A mild-mannered approach to success
The "new man at the helm" at Fort Kent State Normal School in the
fall of 1956 was Joseph Fox of Lewiston, formerly of Fort Kent. In his message
to the graduating class of 1956 Fox indicated his philosophy of education. "Teaching
is a sacred trust. The minds, souls and bodies of our youth are in my hands.
The common denominator then, is, to me, called Dedication." In this respect
he shared an attribute of his predecessor Richard Crocker, who was tendered
still another recognition dinner, this time by the Fort Kent Chamber of Commerce.
About one hundred and fifty guests were on hand when Deputy Commissioner of
Education Kermit Nickerson presented Crocker with a plaque honoring his "outstanding
service as a teacher for forty-one years." Principal Fox hoped that his
administration would be as long and as rewarding.
It was also science instructor Ray Fournier's first year at Fort Kent. Fournier
replaced Floyd Powell as basketball coach. R. Derosier led all scorers with
273 points for the year. Home and away games were played against A.S.T.S., W.S.T.C.,
U.N.B., Ricker and the Caribou A.A. They also played a home game against the
Madawaska A.A. and went to the conference tournament at Houlton. Other team
members were A. Cousins, D. Wharton, P. Campbell, J. Daigle, R. McLaughlin,
H. Meader and seniors Fred Beal and George Trusty. Powell still coached the
girls' team, which was composed of one-year veterans R. Murrow, C. Murray, J.
Dumond, S. Michaud, B. Jalbert and first-timers V. Ouellette, C. Desjardins
and R. LeBoeuf.
Some physical changes were evident at F.K.S.N.S. by the end of 1956. A new
sign, necessitated by the school's change in name, was painted by Miss Michaud.
Dickey Hall was being "completely renovated" for use as a girls' dormitory.
One observer, commenting on the color schemes, said, '"...well, just wait
till you see it all!" The "new" dining hall was ready for Homecoming
and Open House Day. The Third Normal students sponsored a dance following the
Lucien Ouellette was class marshal in 1956. The Ezzy ensemble played for the
academic procession. Three selections were sung by the glee club. George Rich,
a Ricker College instructor, addressed the graduates. Stella Michaud "and
classmates" wrote the words for the class ode, set to the musical air,
"Its Almost Tomorrow." Maroon and White, the Rose, and "Tomorrow"
were the class colors, flower and motto, respectively. Principal Fox presented
the diplomas for his first time to Glenwood Wilcox (president), Roger Paradis
(vice-president); Constance Murray (secretary-treasurer); Frederick Beal, Joan
Dumond, Ralphine Dow, Catherine Martin, Stella Michaud, Patricia Nadeau, Lucien
Ouellette, Ellen Pinette, Vennette Plourde, Florence Dionne Trusty, George Trusty.
Also to receive diplomas were Leona Bellefleur, Fern Pelletier and Cecile Pozzuto.
Fortunately for the future of F.K.S.N.S. the State Board of Education had come
to the conclusion in 1956 that "One of the foremost problems facing education
today (was) the method of providing sufficient teachers to meet ever increasing
demands." Accordingly, the Board made a study of potential enrollments
and facilities to take care of increased student numbers. Fort Kent, with an
estimated capacity of 100, had an enrollment of sixty in 1956. Its projected
enrollment was 150, or an increase of 150 percent. Among the major projects
the Board had under consideration was an administration-classroom-library building
at F.K.S.N.S. The insurance settlement for the 1955 fire amounted to $64,907,
and $30,000 of this had been used to make the improvements in Dickey Hall mentioned
above. The Governor and Council also approved spending $10,000 of the insurance
money on a principal's residence. Some of the remaining funds were expended
on a fire escape and sprinkler system for Dickey Hall and a new roof and other
repairs at the Model School. The Board's biennial report showed that thirty-six
state and three other scholarships had been awarded at Fort Kent. There were
also sixteen students employed by the college in the fall semester 1955-1956.
Ludger N. Michaud was master of ceremonies at the alumni banquet held in the
newly renovated dining room at Dickey Hall in 1956. Mrs. Maxine Page, alumni
president, welcomed the group and introduced Principal Fox, who referred to
Bernard Devoto's best selling book, The Year of Decision, 1846 and compared
its theme with what was happening to F.K.S.N.S. "As we sit here at this
moment and as our thoughts center on this group of buildings known as Fort Kent
State Normal School, it might be said that IT IS IN ITS YEAR OF DECISION - 1956."
Like the history of the United States, he continued, it would be "the small
decisions and events of this year that could well determine the future of this
institution for the next hundred years." Three questions had to be settled
in the next three months. "I . Will the institution continue to exist?
2. Will it become a four year teachers college? 3. Will it have the buildings,
library, labs, instructional staff, etc. that will make it a college in fact
as well as in name?"
The "actions" of three groups, the State Board of Education, the
next legislature, and "most important, our actions," said Principal
Fox, "will be the things that shape the destiny of Fort Kent State Normal
School." The Board could act to provide the fourth year, and the legislature
could provide the monies for the new campus that was already in the planning
stage. But, he emphasized, "in the last analysis it will be Our actions
in this year of decision 1956 that will tell the State Board of Education and
the Legislature which way to act." Fox agreed with previous spokesmen for
the school that increased enrollment was a necessity. "Fort Kent's place
in the teacher training picture.., would show a need for a student body of 150
students, and he argued, "These people have to be trained somewhere and
if we can supply that number in a four year course we will have demonstrated
to the interested parties that we have a real need for a school here."
But, first things first. "TO GAIN THE FOURTH YEAR WE NEED SEVENTY-FIVE
(75) STUDENTS NEXT FALL. He challenged the alumni to provide twenty of that
number. The editor of the alumni newsletter relayed the challenge, "What
do you say alumni? Ready to pitch in?
The following fall the F.K.S.N.S. faculty was strengthened by the hiring of
three new instructors, Mr. Gerald Pouzol, a graduate of the Northern Conservatory
of Music; Mr. Hubert Thibodeau, who had earned his master's degree at the University
of Maine; and Dr. Verne D. Morey, holder of a doctoral degree from Harvard,
Mr. Powell was on sabbatical leave in California. However, there were only three
critic teachers at the Model School: Mary R. Picard, Yvonne D. Garceau and Vennette
Plourde. Key people in the support staff were Doris Voisine, registrar-bursar;
Mrs. Cecile Michaud, "the best cook in the county;" Mrs. Albertine
Pincombe, house mother; and Philip and Edwin Bouchard, janitors. The graduating
class of 1957 would dedicate its yearbook to Edwin Bouchard, in part for "bits
of advice and for being the personal friend of our class."
