Barb Brown Dalton
21 Black Bear Drive
Veazie, ME 04401-6929
Facebook: University of Maine Class of 1981 and
I’m finishing this column up in a blizzard, challenged to remember details about Homecoming, and knowing that it won’t be published until spring! In this digital age, when everyone already knows what happened ten minutes ago, I’m kind of wondering how to attack this…but do think a few things are worth mentioning.
Whether you made it to Homecoming and our 35th Reunion or not, you’ve probably seen photos shared by friends on Facebook. I can’t begin to remember everyone I ran into and don’t want to slight anyone. Please check our Facebook page, University of Maine Class of 1981, for photos. If you have any that you haven’t posted yet, it’s not too late! Unfortunately, as times and budgets have changed, reunions are handled a bit differently and we didn’t have a great place to all get together. Some folks congregated at the reunion tent, but many others were in the tailgate area or at other parties around campus. A few of us have talked and we may want to more formally organize our own function after the game in five years. Please offer your feedback and suggestions. As we start to move closer to the retirement years (with some of you already there!), we will hopefully have a bit more time to spend in Orono that weekend and could make the 40th a little more special. At any rate, it was great to see those of you who attended and I hope you’ll start to make it an annual event vs. every five years!
On to some news! Wilton Jones was inducted into the Mount Desert Island High School Athletic Hall of Fame last fall. He coached boys’ basketball for 14 years and varsity golf for 15 years at MDI.
Looking for a good read? Rick Will (G) has authored a science fiction novel based on his archaeological research in the Canadian High Arctic. Set in 1980, Last Entry is about an adventure that goes terribly wrong. It’s available on Amazon. Rick resides in Ellsworth.
Barry Wight answered my plea to those of you whom we haven’t heard from in 35+ years! I wish I could include his entire recount of what he’s been up to, but space just won’t allow. Suffice it to say, his life has not been dull and he’s logged more miles than most of us put together! Starting with a trek to Alaska with three other classmates following our graduation, he then took off for Mexico and Central America. He squeezed in a Boston Marathon run the next spring, then went back to Alaska, on to Hawaii, a few other stops, New Zealand for nine months, and then Australia for six! He worked along the way and met his future wife while in New Zealand. They had one son, Forrest, who is a senior chemical engineering student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. I get lost on the next leg of his journey, which included Bali, Indonesia, Sumatra, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This route included some interesting jobs and living in thatched huts on the beaches of Thailand! After that, Burma, India, Nepal, and then another tour of many of the countries he’d previously visited.
All told, 50 states and around the world three or four times, ran nine marathons, and he has enough stories to fill the entire alumni magazine for several issues!
He eventually made his way back to Maine in 1988. Along the way, he had divorced and remarried a Maine gal—so Lynn brought him back to Gorham, where he now works in cyber security.
Jean Bingham made a move last April from Maine to Gainesville, VA. She is a program analyst with the USDA/Food and Nutrition Service in the WIC (Women, Infant & Children) unit in Alexandria, VA. She is responsible for helping state agencies and Indian tribal organizations become EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) compliant by October 2020. She says it’s an intense job, yet very rewarding, but she misses Maine very much and visits often! Susan Bradstreet Englert also moved about two years ago now to Greenville, SC. She renamed and rebranded her company last year, now Bradstreet Englert Creative, to better address the needs of her clients and to direct her marketing in a more strategic and purposeful manner. She’s active in her local business-networking chapter as VP, and also serves as a regional BNI ambassador. Husband, Steve, retired in 2015 and together they are enjoying the beauty of the area and the warmer climate.
Steve Holden ‘83G wrote that after consulting and teaching college for 16 years, he “has returned to the federal career civil service as the associate CIO for IT policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation.”
Lisa Pelkey Marchese is deputy attorney general in the Maine Attorney General’s office in Augusta. Lisa is a new member of the University of Maine system board of trustees. Lisa is longtime homicide prosecutor in the state, has chaired the Domestic Violence Homicide Review Panel, and currently serves on the AG’s human trafficking working group. Her work has been honored by the Maine State Bar Association and the Maine Child Abuse Action Network.
Peter Madigan received a Black Bear Award from the Alumni Association last fall. The award recognizes his work as a mentor and advisor to UMaine students seeking internships and careers in the nation’s capital.
Joel Maxcy connected with me via Facebook and shared that he lives in Philadelphia and works at Drexel University as an associate professor of sport management. Last fall, he spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in their forum that features noted speakers who explore regional and national issues from an economic perspective. His talk was on The Economics of College Sports. He’s also working on contributions to the book, Big Time College Athletes, Labor, and the Academy. Interesting topics, Joel, and ones that we struggle with here at UMaine.
That’s a good segue into my “support your alma mater” closing statement! It’s been a challenging sports year for many of our UMaine teams. Private support is so important to ensure that we can continue to compete at the Division 1 level. Remember the Fighting Black Bears with a donation, if and when you can. Also, remember that your class scholarship fund could use a big boost! This year’s recipient was John Davee from Hope, ME. He is the son of John Davee, and the nephew of William Stiles. He is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. John received $189 from our fund—a pitiful drop in the pot. Let’s make it our priority to add to this fund big time in the next five years!
Have a great summer of 2017 everyone and keep in touch via email or Facebook!