The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association honored Bernard “Ben” Paradis at the Alumni and Friends Rendezvous in Nadeau Hall on September 16.
The association honored Paradis with the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award. Some of his classmates from the Class of 1967 were in attendance to honor Paradis, as well as celebrate their 50 year reunion.
Paradis graduated from Fort Kent State College, now UMFK, in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education. That same year, he married the love of his life, Nancy. Three years later earned a master’s degree in physics from Cornell University.
Educator, family man, coach, businessman, volunteer, and community leader sums up Paradis’s life. Most would say, when you saw him, he was busy at something; dedicated to success in everything he does.
Most of his teaching career was for M.S.A.D #27 and UMFK, in which he continues to teach part-time. As for coaching, his dedication and passion for more than 38 years, Paradis rounded out his career being involved when the Fort Kent Ski Team earned multiple state championships and Aroostook County Ski League titles.
Paradis has served past president of the Northern Aroostook Teachers Association, MEA Board of Directors, Lonesome Pine Trails director, UMFK Foundation Board Treasurer, 10th Mountain Biathlon club and ski center board member. He was selected for Fort Kent’s “Citizen of the Year” award in 1998, inducted in to Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2010, and was honored with the UMFK Distinguish Service Award in 2011.
He has distinguished himself by volunteering on many professional and civic organizations with great sacrifice and dedication. Paradis continues to be an advocate for Valley youth and has continued to distinguish himself in representing his alma mater.
Paradis is a local entrepreneur in several business opportunities, most recently taking over the operations of the Century Theater and the remodeling of it.
Ben and Nancy have five grown sons and seven grandchildren. The couple reside in Cross Lake, Maine.
In addition to the Outstanding Alumni Award given, the James “Pop” Hoyt award was presented to Emery “Legs” Labbe, of Fort Kent, the oldest, yet youngest at heart, alumni in attendance at the rendezvous. He also is a member of the class of 1967.