The 1956-1957 F.K.S.N.S. basketball team played a full Northeast College Conference
schedule, including the conference tournament held at Fredericton, New Brunswick,
plus games with Van Buren, Madawaska and Caribou A.A. Veterans on the squad
were seniors Allen Cousins and Paul Campbell and sophomores Roger Derosier,
Donnie Wharton and Ronnie McLaughlin. Also on the squad were sophomore Phil
Bourgoin and freshmen Dee Tilley, Tom Lapointe, Don Gagnon, Dana Robinson, Bert
Bosse and Dwight Thiel. Wharton and Derosier were the only players to score
over two hundred points for the year.
One of the special features of the 1957 Acadian was a section honoring the
fifty year class, the class of 1907. Velma Daigle, daughter of Arthur Daigle
a member of the class being honored, provided pictures of Anna Guy Audibert,
Anastasia Daigle Cyr, Edee Cyr, Marie Michaud Cyr, Arthur Daigle, Marie Daigle
Hafford, Flavie Cyr Martin and Lucie Cyr Parent. "Mary" Hafford, a
close friend of Miss Blake of the faculty, repeated one of Miss Nowland's favorite
quotes for the benefit of the class of 1957, "Let us cherish our public
schools as the looms, our teachers as the weavers who weave the wondrous destiny
of the nations." At the alumni banquet David Garceau and Emery Labbe, editor-in-chief
of the 1957 Acadian greeted the class of 1907. Mr. Arthur R. Daigle responded
for the 1907 class, and Mrs. Dorothy Dow, president of the class of 1957, responded
for the current graduates.
The following Friday eight members of the class of 1957 received diplomas from
Principal Joseph M. Fox. The Ezzy ensemble and the glee club provided the music.
The familiar figure of Mrs. Emerson brought the greetings of the State Board,
and Dr. Warren G. Hill, Commissioner of Education, was the graduation speaker.
The eight graduates listed on the program were Paul Martin Campbell, Gilman
Richard Charette, Allan Edward Cousins, Dorothy Scott Dow, Elizabeth Jeanne
Jalbert, Joyce Francis Pelletier, Jane Jacqueline Plourde and Raynold Theriault.
The class motto was "Fostered Knowledge Serves Nations Successfully."
The class of 1958 dedicated its yearbook to Principal Fox, a man "mild
in manner, but firm in reality...." Doris Voisine resigned as registrar-bursar
to get married and was replaced by Mrs. Lucille Pelletier. Mrs. Lillian, Sudall,
whose husband Arthur D. Sudall joined the faculty as the new director of music,
was added to the office staff in a secretarial position. Red Powell was back
from California. At the Pleasant Street school the staff included Mr. Ludger
N. Michaud (principal), Elsie S. Dow, Celina Cyr and Vennette Plourde.
The alumni put out a special newsletter in January, 1958 to convey some good
news. The State Board had appropriated money for the construction of a new administration
building. Actual work on the building was supposed to start in the spring. "Our
dreams have finally been realized," the editor said, through the "untiring
efforts'' of the alumni and the "persistent efforts" of Principal
Fox. The newsletter also reported progress on the pledge to raise $1,000 for
an Alumni Memorial Field.
"Outside the classroom he is known to all his students as 'coach,' "and
to others he was "The Little Man with the Big Heart." To those who
had the pleasure of teaching with him or listening to him singing and playing
"The Hair upon the Billy Goat," he was simply "Ray," and
Ray Fournier sincerely believed "Sports helped to build the man."
Despite the support of cheerleaders P. O. Ouellette, Joan Pelletier, S. Pelletier,
D. Michaud, R. Dube and Jeannine Pelletier, Coach Fournier's 1957-1958 basketball
squad "met with a lot of hard luck" and only won two of twelve games,
going 0-10 in the conference. Only D. Wharton scored over two hundred points
for the season. On the team roster, in the order of points scored, were D. Wharton,
R. Derosier, D. Gagnon, F. Plissey, Pi Ouellette, D. Tilly, R. McLaughlin, R.
Lapointe, S. Collin, D. Robinson, R. Bosse, D. Phillips and T. Lapointe. "Red"
Powell's girls' squad played a "number of games with outside teams,"
but the team was handicapped by a lack of bench strength, with only seven girls
on the team (C. Lizotte, I. Cyr, M. Jalbert, J. Pelletier, V. Morin, M. Beaulieu,
The classes of 1908 and 1933 were honored at the annual alumni banquet. Mrs.
Agnes Long Beaulieu (1908) and Theodore Brown (1933) responded for their respective
classes. Principal Fox gave "The Year in Review," and Claude Charette,
president of the outgoing class, spoke for the graduates. Mrs. Doris P. Lyons,
President of the Maine Congress of Parents and Teachers, presented a scholarship
to Theresa O'Neil, class of 1960. (Joseph Albert, the first to receive this
scholarship in 1956, was also present) Rachel Dube received the Richard F. Crocker
scholarship, and the Gladys Sylvester scholarship went to Theresa O'Neil of
Caribou. Joseph Albert served as song leader, and Mrs. Lillian Sudall was his
accompanist. Members of the class of 1908 posing for a publicity picture were
Mrs. Catherine O'Clair (Auburn), Mrs. Lizzie McClellan (Fort Kent), Mrs. Agnes
Long Beaulieu (Caribou), Edmond Cyr (Saco), Joseph Nadeau (Fort Kent) and Rex
Dow (Presque Isle).
Edmund S. Muskie, Governor of the State of Maine, was the featured speaker
at the graduation exercises in 1958. Mr. B. V. Allen brought the customary greetings
from the State Board. Mrs. Sudall played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue,"
and Governor Mnskie addressed the following graduates: Claude Charette (president),
Roger Derosier (vice-president), Reno Deschaine, Marilyn Jalbert, Rose Marie
LeBoeuf (secretary), Sr. Mary Bertrand, Ronald McLaughlin, Dolores M. Michaud
(treasurer), Norma Ouellette, Doris T. Saucier and Donald L. R. Wharton. The
class motto was a reflection on the times: "Freedom, Knowledge, Science
- National Security.
From the vantage point of the State Board five things had been accomplished
at Fort Kent by the end of the 1957-1958 academic year. Construction had started
on the new ad-ministration-classroom-library building, designed to replace Cyr
Hall. A curriculum study had been initiated, and entrance requirements were
still being studied to sec what correlation there was between these exams and
"college success." An instructor in physical education was approved
of for the coming fall, and the enrollment ha increased by twenty-two percent
from fifty-four in 1956195' to sixty-seven in 1957-1958. And, knowing the attitude
of the Board members, a favorable sign was the accompanying reduction of the
cost per student during the biennium from $1,834.14 to $1,416.73.
Mr. William Oliver, a graduate of the University of Maine, joined the faculty
of F.K.S.N.S. in the fall of 1958 to teach physical education and coach varsity
basketball. Oliver had to work with a squad that was small in size and number.
