December 12, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Medical Center produced Valley's View television program will look at the impact the university has had on the St. John Valley since it was founded 125 years ago, when this month's program airs on Sunday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. on WAGM-TV.
The program, which regularly explores current issues impacting Northern Maine using local experts as guests, will shift focus for December and look at both the rich heritage of the UMFK campus and its vibrant present and future as the institution begins its next 125 years.
"We are in the middle of our year-long 125th anniversary celebration," said Jason Parent, chairperson of the planning committee and Valley's View executive producer and host. "This has been a very important and exciting year for UMFK, and we want to share this festive tone and opportunity to reflect and remember with as many people as possible."
Guests on the special program will include UMFK President Richard Cost, who will be joined by Lloyd Soucie, president of the university's alumni association. Cost and Soucie will discuss why the campus has been so important to its students, alumni, faculty, staff and the St. John Valley and Northern Maine community over the generations, as well as how the campus will continue to serve the area in the years ahead.
The show's second segment will feature an in-depth interview with one of UMFK oldest living alumni, 94-year-old Genevieve Jalbert Bouchard, who currently resides in Madawaska and is a 1926 graduate of the Madawaska Training School, the original name of what is now the university.
Bouchard, who recently spoke at length with Fort Kent's WFKT-TV public access television personality Marc Chasse for a broadcast aired on that station, recalled her days at the Training School, remembering the institution's second and third presidents Mary Nowland and Richard Crocker and what life was like on campus in the early part of the 1900's.
The MTS alumna regularly attends the annual UMFK Alumni Banquet, and has been awarded, on several occasions the "Pop Hoyt" award, which is given to the "oldest yet youngest at heart" alumni in attendance at the event.
"I am very much looking forward to hearing Mrs. Bouchard's stories about the early days on campus. I think our viewers will enjoy hearing her speak. She is a wonderfully engaging woman with a very vivid memory of events long since forgotten at UMFK," said Parent.
In another departure from Valley's View tradition, rather than featuring one or two guests, the show's final segment will include numerous local notables who will share their thoughts about the university's rich past and impact in the region.
Among those scheduled to share their thoughts are UMFK alumni board members Pat Dow and Burnette Bowker, Former State Senator Judy Paradis, Board of Visitors President Jim Thibodeau, UMFK Foundation Board President Dr. R. Paul Johnson, and UMFK faculty members Roger Paradis, Rachel Albert, Scott Brickman, Brad Ritz, and Bruno Hicks.
The program will also feature regular segments the "College Question," which looks at new and exciting developments on the UMFK campus, and "Your Healthcare Connection", which explores concerns in healthcare, using professionals from NMMC.
The health feature will be produced and taped at NMMC, using hospital personnel. CarolAnne Dube, public relations director for the hospital will host the segment.
The "College Question" will be hosted by UMFK student Jamie Pelletier of Madawaska.
The show will fall in the middle of a two-hour news block with the "CBS Evening News" as a lead-in, and the very popular "60 Minutes" airing immediately afterward.
Sponsors supporting the program, in addition to UMFK and NMMC, include Quigley's Building Supply, Gossamer Press, NorState Federal Credit Union, Daigle and Houghton, Northern Maine Development Commission, and Acadia Medical Supply.