Honors College Staffer Emily Cain Among Honored Alumni

Contact: Joe Carr, joe.carr@umit.maine.edu

ORONO — University of Maine Honors College advancement coordinator Emily Cain was among several alums recognized with annual awards during an Oct. 16 Homecoming event at Buchanan Alumni House.  University of Maine Alumni Association President Todd Saucer ’93, ’97G presented the awards, with assistance from board chair Kurt Marston ’74, ’79G.

Cain, a 2002 graduate who is currently working on a UMaine Ph.D. in public policy, received the Spirit of Maine Achievement Award, given to an alum who graduated within the past 15 years.  Winners’ accomplishments, commitment and initiative reflect the high standards and vitality of the University of Maine.  Cain, was elected on Nov. 2 to her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives representing District 19.  She served as House Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs in the 124th Maine Legislature.  A music education major as an undergraduate, Cain also earned a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University.  An accomplished singer, she led those in attendance in a rousing rendition of the Stein Song.

Sylvia A. Tapley ’65 was presented the Hilda A. Sterling ’55 Class Correspondent Award in recognition of exemplary service to her class as their correspondent since 1972. A loyal alumna who was sociology major, Tapley came to the university as a sophomore and immediately became active in campus organizations. She joined Chi Omega and served as its president her senior year. She belonged to the Maine Christian Association, worked on the Prism yearbook, served on the Pan Hellenic Council, and belonged to the Social Work Club.  She also joined the board of Associated Women Students (AWS) and was activities chair for Hart Hall.

Alicia J. Nichols ’82 received the 2010 Block “M” Award presented for outstanding leadership in local alumni chapters, class activities and support of programs sponsored by the association. Nichols, a professional fundraising consultant, was honored for generously volunteering her time and expertise in assisting in UMAA’s fundraising efforts as well as for her work with her class reunion committee and the Kennebec Valley Alumni Chapter. Nichols was instrumental in developing a Maine Women’s Ice Hockey Program in the 1980s and recently helped organize a highly successful alumni day celebrating three decades of women’s hockey at UMaine. “I dedicate this award to all the women who’ve played Division I Ice Hockey at UMaine… because there is no ‘I’ in team,” she said in accepting the award.

Saucier called on Dana Humphrey, dean of UMaine’s College of Engineering, to induct Elwood “Woody” Beach ’51 as a Distinguished Member in the Francis Crowe Society.  The society is named for the 1905 UMaine alum who spearheaded construction of the Hoover Dam, among the largest, most complex engineering projects of its time. Beach, a general engineering major at UMaine, commented on how the breadth of his engineering education from the university helped him succeed in overcoming many diverse challenges he faced during his long career in the paper and related industries.

The event also featured formal creation of a new recognition society: the Alvin S. McNeilly ‘44 Cornerstone Society. The society recognizes those who have made outright or planned gifts of $10,000 or more to the UMAA endowment. Adrienne Pelletier= ’05, ‘08G, director of alumni giving, presented the plaque to McNeilly and quoted his many accomplishments and contributions. In accepting the honor, McNeilly talked about his relationship with the Class of 2010 and said, “If you are worried about the next generation, don’t be. These are smart kids who will make a mark on the world.”

The highlight of the afternoon was the unveiling of the 2010 Traditions Garden, a gift from the most recent graduating class with assistance from several other classes. The traditions concept grew out of the class’s interaction with McNeilly ’44, who initiated the “adopt a class” program four years ago.  Asked to speak to first year students about UMaine traditions from the past, McNeilly formed a bond with those students that led to the Class of ’44 working with the Class of 2010 to help them build class unity and make a difference to the university. According to Class of 2010 president, Ashley Robinson, the class could think of no better way to contribute than to help preserve the university’s heritage through their new garden. The landscaped area features stepping stones, benches and plaques explaining each of the traditions, such as Maine Day, Ivy Day, Senior Skulls and Sophomore Owls among others. It is located on the side of Buchanan House facing Lengyel Gym.