The seven members of the squad were Gerry Lapointe, Bob Lapointe, Dave Gagnon,
Paul Ouellette, Spike Collin, Eddie Hamblin and Mel Labbe. There was more "woman-power"
on Powell's girls' squad. On the roster were L. Pelletier, B. Love, "Gabby"
LeBoeuf, M. Beaulieu, G. Theriault, I. Cyr, Susan Pelletier, Bernette Plourde,
P. L. Ouellette, Lorraine Gervais and Jackie Derosier. For the non-athletic
Mr. Sudall's chorus attracted large numbers. Sudall also directed the "Ensembel,"
and, for the first time in the school's history, a brass quartet (Romeo Marquis,
first trumpet; Lyn Cyr, second trumpet; George Ezzy, E flat horn; and Richard
Woodbury, baritone ). A chapter of S .E.A .M. was active, and Dr. Morey was
adviser to the literary club.
The 1959 Acadian was dedicated to Mr. Ray Fournier. Miss Michaud and Mr. Thibodeau
were the class advisers. Class officers were Fred Dana Robinson, president;
Joseph Albert, vice-president; Sr. Marie Rodrique, secretary; and Velma Morin,
treasurer. Also graduating were Sr. Marie Marcellina, Berthier Bosse, Claudette
Bouchard, Claudette Coulombe, Rachel Dube, Donald Gagnon, Mrs. Joan Hafford,
Jeannine Pelletier, Joan Pelletier. Two encouraging signs for the future were
the projected enrollment for the fall, perhaps over one hundred, and the upcoming
bond issue, which included a forty-bed women's :dormitory for Fort Kent.
The enrollment in 1958-1959 was ninety-three, and when the final figures were
in for 1959-1960 it was over the one hundred mark as predicted, 108. Cyr Hall,
the new administration and classroom building was dedicated on June ninth and
"opened its doors to greet the undergraduates" on September 28, 1959.
The alumni association and the Student Education Association branch on campus
scheduled an open house for December eighth. The bond referendum was scheduled
for October twelfth. The editor of the alumni newsletter pleaded, "Let's
encourage our friends to exercise their voting privilege on that date. After
all, a $221,900 dormitory is at stake." "The least we can do, in support
of Principal Fox's far-reaching program," the newsletter read, "is
to give our full hearted assistance." The bond referendum passed.
Coach Oliver's 1959-1960 basketball squad included Carleton Dubois, R. Levesque,
Mike St. John, K. Wyman, J. Powell, Gerry Lapointe, Ken Pelletier, R. Marquis,
R. Martin, Allen Ouellette and Nelson St. Amant. Cheerleaders that year were
M. Bouchard, S. Brown, B. Ouellette, P. Ouellette, S. Daigle, G. Theriault and
E. Dee. There was no mention of a girls' squad in the 1960 Acadian.
The class of 1960 differed from its predecessors in that it chose a different
set of officers for each semester. Carol Bouchard was president the first semester,
and his successor in the spring was George Ezzy. Vinton Pelletier succeeded
P. Ouellette as vice-president. Sr. Virginia was replaced by Pat Michaud as
secretary, and M. Beaulieu and H. Berube took turns as treasurer. The student
council representative in the fall was Bernette Plourde. In the spring Teresa
O'Neil was elected to the same pest. George Ezzy gave the response for his class
at the alumni banquet in May. Three members of the class of 1910, Mrs. Catherine
Morneault, Mrs. Evina Daigle and Mrs. Hedgwidge Pelletier proudly posed for
their picture after the banquet. Mrs. Sudall accompanied a new song leader,
Mr. Ray Fournier. Besides the officers mentioned earlier, the graduates in 1960
were Philip Blanchette, Imelda Cyr, Laurel Daigle, Paul E. Dubois, Wilfred R.
Dumont, Roger Furlong, Kathleen Hart, Gabrielle LeBoeuf, Rosaire Martin, Patricia
Michaud, Theresa O'Neil, Leopold Ouellette, Lester Ouellette, Patricia Ouellette,
Joseph C. Pelletier, Richard Pelletier, Susan Pelletier, Vinton Pelletier, Bernette
Plourde, Jeanita Plourde, Rena Sutherland, Wayne Stedt. Josephine Cyr was also
in this class. The graduates dedicated their yearbook to Mr. Powell, now Dean
Mr. Irenee Cyr of Fort Kent introduced a bill before the one hundredth legislature
which would give the Fort Kent campus a fourth year and a change of title to
Fort Kent State Teachers College. The obvious benefits were pointed out in the
February alumni newsletter. "This addition of the fourth year would increase
both the quantity and quality of course work and enable students to obtain a
Bachelor of Science degree." Available statistics seemed to show that there
were plenty of potential students. It was estimated that sixty-five percent
of the teachers in the immediate area had completed the three year program then
being offered. In the whole St. John Valley only nine percent had completed
bachelor degree requirements, and less than two percent had completed graduate
work. This meant that upwards of two hundred elementary teachers could benefit
directly from the addition of a fourth year. One alumnus who fully realized
the importance of this bill put it this way: "We must support this proposal
by sending letters to our legislators in Augusta. The earlier the better! Let's
do it today. The same writer reported progress on the women's dorm, contracted
by Quigley and Son of Fort Kent. Target completion date was June. A committee
of faculty members, alumni and students met in the spring to go over names suggested
for the new dormitory.
There were a number of changes or additions in both the F.K.S.N.S. faculty
and critic teacher roster in 1960-1961. Mr. Donald G. Rith replaced Mr. Oliver
as instructor in physical education and director of intramurals and athletics.
A graduate of Colgate University, Rith was also assigned classes in geography.
Henry Karl Baker, a graduate of U.N.H., New England Conservatory of Music, Mechelin
Carillon School, replaced Mr. Sudall as .music supervisor. Although there were
no changes in the Medel School staff, Mrs. Irene D. Baker, Laurence Roy, Mrs.
Frances B. Pinette and Leonard Sutherland were hired as critic teachers at Market
Street school. Mrs. Claire Dubois replaced Mrs. Sudall as clerk-typist on campus.
Student activities during the year included a "sociography" trip
by the Maine History class that included stops in Ellsworth, Bar Harbor, and
Eastpert, Maine and St. Stephens and St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The Barn Dance
and Beatnik Party drew large crowds, as did an expanded intramural athletic
program. The S.E.A.M. chapter was active, both in recruitment and in support
of the fourth year bill. Its adviser, Mr. Thibodeau, was recognized for his
leadership in these activities by the 1961 class, who dedicated their yearbook
to him. Allen Ouellette said "Mr. T" was "Not merely a teacher
of teachers, but a teachers' teacher...."
