I was tempted.”
Nowadays, John is free to play tennis whenever he likes. While in Maine for the summer he enjoys using the courts at the Augusta Country Club. He also spends time at the Kennebec Valley YMCA, built in 2006 through a wildly successful $10 million capital campaign that he co-chaired.
“Of course the amazing fact is that the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care raised about the same amount at the same time,” he says, referring to the new Augusta facility operated by Maine General Hospital.
“People are growing to be more generous.”
John also keeps busy with the Kennebec Valley Alumni Chapter, one of UMaine’s most active alumni groups. He has been a member for 20 years.
“I am very proud of my UMaine connection and I enjoy talking with others who share that same pride,” he says. “KVAC is a group of people who all love their University. We have important common ground and want to help UMaine be even more successful.”
Image Description: John Bridge at Dedication of the Chester G. Bridge Tennis Complex in Fall 2007