Fogler Legacy Award Recipient
The Robbins Family of Searsmont has provided significant support, both educational and financial, to the School of Forest Resources and the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. This family’s connection to the University of Maine is strong and runs across three generations, with a fourth likely to come in the future.
James L. Robbins ’67 earned a B.S. in forestry and put it to good use in the family business, Robbins Lumber, where he retired as president in 2013. Robbins and his wife, Ann Sohns Robbins ‘71, 03G, created the James L. and Ann Sohns Robbins School of Forest Resources (SFR) Excellence Fund at the University of Maine Foundation to provide the SFR with consistent funds to support student and faculty travel, marketing, and equipment for their programs.
Robbins’ sister-in-law, Carol Barr Gelo Robbins ’64, Ed.D. is a lifelong educator, a high school teacher, guidance counselor, school administrator, and school superintendent in Belfast. She created the Dr. Carol Gelo Barr Robbins University of Maine Hutchinson Center Scholarship to assist students with limited means attend classes through the Hutchinson Center.
The family business is run by many Black Bears. James and Ann’s son James A. Robbins ’95 is currently serving as president of Robbins Lumber and their younger son, Alden Robbins ’97, serves as vice president of sales. Alden is also a member of the Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center Advisory Committee. James and Alden’s sister, Catherine Robbins-Halsted, is the business manager, and is married to Christian Halsted ‘95, Director of Earth Resources Information at the Maine Geological Survey. James and Ann have several grandchildren who are alumni or currently attending UMaine.
The Robbins family has made important contributions to the future of the University of Maine and the state’s forestry industry. Robbins Lumber provides employment to UMaine forestry students and graduates, opening their forest land and sawmill each year to first- year SFR students under the instruction of William Livingston, Associate Professor of Forest Resources.