Class of 1954 Summer 2020 Class Note

Harmon D. & Jane Stevens Harvey

Well, fall has long become history but we had not had an opportunity to cover this as our last column was assembled just too late to report on the September activities. We have to report that the energy at this Reunion for Class of ’54ers was much diminished from all of our previous gatherings. In fact, we had only 11 attendees, including spouses or partners over the three days. However, to be realistic, we have to recognize that at this point in time a significant number of our classmates have passed and those of us who remain, are in our late eighties or the nineties! Can you believe it?

In spite of the usual packed activities our class has experienced in the past, we attended many of the general activities for all classes. Our highlights were the All Alumni Banquet on Thursday night and the class reunion on Friday. The list of participants in all our class activities includes: Paul and Wanda Royte, Wallace and Mary Small Eckton ’57G, Linwood White G, ’65 C.A.S., Forest and Shirley Kirk Ayer, Margaret Robinson Manzer, Al and Sally Carroll Fernald ’55, and your humble correspondent.

The highlight for our class was the recognition at the banquet of us celebrating as the “Oldest Intact Class in Attendance at our 65th Year!” The best part of that was that class pictures were taken, and in honor of our longevity, we were first, a real gift, at the end of a nice but long evening. On Friday our class meeting was held with action taken to disburse some of the funds remaining in our coffers. A total of $25,000 was given, with the first gift made to the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (Rise Center) in the amount of $5,000. Somewhat larger gifts of $10,000 each were made respectively to the new, just-named at the Reunion, Ferland Engineering Building and Class of ‘54 Scholarship Fund administered by the UMaine Foundation. Our gratitude is expressed to Al Fernald, who once again stepped up to provide the leadership for a fine event! Unfortunately, in addition to news from our Reunion, we heard from only one classmate since our last column, Carl Kruse. Carl had copied a letter that he wrote to “Kelley” to Dan Willett ’69, ’70G of the Foundation, which was forwarded to us. He relates that he is VERY busy — “too much for a text”! It is apparent that his major occupation in life is music. He was auditioning before Christmas for programs and was already scheduled for more. He was hosting the Sarasota County Croquet Club’s potluck supper and expecting 60-70 to attend. Carl was also hosting the usual gang from the SCCC for Thanksgiving dinner. Carl goes to the Rossmoor, NJ, Community Church. For the December 22nd special service he was to sing the nativity “Candlelight Carol” By John Rutter. He went on to talk about plans for his 88th musical birthday show, although his next birthday wasn’t until April of this year. Hope you had a happy birthday, Carl, and congratulations on such a fulfilling life!

Finally, as we put our life’s affairs in order, keep in mind that a wonderful “pay it forward” act can show our gratitude for how our UMaine education has enriched our lives. Please consider a gift to the university. Consider that in the year ending December 31, 2019 that the General Endowment Fund grew by 17.2 percent! Our class scholarship at year’s end was $124,194.10.