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UMFK Alumni Association to Present Honors at Alumni and Friends Banquet

August 25, 2008

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The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association will pay tribute to three individuals whose lives have been touched by UMFK and who have, in turn, made an impact on the campus community at the annual Alumni and Friends Banquet on Saturday, September 20 in Nowland Hall.

Beurmond Banville, retired reporter and a 1970 gradate of UMFK will be presented with the 2008 Outstanding Alumni award, Charles Dow a graduate from the class of 1994 will be presented with the Outstanding Young Alumni award and John Blanchette, who will graduate in the spring of 2009 and will be presented the Outstanding Future Alumni award.

Beurmond Banville worked for 35 years as a reporter for the Bangor Daily News covering northern Maine. Never once did he tire of writing about the people and culture that makes life in the St. John Valley unique from any other.

Banville attended UMFK over an eight-year period, attending classes and working in two-year intervals. He attained a Bachelor of Science in Education degree.

Over the years, Beurmond has been an active adult Boy Scout, including a combined 22 years as assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster with Troop 270 in Frenchville, St. Agatha and Sinclair.  He has assisted more than a dozen young men earn their Eagle Scout badges.  Banville has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Silver Beaver Award from the Katahdin Area Council of BSA.

Beurmond has volunteered 37 years of service to the Knights of Columbus. He has held several local, district and state offices.  Four times he was named Knight of the Year by his home council.

The Town of Frenchville named Beurmond its Citizen of the Year in 1994 for his two decades of volunteer and community service.  Today, Beurmond is a selectman in St. Agatha, and he represents the town on the Northern Aroostook Airport Authority.

Following his retirement, Banville donated every by-lined article published during his career as a journalist in northern Maine to UMFK’s Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes.  The article are contained in 35, three-ring binders; one for each year of his career.

Beurmond is married to Hermence Michaud Thibodeau.  Together they have four children and step-children, nine grandchildren and step-grandchildren.  All of them live in the St. John Valley.

Charles Dow, the Outstanding Young Alumni recipient, has made a name for himself across the political and legal landscapes of the state of Maine.

During his years at UMFK, Dow spent time learning the legislative and political ropes in Augusta under the guidance of then-Speaker of the House, John Martin, a member of the UMFK faculty.  Dow graduated magna cum laude with a double major in English and Social Science.

Dow went on to earn a law degree at the University of Maine’s School of Law in 1997, where he earned the coveted Student Bar Association Award for distinguished service.

He was nominated to a seven-year term on the bench by Maine Governor John Baldacci, and was confirmed by the Maine State Senate in January 2007. He is one of 36 district court judges, statewide.

Charles enjoys returning to the St. John Valley to visit family, for lake and river fishing, “some” hunting, biking and snowshoeing.  He is the son of Allan and Patricia (’60 & ’63) Dow of Fort Kent. Charles and his wife, Erin, have three young children.

John Blanchette, the Outstanding Young Alumni recipient, is a “super” senior at UMFK- pursuing a Bachelor’s of University Studies in Musical Theater in his fifth year of enrollment.

A graduate of Caribou High School’s class of 2002, Blanchette came to UMFK in the spring of 2004.

Blanchette has become a reoccurring character on the UMFK campus with many student job roles that make him highly visual with the staff and faculty. He served as a residential assistant in Powell Hall his second semester and as an RA supervisor during his sophomore and junior years, both in The Lodge and in Crocker Hall.

Hailed as “The Voice of the Bengals,” John has been the home game public address announcer/commentator for Bengal soccer and basketball home events over the past four years.

This past season, John accompanied the Bengal basketball teams to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Finals at Southern Maine Community College as an official tournament statistician.

This past year also marked John’s first time working as a crafts worker for UMFK’s Fox Auditorium and Nadeau Teleconference Center, providing technical assistance for numerous activities in the areas of theatre and audio-visual realms.  His ability to work with others has served him well in all job aspects in the community.

Tickets to the Alumni and Friends Banquet are $20 each.  They may be purchased through the UMFK University Relations and Alumni Affairs office by calling (207) 834-7557.