I am writing this column on a beautiful, sunny autumn day in coastal Maine. I find it to be the most wonderful season here. The weather is great, stores and restaurants are still open, and the tourists are a bit fewer so it is easier to get to where you’re going.
It was great to see so many of you at Homecoming and Reunion! I missed some of you at tailgate — wish I could have caught up with everyone. We held a class business meeting to elect officers. Class president is Tom Nash; vice president, Deede Dunbar; treasurer, Teresa Henchey DeBenedictis ’90G; and secretary, Diana Douglas Nye. I will continue as class correspondent and have added the duties of class agent, in which I will serve as liaison with the UMaine Foundation for scholarships and other things. Cindy Renaud Alexander ’04 CAS will continue on the executive committee. We have a Class of 1984 Scholarship Fund, which has a current market value of $3,989.97. I will send out more information on that later.
Tammy Thompson Morse lives in Portland. She has two children and an eight-year-old grandson. She has worked for the city of Portland for 18 years in the social services department.
It was great to see Pat Dunn. He has recently relocated to San Francisco — such a fun city!
I spent some time with Rich Vannozzi ’06G at Buchanan Alumni House before everyone else arrived. Rich is in his first semester as assistant professor of surveying engineering technology at UMaine. He is very excited about returning to his alma mater to teach!
I received a note from Paul Crowell, who studied electrical engineering at UMaine. He writes that he has worked in the automation side of semiconductors, doing consulting regarding production chip layout and performance optimization techniques. He managed a silicon design center for Vitesse until about 12 years ago, when he transitioned to doing mobile phone app user interface design. He also worked for Ford Motor Company and helped design several automotive chipsets that are still in Ford cars today.
Paul also learned to rehab stroke sufferers with speech loss by using the technique of therapeutic singing. The practice of daily singing can rehab their speech to use the untapped neurons for motor in the undamaged part of the brain.
Since graduation, Paul has lived mostly in Colorado, Northern California, and Arizona. From 2006-2007 he lived in Israel, where he consulted for semiconductor design shops. He has been to more than 30 holy sites around the world. He currently does gigs from IT support to volunteering, and he walks at least 100 miles per month.
I wonder if Paul and I crossed paths at Boardman Hall, where I had several accounting classes. We shared classroom space with the electrical engineers.
The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce recently honored several UMaine grads, including Carl Soderberg. Carl is the owner of Soderberg Construction, which received the Community Support Business of the Year award. Carl was praised for constructing or reconstructing hundreds of ski hills and recreational trails in central Aroostook County, including the Nordic ski and hiking trails behind Caribou High School, a tubing hill at Bigrock Ski Area in Mars Hill, and ski trails at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. Soderberg Construction is constructing the new preK-8 Caribou Community School.
Not only are Carl and I fellow UMaine grads, but we are also Caribou High School 1980 graduates. Considering how close our last names are alphabetically, we often shared the same homeroom. I have used many of those Northern Maine ski trails and am pleased to see Carl and his company receive this award.
I am on UMaine’s campus usually about once a month for a football game or some other event. I was there recently to have lunch with a friend’s daughter, who is a freshman and I noticed that the unattractive blue panels on Shibles Hall have been painted! They are now a brownish color, which mirrors the brick and the effect is quite pleasing to the eye! Now, it is possible this happened some time ago and I just didn’t notice. In any case, check it out the next time you are on campus and let me know what you think.
I was on campus in October for the unveiling of the world’s largest 3D printer at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The Center is an amazing place and, if you have not taken a tour of it, I highly recommend you do. They are doing important work and are internationally recognized. If this had been at UMaine when I was a student, I would have become an engineer, not an accountant.
That is all I have for this time, but you know I will have plenty more news for you in the next issue. I hope to hear from many of you about what is going on in your lives. It has been 35 years since graduation, so you’ve all been doing something during that time!