Class of 1954 Winter 2022 Class Note

Fall is here and just about now 72 years ago we were “green Frosh” starting on new adventures at UMaine at Orono! Was it really that long ago? We are now spread across the globe in retirement and hopefully with good memories of friends and loved ones. Another column may continue to keep your memories up to date.


A recent email from Orono called our attention to a recent podcast of “The Maine Question.” In the episode Allen ‘54 and Sally Carroll Fernald ‘55 discuss their lifelong relationship with their alma mater, and how the state and UMaine have evolved over time, including the University’s development into an internationally recognized, top–tier research institution. 


Before Orono, Allen was from away — Haverhill, MA — and Sally was a native of Southwest Harbor, ME. When it came time for Allen to select a college, his father — a paper industry manager — had contacts at UMaine and with the pulp and paper engineering program there. Also, Allen’s brother was a UMaine Black Bear. Although ‘paper’ was not Allen’s choice, he entered Orono enrolled in liberal arts. Sally was a dreamer who believed she wanted to go to some big, busy school but her father stepped in to ensure she enrolled at Orono, where she too, landed in liberal arts. 


Allen said that in his freshman year he was intimidated by his older male classmates. He didn’t date much. The second year, he pledged to a fraternity and attended a first-of-the-year mixer dance. He was drawn to one girl right away, but couldn’t get to her much during the evening — but he got to her for the last dance. That was it! They have been together ever since!


After graduation, the Fernalds left the state to make their fortunes in the world, keeping contacts with several friends at Orono. They moved back to Maine with the purchase of DownEast Magazine, a rather stodgy (ed.), black and white magazine. By this time, they had children in Orono, and they became close personal friends with the President, Arthur Johnson, and his wife. Throughout this relationship, Allen began to grow his magazine, as well as to be called upon to help in fundraising for the university. Allen’s time spent away had prepared him well for his new roles in Maine: bringing DownEast into the modern years by introducing computer technology into printing and subsection handling, increasing publication from four issues per year to 11 or 12, full working at color layout presentation, etc. These skills were gained from time spent at CBS Broadcasting, and with college textbook publishers and international publishing houses before he came back to Maine.


Allen and Sally’s time back in Maine has given them lots of time for reflection and, in retirement, has given them time to reflect on how they transformed DownEast which they no longer own. The outstanding magazine has become a seller of a “new Maine,’ a Maine of ‘outdoors.’ It focuses on the environment and new technologies as they affect Maine lifestyles.


Before we leave our notes on the Fernalds, it must be noted we have passed our 50th class Reunion year and we are Senior Alumni. Because of his close relationship with the university on a day-to-day basis, Allen has become our de facto class leader. Thank you, Allen. Our thanks go to Allen and Sally for all their years of loyal service to the university since ’54!


Another of our classmates, sadly, has passed, Joanne “Jody” Daley Clark of Gardiner, ME. She attended and graduated from Northfield School for Girls (Northfield Mount Hermon) and UMaine with a B.S. in education. While attending Northfield, Jody met a special friend whose future husband designed the home where Jody and her husband of nearly 68 years, Ralph M. Clark ’51, lived. Throughout her 90 years, she shared her zest for life, love of history, and lifelong learning by teaching U.S. and Maine history at local schools, College S.A.T. Preparation for the University of Maine at Augusta, and directed tours at Fort Western Museum in Augusta, ME.

As an active community member, Jody was involved in every community activity which promoted local betterment. She acted as a co-chair of the Bicentennial Committee. She was involved in countless activities that supported children’s growth, including scouting and library programs.


For a brief stint, Jody wrote a weekly “Around the Valley” column for the Portland Sunday Telegram. She served as the organist for Christ Episcopal Church in Gardiner for 38 years and served as accompanist for numerous formal and informal gatherings. Without a doubt, Gardiner lost a pillar of the community with Jody’s passing.

Jody is survived by three daughters, six grandchildren and her “adopted daughter of her heart.” Her family is certain Jody is enjoying playing some heavenly music and playing bridge in the next life. Our condolences to the Clark family.

In closing, we both recently celebrated our 90th birthdays and some family members, wanting to do something special, made a gift to the Class of ‘54 Scholarship Fund. Perhaps your family would consider such a move? No gift will be too small or too large!