I was delighted to hear directly from three classmates recently. Wendy Bradstreet Rozene and her husband, Dick, have three daughters and two four-year-old grandsons. They “survived the pandemic by downsizing, packing, selling our home of 36 years, and building a new home and unpacking. Our grandsons grew up over FaceTime and work continued over Zoom meetings. Vaccinations have brought some normalcy to our lives and [we] are now having family vacations, visiting with family and vaccinated friends.” As a person living with an autoimmune disease, Wendy urges everyone to get vaccinated, “if not for yourself, for those of us that need your help, to protect your classmates that could die from this dreadful disease.” Wendy retired 10 years ago from teaching and coaching field hockey. After 33 years as an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church, she planned to retire in 2021. She says: “It’s been a great journey.”
Gary Hotham shared the news of the death of Jeffrey Smith. Gary says, “I really knew Jeff from Skyway Junior High School and Presque Isle High School. We are both PIHS class of 1968. He was a serious, hardworking student and I think he knew he wanted to farm in northern Maine from a very early age. Not like me and probably many other classmates who had no desire to be a potato farmer (my father was) or stay in northern Maine.” You can find his obituary in the Bangor Daily News online.
Alysan Baker Raymond ’74G writes that she and Dale ’71, ’73G “have been happily married now for 47 years and have three great children. I’m a retired YMCA executive and I heartily encourage you to give your local Y a try if you’re not already a member. Y’s have lots of programming for older adults; I actually teach an aquacise class and love it. Stay active!”
The Alumni Association sent me clippings about the achievements of three classmates. The Maine Forestry Museum honored four Hall of Fame inductees during their Logging Festival Days in Rangeley last summer, including Sarah Medina of Dixmont. The 2021 inductees are the first women to receive this honor. Sarah was the first woman to pursue a forest management degree at UMaine and the first woman employed as a field forester in Maine.
The Maine Women’s Hall of Fame honored its 2020 and 2021 inductees in a ceremony that coincided with Women’s History Month (March 2021). Betty-Jane Stanhope Meader G was one of the 2020 inductees. She is a retired fashion merchandising/retail management and marketing professor at Thomas College in Waterville, former state president of the American Association of University Women of Maine, and the Maine Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, advocate for women’s rights and life skills, community volunteer, patron of the arts and film, and devoted family member and friend.
James Dill ’74G received the University of Maine’s Presidential Public Engagement Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in community engagement affecting Mainers of all ages and sectors, from agriculture to schools. Jim, an entomologist, has been the UMaine Extension pest management specialist since 1981. He also serves as Extension professor, coordinating the UMaine Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, and the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Pesticide Safety Education programs. He has served as an associate program administrator and as a legislative and congressional resource liaison.
In his more than 40-year career, Jim has been instrumental in growing and developing Maine’s pest management and pesticide safety education initiatives. Under his leadership as Maine’s first IPM coordinator, multiple agricultural sectors have increased crop yield and quality, reduced pest damage, and minimized pesticide use.
He has provided outreach on insects, ticks, and other arthropod pests, and authored manuals in IPM and pesticide safety.
Since 2012, Jim has served in the Maine Legislature and is the senate chair of the committees on Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry, and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. His community service also includes leadership roles on local school boards and Orono-Old Town Kiwanis International.