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UMFK Alumni Association to present honors at Alumni and Friends Banquet

September 2, 2005


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 indelible impact on the campus community at the annual Alumni and Friends Banquet on Saturday, September 17 in the University SportsCenter.

Burnette Bowker, community leader and a member of Fort Kent State Teachers College class of 1960 will be presented with the 2005 Outstanding Alumni award, Kevin St. Jarre, author and a 1997 graduate of UMFK will be presented with the Outstanding Young Alumni award and Chad Marquis, who will graduate next spring will be honored as this year's Outstanding Future Alumni.

The Outstanding Alumni recipient, Burnette (Plourde) Bowker, is a retired teacher who is actively involved in the community.

Bowker graduated from Fort Kent State Teachers College in 1960 and a Bachelor of Science degree in education at the University of Maine at Orono in 1963.

She began her teaching career in Caribou and Westbrook, where she was a Student Teacher Supervisor for the University of Southern Maine, and later taught in Caribou and the American School in Tehran, Iran. In 1971 she assisted in establishing a private non-English speaking Iranian school in Shiraz, Iran, where she developed the first through third grade curriculum. While teaching in Caribou she was Student Teacher Supervisor for the University of Maine at Presque Isle and authored "Unfinished Business", Units of Work which was published by the Caribou School Department and distributed to the Maine Superintendents.

Upon returning to the United States in 1973, Bowker lived in Lancaster, California and then Litchfield Park, Arizona, where she conducted presentations in elementary schools about the Iranian culture and her personal experiences during her four years in the Middle East.

In the 1980's she taught at St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School in Florissant, Missouri where she lived for 21 years. Bowker taught for 28 years before retiring and returning to Fort Kent in the fall of 1997.

She is the current president of the UMFK Alumni Association Board of Directors and a lifetime member of the Alumni Association of the University of Maine at Fort Kent. She is also president of the Fort Kent Business and Professional Women's Club (BPW/USA).

In addition to serving as president of the Fort Kent BPW, Bowker is District IV trustee of the Maine/BPW Futurama Foundation. This year she is also corresponding secretary for Maine/BPW and Maine Women Hall of Fame trustee.

She has been married to David Bowker for 37 years. The couple has two married children, a son, Donald, a US Navy F-18 pilot, residing in California with his wife Monica, and a daughter Tracie, a consultant for Marsh, Inc., residing in Illinois with her husband Adam.

The Outstanding Young Alumni recipient, Kevin St. Jarre, is a native of Madawaska.

He recently published his first three-book military thriller series, Night Stalkers, written under the house name Michael Hawke, which came out in January. St. Jarre created the fictional characters in his series from aspects of real-life friends and colleagues. The second novel hit bookstores in July. The third one comes out in January of 2006.

St. Jarre graduated in 1986 from Madawaska High School then enlisted in the United States Army Intelligence for six years. He held Top Secret SCI security clearance and provided real-time combat intelligence to front line commanders.

He led a combat intelligence team in Desert Shield and Desert Storm supporting the 1st Armored Division in its fight against the Iraqi Republican Guard. He finished his military service working in course development and training at the US Army Intelligence School at Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

After returning to the Valley, St. Jarre was elected to the Madawaska Board of Selectmen. While holding an office in Madawaska, St. Jarre became town manager for the Town of Grand Isle, Maine.

While working for the municipality, St. Jarre entered the University of Maine at Fort Kent for a major in English and a minor in social science in 1995. He then attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1996 for his secondary education courses, then returned to UMFK and finished his bachelor of science degree in English in 1997.

Soon after graduation, St. Jarre was hired by Caribou High School as an English and social studies teacher.

In 1998, he relocated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to work as a technical and sales trainer, course developer and in training services at the corporate level for Aprisma Management Technologies.

St. Jarre returned to the classroom in 2003 as an English teacher at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine.

He was recently appointed to a social studies teaching position at Fort Kent Community High School, and has returned to the St. John Valley to assume his new duties.

He is married to Jennifer (Bragdon) St. Jarre and has three children, three-year-old Sophia, seven-year-old Dmitri and 17-year-old Derek.

The Outstanding Future Alumni award recipient Chad Marquis of Fort Kent is currently completing his business internship at Thibodeau's Insurance Agency in Fort Kent. He will graduate in 2006 with a bachelor of science in business management degree and plans to begin work on a master's degree.

On campus, Marquis remains very active. He has performed in and directed many theatre productions and in 2004, was presented a performing arts award for his outstanding involvement in university theatre.

He has been very active in alpine skiing on and off campus. In 2004, he was honored as skier of the year. Along with his success in skiing he became Alpine ski coach for UMFK this past season.

Earlier this year, Marquis was appointed to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees as the lone student trustee representing the student body system-wide.

He is the first student trustee attending UMFK ever to sit on the board.

Marquis is a 1993 graduate of Community High School in Fort Kent.

UMFK Alumni and members of the public are encouraged to attend the banquet where Bowker, St. Jarre and Marquis.

Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased through the university relations and alumni affairs office by calling (207) 834-7557.