Recent News

Alumnus Chosen to Lead Vet Advocacy Organization

Retired Army Col. William “Bill” Smullen ’62 has a new position as CEO of advancement and strategy at Clear Path for Veterans, a nonprofit organization near Syracuse, NY, that serves veterans and their families. Clear Path for Veterans addresses the occupational, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of area veterans through a variety of programs and services. 

Smullen, former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, retired from the military in 1993 after 30 years of service. He received the UMaine Alumni Association’s Career Award in 2007. Read more.




Register for Winter Session!

Registration for University of Maine’s Winter Session, that runs December 27, 2019 through January 16, 2020, is now open.

The more than 40 online courses include several general education requirements, as well as some upper-level courses. Winter Session courses are intensive in nature, with students earning three credits in three weeks.

For more information, including a list of courses and how to register, visit the Winter Session website.

UMaine Alumni Travel Program Offers Costa Rica Trip

Lush forests and stunning waterfalls…rumbling volcanoes and endless coastlines…Costa Rica is a paradise teeming with exotic plants and incredible animals. Luxuriate at Playa Carrillo, Guanacaste, known for its breathtaking beauty and fine sandy beaches. Spend time in Monteverde’s lush cloud forest. Experience the forest canopy on your choice of a hanging bridges nature walk or an exhilarating zip lining tour. Explore part of the 20,000-acre nature preserve of Cano Negro on a riverboat adventure. Relax in the mineral-rich waters of the hot springs with views of Arenal Volcano. Explore San Jose’s Plaza de Cultura and view the magnificent National Theatre. You will find a slice of paradise and so much more!

The trip will take place November 6-15, 2020. More information can be found here, or call Collette at 800-581-8942 and refer to booking #974904.

A webinar in January will provide additional information to interested travelers.


UMaine Receives $1 Million Pledge from Pratt & Whitney for Engineering Center

The E. James and Eileen P. Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center received a significant boost recently, when Pratt & Whitney pledged $1 million toward the center’s machine tool suite. Read more here.

Individuals photographed from left to right: Jeffery N. Mills ’82, UMaine Foundation president/CEO; Dana Humphrey, UMaine dean of engineering; Kevin McDonnell, director of engineering, Pratt & Whitney, North Berwick, ME; and Joan Ferrini-Mundy, University of Maine, University of Maine at Machias president.


Six Alumni Receive Harris Award

The UMaine Foundation recently recognized six alumni with the President Abram W. Harris Award.

The recipients, one from each of UMaine’s academic colleges, received the award for exemplary and extraordinary leadership, contributions to their communities, and/or service to the university. The Harris Award is named for UMaine’s third president, who led the university from 1893-1901.

Read more.

TV’s Green ’76 Announces Retirement

One of Maine’s most recognizable TV personalities, Bill Green ’76, started his broadcasting career as a cameraman while a student at UMaine. After 47 years, the host of the popular TV shows “Bill Green’s Maine” and “The Green Outdoors” is retiring on November 22. Here’s why


Study Will Examine the Economic and Community Impact of UMaine Alumni

This month UMaine alumni throughout the U.S. will be asked to participate in an in-depth study designed to examine their economic and societal impact on their communities, state, and nation. 

Commissioned by the UMaine Alumni Association, the study will document the educational, economic, cultural, civic, and community roles and influences of its 109,000 members. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, led by researchers Megan Bailey and Philip Trostel, will conduct the study using a combination of online and mailed surveys and telephone interviews. The study is being funded through a generous grant from Maine Savings Federal Credit Union. 

 “UMaine alumni play an outsized role in shaping Maine’s economy and quality of life,” explained John N. Diamond ’77, ‘89G, president and executive director of the UMaine Alumni Association. “Our alumni also play influential roles nationally. This study will help us document the value-added, return-on-investment of a UMaine education to stakeholders state and nationwide.” 

UMaine itself will benefit from the study, Diamond explained.

“By documenting the economic impact and community involvement of our alumni, the study will help UMaine as it recruits students and faculty, engages business and industry partners, and makes its case with public policy makers, voters, and funders.” 

 When completed, the study is expected to feature three distinct parts: the economic impact of UMaine alumni; their engagement in civic, community, and professional life; and the variables that have influenced where they have chosen to live and work. 