For the alumni association, 1960-1961 was a year "when strong support
and backing of the Alumni was encouraging and heartening to all of us on the
"firing line." About thirty "old graduates and friends"
made "a very impressive appeal" before the Legislative Education Committee
on March ninth for the addition of the fourth year. One of those present wrote,
"Letters and telegrams from all over the country made a tremendous impression
on the committee. All of us there that day felt that a whole host of supporters
stood behind us and it was a wonderful feeling." A larger enrollment would
help the four year cause, and the projection for fall indicated the entering
freshman class would "run about normal-from 30 to 35," and at the
same time both W.S.T.C. and A.S.T.C. had over 100 applications in hand. This
spurred Mr. Thibodeau and S.E.A.M. members to visit the local high schools.
Although the bill was "favorably received" by the Education Committee,
the final results were not in before the alumni newsletter went out announcing
the June 4, 1961 annual meeting.
Sr. Mary Albert, class of 1911, came all the way from San Diego, California to attend her fiftieth reunion. Other members of her class attending were salutatorian Donne Bourgoin (Edmundston), Mr. Camilla Cyr Bouchard (Madawaska), Mrs. Laura Sarah Martin (Frenchville), and Mrs. Isabella Bouchard (Sinclair), who was completing her fiftieth year of teaching. The twenty-five year class was very well represented. Posing for a picture of the class of 1936 were Mrs. Thomas Langlais Cyr, Mrs. Carmen Cyr St. Jean, Mrs. Agathe Cyr Cyr, Mrs. Anne Parent Tardif, Mrs. Juliette Chasse Plourde, Mrs. Simone Dufour Gagnon, Mrs. Lorraine Dufour Cyr, Reynaldo Dufour, Mrs. Alphena Daigle Ayotte, Mrs. Lorette Soucy Ezzy, Mrs. Ron Daigle Cyr, Mrs. Rose O'Clair Jandreau, Mrs. Anita Babin Ouellette, Mrs. Blanche St. Germaine Michaud, Mrs. Bernadine Jalbert Dumont, Albina Y. Marquis and Austin Wylie. New alumni officers elected were Laurence Roy, president; Bernard St. Peter, vice-president; Mary Picard, secretary; and Emery Labbe, treasurer, Mr. Ludger Michaud, chairman of the alumni fund committee, announced that enough money had either been collected or state aid provided to start work on the alumni playground. Mr. Kenneth Wyman gave the response of the 1961 graduating class, and Henry Karl Baker served as pianist for Bernard St. Peter, who resumed his post as song leader.
Crocker Hall was dedicated in honor of Richard F. Crocker, third principal,
1914-1955, on October 30, 1961. Clifford O.T. Weiden, President of Aroostook
State Teachers College presided over the ceremonies. The prayer of invocation
was offered by Very Rev. Adrian H. Palardy, Dean. Official greetings were presented
by Hayden L. V. Anderson, Executive Director Division of Professional Services
of the State Department of Education; Lincoln A. Sennett, President of Washington
State Teachers College, for the Administrative Board; Dr. Harland Abbott, Dean
of Instruction at Farmington State Teachers College, for the faculties; and
Gabriel Ezzy for student government. Dedicatory remarks were made by David Garceau,
member of the Governor's School District Commission. Mrs. Leah Emerson, Chairman
of the State Board of Education officially presented Crocker Hall, and Joseph
M. Fox, now officially titled President of Fort Kent State Teachers College
accepted the building on behalf of alumni, faculty, staff and students. Laurence
Roy presented the alumni gift. Dr. Kenneth T. H. Brooks, President of Gorham
State Teachers College and a personal friend of Mr. Fox, delivered the major
address. The ceremonies were followed by an open house and tea.
Class officers for the fall of 1960 were Joseph Daigle, president; James Johnston,
vice-president; Claudette Cote, secretary; and Gaetane Theriault, treasurer.
Officers for spring, 1961 were Kenneth Wyman, president; Melvin Labbe, vice-president;
Theola Ezzy, secretary; and Rita Pelletier, treasurer. "One Day Teaches
The Other" was the class motto, and the class colors were "Red and
White." The "Red Rose" was popular choice for class flower. Paul
Morin served as organist at commencement. Dean Mark Shibles of the University
of Maine was graduation speaker, and Principal Fox and Dean Powell conferred
diplomas. Also graduating in 1961 were Marilyn Bouchard, Sandra Brown, Maxine
Frenette, Lorraine Gervais, Edward Hamblin, Beatrice Love, Beatrice Ouellette,
O'Neil Paradis, Normand Parent, Bernard Pelletier, Louise Pelletier, Richard
Philips, Norman Soucie, Theresa Thibeault and Elizabeth West.
Enrollment at Fort Kent in 1961-1962 was 107, and a goal of 150 was set for
1970. Alumni day was set for June third at Pat's Place in Fort Kent Mills. An
open house and tea were to be held on campus for the alumni with Miss Michaud
in charge. Outdoor activities for the day were the responsibility of Emery"Legs"Labbe.
The classes of 1912,1937 and 1952 were honored at the banquet. Speaking of GROWTH,
CHANGE, President Fox told the alumni that the staff had given "much time
and study" to the fourth year which would be added in the fall. Six new
positions were funded to cover the expanded curriculum. Three had already been
filled (Mr. Edward Boynton, music; Mr. Joseph Hallee, French; Mr. Roger Grindle,
By the time school opened in the fall Miss Patricia Martin (English), Mr. Lowell
Osgood (physical education), and Mr. Presley Peek (mathematics) had signed teaching
contracts. An unexpected bonus was the hiring of Mrs. Sharon Peek (now Mrs.
Zimmer-Boucher) to teach biology I and II. Alumnus Patrick Babin was now assisting
Mr. Thibodeau in the education department. Donna Waddell was added to the Laboratory
School staff. Support personnel included Cecile Michaud, cook; Edwidge Daigle,
food service worker; Marie St. John, domestic worker; Albertine Pincombe, housemother
Crocker Hall; Cecile "Ma" Savage, housemother Dickey Hall; Philip
Bouchard, building maintenance supervisor; Hector "Babe" Dubois, custodial
worker; and Doreen Pike, clerk typist.
The junior class started a school newspaper, The Tatler, in the fall of 1962.
