Class of 1981 Summer 2020 Class Note

Barb Brown Dalton

How do you write a column during a pandemic? This won’t go to print for a few months, and we have no idea where our country and our world will be at that point. I’ve thought of my parents a lot lately, and how they grew up in the Great Depression and then many went off to World War II. Some even had their college years interrupted by the war. We’ve had it pretty good. We can endure a few weeks at home, if it helps to defeat this deadly virus. Our economy will recover, and we’ll adapt and carry on, just as our parents did post WWII. I do believe that we will come out on the other side with a new perspective. A kinder, gentler society, I hope. We won’t take so much for granted. I suspect there will be a vaccine or drugs discovered to effectively treat COVID-19. The day this magazine lands in my mailbox, I hope I read these words and say, “yes, I was right.”

Let me start with a quick shout out to the one and only Doug Hall, man of many talents, the latest of which involves brewing Brain Brew Custom Whiskey at his Eureka! Ranch in Newtown, Ohio. Check that — he shifted gears in March and quickly started manufacturing hand sanitizer for front line healthcare providers and first responders. A great example of people stepping up, as they have all across the country, in this time of crisis. Thanks to Doug and to all classmates out there in healthcare, grocery stores, and other essential services. We will forever be indebted to you for your donations and sacrifices to keep us all well.

Those of us who served on Senior Council with Mark O’Brien will enjoy this description of him in the Kennebec Journal, as he completed his fifth term on the Augusta City Council and officially left office. “…Mark O’Brien won the respect of his peers. He did so not with a loud voice or by courting controversy, but by being a good listener whose civil and thoughtful approach made his fellow councilors and board members realize that to ignore him would be at their own peril.” He had also previously served six terms on the Board of Education. A respected public servant indeed, in his “real job,” Mark is an attorney for the U.S. Small Business Administration. He and wife, Julie, raised five children in Augusta, which is also Mark’s hometown.

Gary Gonyar ’02G, ’14 C.A.S. wrote that he is “retiring after 36 years in public education and relocating to Charlottesville, VA, to be closer to family.”

Donna Peare left the pulp and paper industry in 2003 and started a teaching career at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. In 2016, she moved to Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, where she now teaches earth and physical science, biology, and forest ecology. Donna and her husband enjoy traveling and have been to most states and many European countries.

After retiring as a school administrator, Jon Perry decided to head back to his alma mater to become the head baseball coach for Hampden Academy. You may remember Jon as a Black Bear, playing all four years including a trip to the College World Series in 1981. Unfortunately, his first season at the helm of the Hampden team will have to wait until next spring, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We all look forward to the crack of the bats next spring, as it seemed a little strange without them this year.

Pam Fowler Wells is a cover girl! If you happened to pick up the November 2019 issue of Down East magazine, you may know what I’m talking about. Pam was featured front and center, and her efforts to teach women to be stewards of Maine’s woods were applauded in a wonderful article. She and her husband, Bryan, have restored a once-ailing woodlot on the Milford/Greenfield town line and the recovering forest is now open to the public with trails designed to highlight woodland ecology and sustainable forestry practices. Teaching women the basics of harvesting timber is just one of Pam’s many activities. She also loves wildlife photography and donates her images to various conservation groups. If you’re a female and have always wanted to learn how to use a chainsaw…give Pam a shout!

Last year was a BIG year for many of us, as we hit that milestone birthday! How the heck did that happen? Seems like just yesterday, we were rushing down the mall to our next class or hitting fraternity row for a night of partying! Marcia Green celebrated in style with a reunion of Chi Omega sisters, along with her family, at Pine Point. Judi Morgan O’Halloran, Jane Morgan Wiseman, Stephanie Treadwell Lund, Chris Cashman Rothweiler ’84, Stacey Smith Guerin, Anita Godin Burgess ’80, and Maggie Towle Campbell ’82 all joined Marcia for her big day. Those Greek relationships sure do withstand the test of time!

Our class scholarship recipient this year is Tholia Hallett from Falmouth, daughter of Connie Hallett ’94G. She is majoring in finance and will be a sophomore in the fall.

Until next time, classmates, be well. Here’s hoping we can all gather at Homecoming 2020!