“Such knowledge will help the Association raise public awareness and appreciation of the value and benefits — personally and professionally — of a UMaine education,” Diamond explained. “It will also enable the Association to contribute substantively to public discussions related to Maine’s employment, workforce development, economic potential, and quality of life.”

Results of the study will be released in March.




Bowerman ’85 Matches Luxury Brands with Executive Talent

Rob Bowerman ’85 is always on the lookout for talent. He’s president of The Bowerman Group, a Massachusetts-based executive search firm with a niche focus on helping luxury retail brands find senior personnel—from managers to C-suite executives. Bowerman, a Livermore Falls, Maine, native, now lives in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, with his wife, Robin (Hull) Bowerman ’86. He explains his work, career path, and advice for others.

I had joined the retail industry when I graduated from UMaine in 1985, with the goal of being a buyer. Starting with Jordan Marsh in Boston, I moved to two different Boston-based retailers and became a buyer within a few years.

The only problem was, once I reached that goal, I realized that I didn’t care for the job. What I discovered was that I really loved the retail industry, but was just doing the wrong job within the industry.

 I started in executive search in 1994. I started The Bowerman Group in 2009, after building a desk with a similar niche in another company. We have a small team of remote employees based in Massachusetts and New York. Our specialty is “front-facing” roles where brand DNA is important—primarily retail, wholesale, e-commerce, and marketing.   We are hired by our clients to fill key positions, using our contacts in the industry and understanding of cultural fit to find the best talent to fill their needs. We help our candidates by giving them advantages through the interview process in terms of company insight and interview training.

My firm places 70+ people annually, so it’s amazing to think that I’ve touched so many lives over my 25 years in the business. I love the variety inherent in the job. Given that my firm works on positions throughout the US and Canada, we do most of our work over the phone and through video conference. On any given day I can be speaking with clients in New York, California, and Europe while working with candidates across 4+ time zones. 

You can imagine that we deal with very interesting people and situations when we are recruiting on [New York City’s] 5th Avenue and [Beverly Hills’] Rodeo Drive on a regular basis!   One for the books was a few years ago when we picked up a search for a very well-known family-owned Italian luxury brand. [We were hired because] a family member saw a company executive passed out in the front display window of their Rodeo Drive boutique after a party the night before. His career took a nasty turn that day!

My time in Orono definitely played a pivotal role in developing my career.  Most importantly, though, I met Robin, my wife of 32 years. I graduated from UMaine with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing, so that educational foundation helped me both as a recruiter and a business owner.   As a member of University Singers, that helped with my “stage presence” and to become a more well-rounded person. I also learned a lot from being involved in the Student Alumni Association (now known as the Student Alumni Ambassadors program), which was a great way to gain experience working with alumni and other students.

It’s funny: You don’t go to college to be a recruiter—people end up in the field through all sorts of paths.  Common denominators to success are creativity, drive, the ability to relate to all levels of people and understand their goals and desires, good analytical skills, and comfortable with an ever-changing landscape and project list.  You have to be a little scrappy to do well in this business and be very self-motivated. I think that the most important differentiator, though, is caring about people and a commitment to quality.


It’s Official: UMaine Has the World’s Largest 3D Printer  

The world’s largest 3D printer was unveiled at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) last week. More than 250 people attended the dedication ceremony, including a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records, who presented an official proclamation of the massive machine’s record-holding status. 

Using nanocellulose, a wood-based type of biodegradable plastic developed at UMaine, the printer will help UMaine researchers and their partners develop innovative ways of using Maine’s wood products in manufacturing. The printer can produce objects as long as 100 feet by 22 feet wide by 10 feet tall. The printer is part of a $20 million federally funded partnership between UMaine and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.   

As its first project, the 3D printer produced another Guinness world record holder: a 25-foot, 5,000-pound 3D-printed boat that took just over 70 hours to construct. A time-lapse of the boat being printed can be found here. As part of last week’s ceremony, the boat, named 3Dirigo, was put afloat in the wind-wave testing basin of the university’s Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory. UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, Maine Congressman Jared Golden, Maine Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Heather Johnson ‘92, and ASCC founder and director Habib Dagher were among those who boarded the craft for the ceremonial first ride.