The new instructors were introduced in its columns. Coach Lowell "Ozzie"
Osgood indicated to its editors that he intended to put the Fort Kent "Bengals"
on the map and proceeded to upset perennial Northeast College Conference powerhouse
Ricker in the opening game of the 1962-1963 season. F.K.S.T.C. won close games
over Maine Maritime Academy and W.S.T.C. before losing to the Bombers from Loring
Air Force Base. Over the rest of the season Osgood's squad won three games over
Edmundston's semi-pro team, split with the Millinocket Pills, A.S.T.C., U.N.B.,
lost two conference games with Ricker, were beaten by two of Canada's strongest
teams Mt. Allison and St. Francis Xavier, and beat another Canadian squad, Memorial
University, decisively in the last game of the season. Members of Coach Osgood's
first Bengal squad were Paul Wheeler, Gary Eldridge, Peter Pierce, Ronald Grover,
Charles Hill, Marc Michaud, Larry Violette, Michael St. John, Charles Holmes,
James Monk, Bob Dubuc and Bernard "Bunny" LaPlante. Only Michaud,
Violette and St. John were from the St. John Valley. Coach Osgood's coaching
record at Greenville and Old Town had attracted outside talent. At the athletics
awards banquet Ursula Gervais and Bernard LaPlante received outstanding athlete
The guest speaker at the 1963 alumni association banquet was Howard L. Cousins,
Jr. Vice President for Marketing, Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. Later in the
program Guy Baker presented Mr. Cousins with the outstanding alumni award. In
turn Cousins presented an honorary life membership in the alumni association
to Miss Waneta (Blakie) Blake, one of his former instructors who was retiring
at the end of the school year. In his remarks to the alumni President Fox reminded
them that the following week the first degrees would be conferred at commencement
exercises. He observed, "This rather simple act will culminate months of
hard work by a great number of interested people," and he could not help
recalling, "A few short years ago, the chief concern was getting enough
students to fill the available space. Next fall the problem will be to find
enough space to house and provide meals for the students who plan to attend."
He hoped that the legislature then in session would appropriate funds for a
men's dorm, a women's dorm and a central dining facility. Reflecting on the
past year, he said, "The complications which arose due to the addition
of the fourth year were much more numerous and complex than expected."
He did indicate that "the additional staff members have proved to be very
valuable assets to the program." He could have added, as was mentioned
in the State Board of Education's biennial report, the conferring of bachelor
of science degrees on forty-four members of the class of 1963 marked "the
end of the public normal school era in New England."
Officers of the first four year class were Allen Ouellette, president; Normande
Parent, vice-president; Rita Pelletier, secretary; Roland "Red" St.
Pierre, treasurer. Richard "Douce" Doucette and Sylvia Collin were
the student government representatives. The S.E.A.M. representatives were Lillian
"Sis" McManus and Lorraine Gervais, and two proven athletes, Ursula
Gervais and Michael St. John, served on the athletic council. The complete graduation
list follows: Patricia N. Albert, Irene D. Baker, Therese Beaupre, Sylvia Collin,
Claudette Coulombe, Jeannine B. Cyr, Jeannette Cyr, Lorilla Deprey, Jeanita
Desiderio, Richard Doucette, Lorraine Gervais, Ursula Gervais, Imelda Cyr Holeton,
Kathleen Hartt, Philip Jardine, Juliette Labby, Sr. Mary Marcellina, Dorothy
Marquis, Lillian McManus, Patricia Michaud, Allen Ouellette, Gregory Ouellette,
Lester Ouellette, Ayrella D. Paradis, Normande Parent, Annette Pelletier, Bernard
Pelletier, Rita Pelletier, Janet Plourde, Bernadette Roy, Michael St. John,
Roland St. Pierre, Norman P. Soucie, Philip Blanchette, Marion J. Browne, Bernice
F. Cyr, Cora T. Daigle, Rena Mae Dubois, Leon Hale, Claudette B. McNeil, Nellie
Pelletier, Wayne Stedt, Lee H. Wyman. At the graduation ceremonies Father Long
delivered the invocation. Edward Boynton directed the college choir. Vernon
Johnston brought the greetings of the State Board of Education, and Dr. Kenneth
Woodbury, former Deputy Commissioner of Education, State of New Jersey addressed
the graduates. Miss Blake was designated Professor Emeritus.
The enrollment at F.K.S.T.C. rose to 160 in 1963-1964, higher than the goal
set for 1970 by the State Board of Education. Consequently the 1970 enrollment
goal was revised upwards to 300. Part of the increase in enrollment had resulted
from the introduction of French as an undergraduate elective. This made Fort
Kent "the first of the teachers colleges to add a modern foreign language
to its liberal arts offerings." More students meant more student organizations
and activities. Vets Club jackets were seen all over campus. A Newman club was
activated. The sophomores sponsored a box social and Halloween dance. Major
banquets were held at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The freshmen put on a Mardi
Gras dance. The winter carnival broke up the long winter with classes competing
in skits, snow sculptures and a variety of indoor and outdoor sports. Wayne.
Joler and Johanna Rudnicki were crowned carnival king and queen. Two joint concerts
were held by the F.K.S.T.C. choir and the St. Louis-Bathurst choirs. White dinner
jackets and formal gowns dotted the gym floor at the May Ball.
Soccer was added as a varsity sport, and Bunny LaPlante and Charles "Chuck"
Hill were co-captains of the 1963-1964 squad. Ron "Crazy Legs" Brown
led the ten with ten goals. Home games were played on the "flat" between
Cyr Hall and the gym. The first non-conference team compiled a 42 record, beating
St. Louis University of Edmundston twice and splitting matches with A.S.T.C.
and Ricker. Other squad members were Roger Wood, Paul Baker, Gary Osgood, Bob
Dubuc, Lee Albert, Lloyd Thibodeau, Lionel Tracey, Daryl Peary, Gerry Roy, Bob
Roy, Mike Kelly, Larry Newall, Lloyd Soucy, Mike Pelky, David Chevalier, Fran
"Allah" Fournier, Larry Violette, Ron Webber, Louis 'Mauler"
Moreau, and manager Dave LeBreck.
There were three lettermen on the 1963-1964 basketball tram, Ron Grover of
Old Orchard, Bunny LaPlante of Old Town and Captain Larry Violette of Van Buren.
The only senior on the squad was Marc Michaud of St. Agatha. The rest of the
squad was made up of freshmen: Roger Wood (Solon), Wayne Joler (Oakland), Daryl
Peary (Howland), Mike Pelky (Washburn), Lionel Tracey (Newport), Roger Crowley
(Greene), Stephen Nicholas (Westbrook), and Gary Osgood (Old Town). LaPlante
led all scorers with a 19 points per game average and was named to the all conference
team. Peary and Wood were also among the top ten scorers in the conference.
Fort Kent had dual wins over W.S.T.C., M.M.A. and Thomas College, won one and
tied one with U.N.B., and split four games with A.S.T.C.. Osgood's quintet suffered
twin losses to Ricker, Loring and Husson, and a single game with Woodstock.
