John Diamond ’77, ’89G

Suzanne Kay Hart ’68 Alumni Service Award Recipient

John Diamond has been a prominent figure in the UMaine system over the past three decades, holding leadership positions from senior director of public affairs, to executive director of external affairs for the UMaine System, and most recently as the president and CEO of the UMaine Alumni Association prior to his 2022 retirement.

While on campus as a student, Diamond was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He earned his BA in journalism in 1977, and became a newspaper journalist in Lewiston. In 1980 he was elected to the Maine House of Representatives and in 1984 his colleagues elected him House Majority Leader, the youngest legislator to serve in that role in the US at that time. While serving as a legislator, Diamond introduced and sponsored important legislation to support the University of Maine, helping to greatly increase state funding.

In 1989, Diamond joined the university as assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, and earned his graduate degree in speech communication. Upon request from then-UMaine President Fred Hutchinson ’53, he joined the cabinet as senior director for public affairs where he coordinated media, public, and legislative relations. Diamond moved on to become the executive director of external affairs for the UMaine System, working with the system chancellor and president to promote favorable policies and funding for Maine’s seven public universities.

After pursuing other career opportunities in higher education leadership out of state, Diamond returned to Maine in 2015. He was asked to fill an interim role as president/CEO of the UMaine Alumni Association, a position he held for seven years. Through the Alumni Association, Diamond continued his years of advocacy for his alma mater, helping to keep UMaine in the hearts and minds of not only alumni and friends, but also through supporting important bond measures which increased state funding to the university. He and his wife, middle school principal Marcia LaRochelle Diamond ’02G, established the John and Marcia LaRochelle Diamond Scholarship Fund through the UMaine Foundation, which provides need-based financial support to first-year students. From start to finish, Diamond’s career was guided by a passion for service to the College of Our Hearts Always and the people of Maine.

Diamond retired in 2022, having left an indelible impact on the University of Maine, the UMaine System, and the entire Black Bear community. He lives in Blue Hill with his wife of 37 years, Marcia.

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