Class of 1955 Winter 2022 Class Note

I hope that you are doing well and are beginning to resume a normal life after our pandemic year.

A small group of 1955 classmates met for lunch on Monday, August 23 at the McKernan Center at the Southern Maine Community College campus in South Portland to celebrate our postponed 65th Reunion. It was a very congenial group, and we enjoyed getting caught up on news of everyone and of other classmates. There were several cancellations at the last minute due to illness and also the remnants of a hurricane the day before, which made driving a little risky.

We had a short business meeting, and our present officers Paul Butler, president; Mert Robinson, treasurer; Mary Atkinson Johnson, class agent; and Janet Bishop Butler, class correspondent; were re-elected to serve until our next reunion. The above classmates plus Jan Marston Bodwell, Sally Carroll Fernald, Bill Mannheim, and Jon and Lois Pratt Pulsifer were our “reunion team.” We thank them for their guidance and help. We especially extend our thank you to Marion Bugbee Mannheim, who was our president for over 20 years. 

Always enthusiastic and a loyal supporter of the university, Marion was a true leader for the Class of 1955.

Our treasurer, Mert Robinson, made a motion to transfer $3,000 to the Senior Alumni Scholarship account, which was voted on and passed. 

An interesting fact is that since 2000, our Class of 1955 Scholarship Fund has awarded $110,49l to 89 recipients. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

Shirley Kirk Ayer and Forest Ayer ’54 drove from Bangor. So nice to see them. They were getting ready to go to Arizona for the winter months. 

Betty Forss is another classmate who spends the winter months in a warm climate. She goes to St. Petersburg, FL.

Esther Babb Colby brought her son, Colin Colby, and her daughter-in-law, Candace, to the luncheon and we enjoyed meeting them. 

It was nice to see Kay Fletcher Mosher ’54 and Ab Mosher. It was extremely quiet when we were asked for a volunteer to lead us in singing the “Stein Song.” Thanks to Ab Mosher, who did a remarkable job. You must be prepared to do this again at our next reunion.

Mert and Donna Robinson always like to come to Maine, especially when there is a reunion. Mert is a very busy person when it comes to our class; he is both treasurer and our class’s representative to the Senior Alumni Committee. He always has good ideas to share with us.

I talked with Erlon and Faith Wixson Varney ’56, ’65G before our Reunion, and they wanted very much to attend, but due to a medical situation, they could not be with us.

Bill Johnson and Marilyn Pennell Johnson ’57 also were planning to attend, but Marilyn had an accident the week before. Hope you are doing okay now, Marilyn.

We had a guest speaker, Dr. Alice Veazey, who is the director of the University of Maine Portland Gateway. The University established the Portland Gateway to “provide a one-stop connection and point of access to the vast array of innovative research and outreach resources, programs, and services the state’s research university in Orono and its facilities statewide.” Thank you, Dr. Veazey, for an interesting presentation.

We are deeply indebted to Ashley Nemer Twombly ’10, ’12G from the alumni office, whose responsibilities are preparing for all the reunions for every class. Thank you for all that you did for us. We really do appreciate it.

Dee Gardner ’89 from the alumni office also joined us. Dee is another extremely busy person and is always a welcome guest.

As we were leaving the Southern Maine campus, the fog finally lifted, and we were able to see the Portland Harbor and Casco Bay to end a nice day. It must have been much better going back to the Camden area for Allen ’54 and Sally Carroll Fernald minus the fog.

One last thing before I end this column — we have vacancies in the positions of vice president and secretary and also members for the Reunion Committee. You do not have to live in Maine, as most of our work is done via email, telephone, or Zoom. If you are interested in volunteering for these positions, please get in touch with Ashley Twombly, Director of Alumni Programs, in the Alumni Office (207) 581-1144 or email:

And please remember me with your news or just to say “hello.”