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UMFK HONORS TERRY FRANCIS DROWN WITH DIPLOMA FORTY YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH IN VIETNAM

June 24, 2009

NR09066

The University of Maine at Fort Kent today awarded, posthumously, a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education to Terry Francis Drown of Arundel, Maine, forty years after his death on the battlefields of Vietnam, at the age of 24. 

Drown’s diploma was presented to his mother, Edna Drown, and to his sister, Betsy Chadbourne, in Arundel this morning by UMFK President, Dr. Richard W. Cost and by UMFK Director of University Relations and Alumni Affairs, Terence Kelly.  

Drown attended UMFK from 1964-1968.  He was a star basketball player known for his imposing physical presence on the court.  Terry also was very active in the UMFK campus community where he participated in Kappa Delta Phi fraternity and was known as a gifted artist. 

At the conclusion of his senior year, Terry Drown marched with his classmates during commencement exercises, although he remained three elective credits shy of receiving his diploma.  Before he could complete his degree at UMFK, Terry Drown entered the United States Army, was deployed to Vietnam, and died in the line of duty in service to his country. 

In response to a request for consideration by some of his classmates, President Cost asked the vice president and faculty to review the case. After a review of his record, UMFK’s faculty and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Rachel E. Albert, recommended to the president the granting of a degree to Drown.  

Earlier this spring, Drown was inducted into the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame, as part of the second class of inductees, along with three others. Drown’s mother and sister also received his engraved, black granite plaque from Dr. Cost and Kelly.  

The 2009 inductees were selected from among nominations received from alumni and friends of the University.  

Terry Drown had a significant impact upon UMFK athletics on the court, and on the university campus, as well.  His posthumous induction into the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame was well deserved.   

“Through his classmates and speeches at the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame, we have heard some wonderful things about Terry Drown as a student at this University, on and off the court,” said President Cost.  

“His life ended prematurely as a result of the war, while he was serving his country. Since he was so very close to the completion of his degree, this seemed like an appropriate action for us to take and I am grateful that we were able to deliver to his mother not only a plaque memorializing his induction into the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame, but a long-awaited diploma, as well. 

“Terry Drown was a fine young man and he continues to be remembered and missed by many friends and classmates as well as family.  He lives in the memory of many people with ties to this University,” Dr. Cost added.  

Each year at UMFK, the Terry Drown Award for the top scholastic athlete is bestowed upon an athlete who exhibits the athletic and community spirit embodied by Drown.