Class of 1984 Winter 2024 Class Note

Hi, classmates!

According to the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, we might be in for a cold and snowy winter here in Maine! Recalling some old folklore, I’ve seen a bunch of fuzzy bear caterpillars with wide black ends hoping to confirm this prediction. However, a Google search revealed that they can NOT predict how snowy and cold our winter will be. I did learn that several towns in the United States have festivals honoring the fuzzy bear (also known as woolly bear) caterpillars. Check them out if you live in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Kentucky. In any case, I got new cross-country skis last year and am hoping to use them often this winter, regardless of the fuzzy bear caterpillars!

We had a great time at Homecoming with many folks stopping by to tailgate with us. We have had season tickets for several years, along with John Kachmar ’89 and his wife, Ingrid, and my sister-in-law Dean Reed ’80 and her husband, Ben Reed ’86. Tailgating started at 9:00 a.m. so we cooked pancakes, bacon, and home fries — all comfort food. The weather was comfortable and dry, and Maine won the game! Sarah Homer Fortin and her husband, Marc ’83, joined us. Sarah and Marc split their time between Portland and Southwest Harbor (right down the street from me!). It was a fun day!

I got an email from Ben Alexander. After emailing back and forth, we figured out that we probably had known each other back in the day. (Ben, I looked you up in the yearbook and I most definitely remember you!) He teaches US history at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn. He just completed his third book, Ararat in America, about Armenian Americans, published by I. B. Tauris. Ben also copy-edits for the University of California Press and writes plays. He lives in Bloomfield, NJ.

Several UMaine grads were recently inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, including Susan Elias ’19 Ph.D. of Readfield. Susan was an outstanding track athlete and bicyclist. As a bicyclist, she was ranked Number 1 in America, Number 3 in the world, and finished fourth in the Tour de France Feminin, a race she competed in three times. She won several prestigious races and was named VeloNews’ US Woman Athlete of the Year. During her track career at UMaine, she set records in the 880, 800-meter, and 1500-meter runs along with the mile while also contributing to records in three relays. Wow! Way to go, Susan!

Bonnie Aleck has joined Western Mountain Financial Services in Farmington, which offers investment and retirement planning as well as portfolio management. She brings over 36 years of professional experience in the financial services industry.

Can you believe we will be celebrating our 40th Reunion next year? I hope that many of you will be joining in the fun at Homecoming. As some of you know, we established a Class of 1984 scholarship fund many years ago. The fund has a very small amount of money in it — our 40th is an opportunity for us to beef it up and provide meaningful scholarships to deserving students. Rich Vannozzi ’06G and I met with Dee Gardner ’89 from the UMaine Foundation to discuss moving forward with this campaign. Over the next few months, we will reach out to ask you to make a pledge to our scholarship fund, with the goal being to provide up to four (or more) $1,000 scholarships each year. Thank you for your support!

Please send me your news! Your emails are the best thing in my Inbox!