Cheerleaders were Caryl McCallum, Vi Martin, Rita "Reet" Sherman,
Muriel "Peanut" Roy, Ann Perreault, Claudette Roy, Marje Cyr and Dolores
There were several new faces on the staff. Mrs. Virginia Osgood became secretary
to the Dean. Mrs. Bernice Collin became assistant librarian. Anita Grindie became
critic teacher in grades three and four at the "Campus School." Other
new personnel were Mrs. Ida Daigle, food service worker; Henrietta Dubois, housemother
Crocker Hall; Lola St. Peter and Arm Perrault, clerical aides; and Patricia
Over 150 alumni, faculty and friends attended the alumni banquet in 1964. Laurel
Daigle, president of the association presided. Rev. Amedee Proulx gave the invocation,
and Patrick Babin acted as master of ceremonies. Members of the fifty year class
attending were Miss Victoria Bouthot (East Orange, N.J.), Mrs. Gertrude Michaud
Lauritson (Limestone), Mrs. Mary Roy Picard (Fort Kent), Mrs. Delia Charette
Pinette (Fort Kent); Mrs. Theresa Saucier Labbe (Wallagrass) Miss Cecile Bouchard
(Sinclair), George Martin (Eagle Lake), Louis Cyr (St. David). Members of the
twenty-five year class attending were Theodore Brown (Eagle Lake, Mrs. Bernice
Bourgoin Michaud (Fort Kent), Mrs. Constance Sirois Cote (Limestone), and Mrs.
Atherline Theriault Paradis (Presque Isle). Babin also recognized Theodule Albert,
class of 1898, and Thomas Dufour, class of 1902. Leroy Martin introduced members
of his outgoing class. In his "Year in Review" speech President Fox
indicated that a new boys dorm would be built and ready for occupancy in the
fall of 1965. Future plans called for converting the gym into a library and
building a central dining hall. On a positive note, Fox reported the past year's
enrollment was 177 and the next fall's enrollment would have to be limited "due
to space and faculty." Pop Hoyt then presented the outstanding alumni award
to Ann Marie Cyr Atwell of Rye, New York.
Rev. Proulx also gave the invocation at the graduation ceremonies in 1964,
and Vernon Johnston again brought the greetings of the State Board of Education
Gwilym R. Roberts, Professor of History at F.S.T.C. was the graduation speaker.
The 1964 class had revived the practice of electing officers for each semester,
but the president, Leroy Martin, and the treasurer, Leola Ouellette, remained
the same. Lillian Ann Parent replaced Muriel Thibeault as secretary in the second
semester, and William B. Wark replaced Marc Emile Michaud as vice-president
during the second semester. The graduating seniors were Sister Bertrand, Mary
Pat Crosby, Joseph Daigle, Bernadine Dubay, Guy Dubay, Jacqueline Dubay, Carol
Dufour, Patricia Dufour, Wilfred Dumont, Lewellyn Deprey, Vera Gibson, Joyce
Hebort, Linda Holmquist, James Johnston, Jeremiah Lagasse, Relda Landry, Daniel
Madore, Leroy Martin, John Paul Michaud, Marc E. Michaud, Leola Ouellette ,
Lucien "Shorty" Ouellette, Claudette Parent, Lillian Arm Parent, Maurice
Pelletier, Omer Picard, Clayton Pinette, Cecile Pozzuto, Rita Stadig, Viola
St. Jarre, Ann Theriault, Muriel Thiboault, Theresa Thibeault, Raynold Thibodeau,
David Todd, William Wark.
"Peanuts" was the winning snow sculpture according to the judges
for the 1964-1965 winter carnival. "Joe and Gert" Fox crowned Roger
Wood and Paula Collin at the winter carnival ball. The bridge club met weekly
in the student lounge in Cyr Hall. Mr. Thibodeau was accused of falling asleep
at the annual Beatnik Dance. Needless to say, Mel Pelletier and Norm Fournier
vied for the "biggest lie" as members of the Big Buck Club. The Vets
Club continued to expand its membership, although some felt ex-marine Lyn Chasse
was not the ideal sergeant-at-arms. Mr. Boynton was unable to induce any more
of the vets to sing in the F.K.S.T.C. chorus, which lacked male voices.
The Fort Kent soccer team tied for the championship of their conference with Husson College in its first year as a conference team. After winning two and losing one contest against St. Louis University, co-captains Dave Chevalier and Bunny LaPlante and leading scorer Ron Brown, led the team to 2-1 and 2-0 victories over Ricker and 6-2 and 4-2 wins over A.S.T.C. before bowing 4-0 to Husson at Bangor.
Members of the co-championship squad were: Ron Brown, Conrad Cyr, Bunny LaPlante,
John Corrow, Bob Dubuc, Gerry Roy, Gil Albert, Louis Moreau, Ron Pratt. Roger
Damboise, Gary Osgood, Paul Baker, Lloyd Soucie, Darly Peary, Bill Breton, John
Sanfacon, Dave Chevalier, A. Corriveau, Larry Violette, "Joe" Hatch,
Carl Chamberlain and managers Roger Dechene and Ken Longly.
Roger Wood led all scorers on the 1964-1965 Bengals' basketball team with 337
points, and set a school record when he scored 53 points against W.S.T.C. After
a slow start, losing to M.M.A. by two and then by one point, the Fort Kent combine
won nine of its last eleven games. The Bengals scored over one hundred points
in five games. Larry Violette and Bunny LaPlante were co-captains. Other squad
members were: Roger Crowley, Gary Osgood, Jim Davenport, Charlie Hammond, Terry
Drown, Bill Breton, John Prescott, Daryl Peary and A. Corriveau.
Alumni day was set for June 6, 1965, and the classes of 1915, 1940 and 1965
were to be honored. The Cyr and Nowland Windows from the old administration
building were in the possession of the alumni, and they planned to use them
and the bell, which had also been saved, in the new library. A special fund
for these projects and for providing furniture for the alumni room in the new
men's dorm had been started. The dorm had been under construction since the
previous summer and would be about ninety percent complete on alumni day. Governor
John Reed had recommended three Fort Kent projects to the legislature: 1. the
conversion of the gymnasium to a library building, 2. construction of a central
dining hall, 3. a campus sewerage system.
Martin Daigle was master of ceremonies on alumni day. Fr. Roger Labrecque gave
the invocation and alumni president Guy Michaud welcomed the special classes.
Members of the fifty year class who returned for the reunion were Anne Bellefieur
Albert (Madawaska), Madeline Benn Libby (Miami, Florida), Alice Cyr Ouellette
(Fort Kent), Laura W. Pelletier (Fort Kent), Emily Dionne Ouellette (Van Buren),
Elizabeth Brown Daigle (Presque Isle) and Francis Long (Edmundston, N.B.). The
class of 1940 was introduced by Guy Baker: Bertha Dube Baker (Fort Kent), Luthar
Bubar (Mars Hill), Ludger Ouellet (Fort Kent), Alice Labrie Murphy (Madawaska),
Ludger Michaud (Fort Kent), Cecile Dufour Pozzuto (Madawaska) Leonette Dube
Michaud (Eagle Lake), Rita Dufour Collins (St. Agatha), Bernice Nicknair Ouellette
(Fort Kent), Lorraine Pelletier Chamberlain (Frenchville), Claire Roy Beuchard
(Caribou), June Deschaine Voisine (Fort Kent), Alfreda Thibodeau Fournier (Keegan).
