Class of ’50 Fall 2017 Class Note

Ruth Holland Walsh

186 Jerry Browne Road

Apartment 1112

Mystic, CT 06355

(860) 536-6265


Our Class of 1950 celebrated its 67th Reunion from September 14-16 on the Orono campus. President Henry Saunders, Alton “Hoppy” Hopkins, and all of our executive committee plus classmates planned for a gala few days in Orono with high hopes that many of us would be able to attend.  We were proud of the fact that the Class elected Margaret Mollison McIntosh our President Emeritus of the Class in 2016 and that our honorary classmate Dan Willett ’69, ’70G could travel to York to make the presentation of the handsome plaque to Maggie. Though Maggie is not able to travel long distances, we thought of her and missed her dynamic leadership of the Class. Reunion featured tours of “new” campus buildings and facilities including the Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Teach LivE Lab, the New Media Center, and the Emera Astronomy Center. The great part of all of the new construction is that we can still find/see “our” campus as it was in 1950. Hoppy and classmates conducted a moving Memorial Service and we then moved upstairs in the Buchanan Alumni House to toast our own.

We announced the Class Scholarship total raised. September is glorious, and the campus showed some of the rich colors of fall in Maine!

We are doubly proud to announce that our President Henry W. Saunders was presented with the 2017 Stillwater Society Presidential Award in June. The award noted that Henry is a loyal volunteer, generous donor, and a respected advisor for us and that he indeed is a model Black Bear. Henry began working for Saunders Brothers in 1950 and retired as chairman in 1986. His grandfather and great-uncle founded the company in 1900 and it has been a leading manufacturer of commercial dowels, hardwood handles, and furniture items. Henry is also a published author whose work and research in hardwood manufacturing and sawmill production have made him a widely recognized expert in the field. He designed and built a highly productive sawmill, which is one of the leading short log sawmills in the world. Henry has also been commissioner of the Maine Land Use Regulation Board, which was the planning and enforcement agency for the unorganized portion of the state in an area the size of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined. He was also active in the transportation industry, and initiated increasing gross weights and safety for trucking by adding extra axles and engine compression braking in Maine and New Hampshire.

In addition to endowing three faculty positions at the University of Maine, Henry has supported a number of other causes including Buchanan Alumni House, the Collins Center for the Arts, and his class scholarships. Henry and Karen Marie Reilly have homes in Standish, ME, and Osprey, FL—and he continues to volunteer on the President’s Development Council and on the University of Maine Foundation Board. He is also a volunteer on the Board of the Friends of the School of Forest Resources.

We are mighty proud of Henry—and we appreciate his hard work for the Class of 1950!