Members of the class of 1965 were introduced by its president, Gordon Kilgore.
The class of 1965 donated a large mirror to be put in the alumni room in the
new men's dorm, and the association voted to purchase wall to wall carpeting
for the room. Fred T. Bouchard presented the outstanding alumni award to Mrs.
Gladys Gardiner of Allagash. Milton Bailey, president of the Maine Congree of
Parents and Teachers presented a plaque and a $200 scholarship to Miss Nancy
Burkett. The usual group singing was led by Ludger Ouellet with Jane Baker at
Father Labrecque gave the invocation at commencement. Vernon Johnston was once
again on hand to bring the greetings of the State Board. Mr. William T. Logan,
Maine's Commissioner of Education, was the featured speaker. Miss Michaud and
Mr. Thibodeau were still senior class advisers. Class officers aiding President
Kilgore were Rodney Madore, vice-president; Thelma Landry, secretary; and Charles
Hill, treasurer. The remaining graduates were Roland Collins, Lyn Cyr, Francis
Fournier, Robert Guimond, Duska Hemingway, Rebecca Hunt, Tim Kelly, Joseph Gerald
Lapoint, Joseph Robert Lapointe, Kenneth David Lord, Keith Lord, Dolores Martin
Dumont, Viola Martin, Robert B. Mealey, Vivian M. Morin, Larry H. Ouellette,
Arm Perrault, Gilda Plourde, Jean St. Peter, Larry St. Peter, Rita Sherman,
Reynold Tardif, Philip Theriault.
Students returning to the campus in the fall of 1966 had to adjust to still
another new name - Fort Kent State College. Mr. Paul Girodet, a graduate of
Boston University, joined the faculty as an assistant professor of French. Alumni
day was scheduled to coincide with the dedication of the new men's dorm - Powell
Hall. A new category was added to the classes honored on alumni day, the Wishbone,
or Fifty-Year-Plus, member. Dave Garceau, State Bank Commissioner, presented
the outstanding alumni award to Mrs. Catherine Ouellette Morneault of Fort Kent.
Vocal solos by Ann Collin and Urbain Lausier helped vary the usual graduation
program. Lincoln Sennett, President of Washington State College delivered the
graduation address, and President Fox and Dean Powell conferred degrees on thirty-seven
The Waneta Blake Library was dedicated on October 30, 1966. New members of
the Fort Kent State "family" attending the ceremonies were Nathaniel
Crowley, who joined the administrative staff; Marcel Pittet, new head librarian;
Roland Burns, hired to teach English and literature courses; Sami Malak, contracted
to teach in the math-science department; Verna Daigle, bookkeeper; and Mrs.
Eastman, house mother at Dickey Hall. New organizations included the French
Club and Kappa Delta Phi fraternity. The soccer team posted a 7-2 record, and
finished second to A.S.T.C. in the conference. Dave Chevalier and Gerry Roy
were co-captains. Gary Osgood and Darryl Peary were co-captains of the Bongals
basketball team that closed the season with a 12-11 record. President Fox commented
on the growth of the institution. "The size and nature of the enrollment
has brought about a different atmosphere. The close 'family' feeling which existed
when the enrollment was small and of a local level has changed." Senator
Edmund S. Muskie was the 1967 graduation speaker.
Miss Emma Lauberte, a University of Latvia graduate, joined the F.K.S.C. language
department in 1968. Celina Cyr moved from the lab school to Cyr Hall to teach
reading and help supervise student teaching. Valarina Jandreau was a welcome
addition to the secretarial pool. Mrs. Nathaniel Crowley took over the position
of dining room manager. Through the efforts of Roland Burns a drama club was
formed and plays staged in the corner of Dickey Hall dining room would become
a thing of the past. Mr. Burns also initiated the literary magazine, The Maze.
A Fine Arts Council brought Kathryn Foley and Rabbi David Barent to campus.
An Interfraternity Council represented the interests of the two male fraternities.
The Bengal soccer team had a disappointing 3-6 record. Barry Davis served as
assistant coach, and John Corrow and Wally Litchfield were co-captains. Dick
Dudzic was named most valuable player by his teammates and was elected to the
all conference team as well. The basketball team was 16-7 overall, and 9-3 in
the conference, god enough for a second-place conference finish. Sterling LeBlanc
and Bill Breton were co-captains. LeBlanc, Rick McAvoy and John Libby "shattered"
three individual school records, and Libby and LeBlanc were named to the all
President Fox's message to the alumni in 1968 started with a brief commentary
on the self-evaluation study of the college done by the faculty. He considered
the study "a very complete examination of where we stand at the present
time." The first section of the evaluation report contained a short history
which reminded Fox that 1968 was the institution's ninetieth birthday. And,
on May twenty-sixth another milestone would be reached, for on that date Fort
Kent State College would join the "newly created University of Maine,"
which would then consist of the University of Maine in Orono, its branch campuses
in Augusta and Portland, and the five state colleges. Fox again reviewed the
years successes for the benefit of the alumni. Maine's Governor Kenneth M. Curtis
addressed the graduates, and President Fox and Dean Powell conferred degrees
on fifty-one members of the class of 1968.
A new wooden sign at the right of the entrance road to campus read Fort Kent
State College of the University of Maine. A picture of the sign appeared on
the new college brochure, which described the four year curriculum of the Fort
Kent branch. "The first two years are made up of course work in the fine
arts, humanities and social sciences. At the junior and senior levels, additional
elective courses are available in the fields of French, English, History and
Mathematics. New faculty members would be hired to cover the expanded curriculum.
Professor Roger Paradis, whose field was history, arrived on campus in the fall
of 1968. Gerard J. Tardif, a familiar face throughout the St. John Valley was
hired as Director of Admissions Registrar. Students and faculty watched the
soccer team win their last seven games to post a 7-2 record and finish second
in the Northeast College Conference. The Bengals' basketball team won the conference
championship and various team and individual honors. John Libby and Steve York
were named to the all conference soccer team, and Libby, Burce Hanken and Sterling
LeBlanc were named to the all conference basketball squad.
"The name of Mary Nowland will once again be given to a building on the
campus which she served so well," President Fox told the alumni. He was
referring to the naming of the new dining facility. He continued, "Another
name which will figure prominently at the Alumni Day functions will be that
of Floyd Powell." "The Dean" would officially rehire at the end
of the 1968-1969 academic year after thirty-four years with the institution.
As Fox indicated, "lie will be missed not only by the present student body,
but by former graduates and all of us who have spent some of those years with
him." Howard Cousins spoke in honor of Red Powell at the alumni banquet,
and James IIoyt presented the retiring Dean of Instruction with appropriate
gifts. Also honored at the banquet were Adrian O. Jacques, outstanding alumni,
and Elizabeth Bellefieur, who received the gold cane award as the oldest (95)
living alumnus, class of 1892. Glenwood Wolcox, president of the alumni association,
had presented a colored portrait of Miss Nowland at the formal dedication of
the dining facility on May 27, 1969, and the portrait was on display at the
meeting. Dr. Herbert Ross Brown, Professor at Bowdoin College, addressed the
graduating class headed by James Tracey, president; Gabriel Ezzy, vice-president;
Cynthia Thibodeau, secretary; and Judith Johnson, treasurer.
The Progress Report of the Higher Education Planning Commission, familiarly
known as the H.E.P. Commission report, was officially conveyed to Chancellor
Donald R. McNeil on November 11, 1969. Based in part on the earlier (1967) Coles
report, the II.E.P. Commission report clearly indicated that the commission
had seriously considered clositig the Fort Kent campus and transferring its
functions to another institution "of more efficient size." But, after
considering "the special needs of the St. John Valley area for higher education
opportunity," the commission concluded that "the college should not
be closed." Subsequently, Bernard Pelletier, president of the alumni, reported,
"enthusiasm and gaiety is at an all time high." But, he said, "One
can't help but think what the spirit of the Alumni Association and the college
would be like if the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees had decided differently
regarding the fate of Fort Kent State." He praised the association for
writing letters "to your influential friends and the Trustees urging that
Fort Kent State remain a four year degree granting institution." President
Fox, likewise, thanked the alumni, saying, "It was a heartwarming experience
to witness alumni support not only at the local level, but from areas far distant
from the campus." But, he continued, "that's not the end of the tale."
The Board of Trustees had voted that April to rename the campus one more time,
and as of the following July the campus would be known as the University of
Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK). He could not help adding, "It’s a standing
joke on campus that whenever the college sign needs painting, there's a new
name ready for use." Looking ahead, a bond issue was going before the voters
on June 15, 1969, and it included $862,000 for a new gymnasium for Fort Kent.
Given the events of the past year, Fox said, "it is going to take the best
effort of all concerned to gain passage for this bond issue."
The growth in faculty and other personnel during the 1969-1970 academic year
belied the attack from outside. Dr. William II. Knight was the new Dean of Instruction,
o Academic Affairs. Thomas McCormick "came on line" as business manager.
Dr. Normand Dube joined the French staff. Dr. Benjamin Liles brought his Texas
drawl and long scarf to the science labs. Pipe-smoking Lawrence Workman added
strength to the math department. Scott Chisholm was hired as an instructor in
English, while Roland 'Burns was away at the University of Utah finishing his
doctorate. Part-time instructors in psychology (Laurel Daigle) and anthropology
(Lowell Daigle) completed the list of new faces on the faculty. Students and
faculty shared in the major events of the year, including the hearing on Fort
Kent's four year status, an environmental teach-in, the armory sit-in and presentations
of the "Heart of Macbeth" and Ionesco's "Les Chaises."
Miss Mattie Pinette was the recipient of the outstanding alumni award for 1970.
The classes of 1920, 1945, 1970 and Fifty-Year-Plus were also honored. Mr. William
T. Logan, Commissioner of Education and by now an old friend of the institution,
returned as graduation speaker. Officers of the outgoing class were Robert Lemiux,
president; Paul Martin, vice-president; Angle Gagnon, secretary; and Thomas
Tetu, treasurer. Fifty-four received degrees.
Miss Anne Dymski was hired to teach English and speech in the fall of 1970.
Other new faculty hired at that time were Dr. Richard Kressel, history; Dr.
Charles Noxon, geography; and Doctors John and Kathy Olson, both chemists. Mrs.
Judith Workman was assisting Mr. Boynton with the expanded offerings in music.
Sister Vivian Bond, assistant librarian was deluged with book requests from
Dr. Kressel and Dr. Noxon. Noxon was methodically preparing for his annual European
tour, which eventually would carry U.M.F.K. credit and become one of the popular
additions to the curriculum.
The 1969-1970 yearbook was dedicated to the memory of Terry Drown, basketball center and sensitive artist, who was killed in Vietnam. The 1970-1971 yearbook was especially dedicated to the memory of Mr. Ray Fournler. One of the special attractions of the year recorded in the Acadian was the appearance of Don McLean in concert. The Maine String Quartet also performed. Miss Dymski directed performances of "Barefoot in the Park" and "Summer-Tree." Steve York and Brian Albert co-captained the soccer team, and Rick Mcavoy, who scored over 1500 points in his four year career, was captain of the basketball squad. Fort Kent's "budding scientists" went on an ecology trip that included Mt. Desert Island. A search committee was established to seek a replacement for President Fox, who had announced his planned retirement.
Committee members were: Dean Knight; Sharon Peek, Roger Paradis, Hubert Thibodeau, Dr. Morey, faculty members; Clan Beaulieu, Wayne Wilbur, students; Bernard Pelletier, alumni; Randy Pinkham, townspeople.
"Barney" Pelletier informed the alumni association of President Fox's
impending retirement, effective August 31, 1971. He expressed the feelings of
all the alumni in saying, "This year, the departure of President Fox -
A Very Sad Event for the University of Maine at Fort Kent...The University...is
not only losing a great president, but Fort Kent is losing a great man. We're
really heartbroke to see our president, our friend, leave the valley."
He wished the Fox family "the very best wherever they go." Dr. Lawrence
Cutler, Chairman of the Board from Fort Kent, agreed saying, "Those of
us in the St. John Valley who know Joe Fox are delighted that the award is being
made as a tribute from the University to our friend, neighbor and education
leader." It was symbolic of the Fox administration that a self-evaluation
study had been completed in his last year as President in preparation for the
visit from the college accreditation team. Accreditation would be one of the
capstones of Joseph M. Fox's "mild mannered approach to success."
At the alumni banquet Floyd Powell presented the outstanding alumni award to Ludger N. Michaud. President Fox presented the gold cane to Mrs. Town Brown, oldest living alumnus. Fox in turn was presented with a gift from the alumni. At the business meeting the association donated $100 to the Ray Fournier Memorial Fund. The 1971 class was addressed by Dr. Donald R. McNeil, Chancellor of the University of Maine. McNeil and Vaughn Currier presented Dr. Fox with his honorary degree. President Fox then delivered an emotion-filled charge to the assembled graduates. Officers of the 1971 class were Gregory W. French, president; Bertrand Raymond Poulin, vice-president; Leah A. Thiboutot, secretary; and Ruth H. Pelletier, treasurer. Sixty-three candidates received degrees, making it the largest class since the inception of the four year program.