UMaine Museum of Art Receives Naming Gift

A $1.3 million naming gift from education leaders and arts supporters Donald and Linda Zillman will expand and enhance the University of Maine Museum of Art.At its March 16 meeting, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved the expansion plans and naming opportunity made possible by the gift. The museum is now the Linda G. and Donald N. Zillman Art Museum – University of Maine. 

A portion of the gift will be included in University of Maine’s $200 million Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign, led by the University of Maine Foundation. The campaign is scheduled to be completed by June 30.

University of Maine Foundation presents awards to six alumni at 85th anniversary celebration

University of Maine Foundation presents awards to six alumni at 85th anniversary celebration

L-R: Hon. George Z. Singal ’67, Eric M. Venturini ’06, ’15G, Matthew R. McHatten ’90, Anthony F. “Tony” Paine ’96, Bruce W. Albiston ’72, Betsy MacGregor Webb CAS ’00, Ed.D. ’08 – 2019 Harris Award winners.

As part of its “Celebrating Success” 85th anniversary luncheon, the University of Maine Foundation presented one alum from each of UMaine’s colleges with the President Abram W. Harris Award. 

The award was established in 2003 by President Harris’ grandson Abram Pete” W. Harris III ’50 and his friend Marion Waterman Meyer ’51. Each award recipient demonstrates exemplary and extraordinary leadership, contributions to his or her community and/or service to UMaine — the essence of Harris’ efforts as the president of the University of Maine from 1893 to 1901. 

“These six outstanding UMaine alumni represent a sampling of the outcomes of a University of Maine education,” said Foundation President/CEO Jeffery N. Mills. “Our work in fundraising helps to ensure that a UMaine education can become a reality for more outstanding alumni. In 85 years, funds held at the Foundation have supported thousands of UMaine students with scholarships and other resources.”

Meet the awardees


Bruce W. Albiston ’72

Co-Founder, Aphasia Center of Maine and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center 
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bruce’s career began at Maine Oxy in 1972, and in 1983, he became owner and CEO. Maine Oxy became an employee-owned company in 2005 and six years later, Bruce completed the sale of the company to the employees. During his tenure, he founded Firesafe Equipment and the nonprofit New England School of Metalwork. In 2011, he co-founded the Aphasia Center of Maine and the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center with his wife, Annemarie. He currently serves as executive director. Bruce has served on several boards and has volunteered with many organizations.

Matthew R. McHatten ’90

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of MMG Insurance
Maine Business School

Matt received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance in 1990. Upon graduating from UMaine, he worked for KeyBank’s Commercial Lending division for 11 years. In 2001, he joined Maine Mutual Group, holding a variety of senior leadership roles. Matt has been involved with many civic organizations, including the Maine TREE Foundation, Presque Isle Rotary Club, Central Aroostook Association, and Aroostook Partnership.

Anthony F. “Tony” Paine ’96

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HighByte 
College of Engineering

Tony is leading the design and development of HighByte’s initial software product offering. He has contributed to a variety of technical working groups, helping shape the direction of standards used within the automation industry. A strong advocate for STEM initiatives, he currently sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Maine College of Engineering where he provides industry insight and evangelism around education in the area of technology. Tony is currently enrolled in the university’s Online MBA program and expects to complete his degree by summer 2021.

Hon. George Z. Singal ’67                

District Judge, District of Maine, United States District Court, US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge
Honors College

George graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine and received his JD degree cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a Felix Frankfurter Scholar. He practiced law in Bangor for 30 years. George has served as a U.S. District Court judge, District of Maine, since July 2000 and as chief judge from 2003-09. Since induction, Judge Singal has held numerous national appointments made by Chief Justices William Rehnquist and John Roberts, including the Judicial Conference’s Committees on Judicial Resources and on Codes of Conduct.

Eric M. Venturini ’06, ’15G   

Pollinator Biologist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and a Partner Biologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture
College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture

Eric works to increase awareness and capacity for pollinator conservation in New England. In this role he has spearheaded an inter-agency, collaborative, cooperative agreement to prioritize pollinator conservation across all of New England. Previously, Eric was a graduate student, then a researcher at UMaine studying pollinators and wild blueberries. His greatest joy is his wife, Julia (whom he met at Colvin Hall in 2002), and their two young children, Mariella and Teo, who keep him laughing, and who give him perspective and motivation to make positive change in their world.

Betsy MacGregor Webb CAS ’00, Ed.D. ’08

Superintendent of Schools for the Bangor School Department
College of Education and Human Development

Betsy has led the Bangor School Department since 2008. Through her leadership, the district has seen increased academic achievement with the implementation of a 10-year strategic plan emphasizing academic excellence, professional excellence, quality instructional programs and an environment for success. Throughout her career, Betsy has received numerous awards, including 2013 Maine Superintendent of the Year. She has served on the Dean’s Council for the College of Education and Human Development, and on several national, state and local boards.

UMaine College of Education and Human Development announces scholarship opportunity for graduate students in Oxford County

UMaine College of Education and Human Development announces scholarship opportunity for graduate students in Oxford County

The University of Maine College of Education and Human Development is now accepting applications for a scholarship of up to $25,000 available to Oxford County residents seeking their master’s degree in education at UMaine.

Susan Hathaway Glines, who worked as an educator in Oxford County for many years, has provided a generous donation to the University of Maine Foundation to establish the Susan Hathaway Glines Scholarship. Ms. Glines was the beneficiary of a scholarship herself during her time at UMaine, where she earned her degree in 1969.

“This is my way of paying it forward,” Glines says. “With this scholarship I hope to support future Maine educators and motivate others to do so as well.”

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is November 1, 2019.

Read more.


Donors celebrating 55th UMaine Class Reunion to name engineering building

Donors celebrating 55th UMaine Class Reunion to name engineering building

Skowhegan natives E. James “Jim” Ferland and Eileen P. Ferland are the anonymous donors whose $10 million investment will help construct the Engineering Education and Design Center at the University of Maine.

The new facility will be named in honor of the couple.

The announcement was made by University of Maine Foundation president and CEO Jeffery Mills at the UMaine Alumni Association 2019 Reunion dinner Sept. 12 on campus, where Jim Ferland was celebrating his 55th class reunion.

The E. James and Eileen P. Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center (EEDC) will house the Biomedical Engineering Program and Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as teaching laboratories for mechanical engineering technology, and provide space for all UMaine engineering majors to complete their senior capstone projects.

Read more.


Scholarship Support Helped UMaine’s 2019 Valedictorian

Scholarship Support Helped UMaine’s 2019 Valedictorian

Drew Brooks, UMaine’s 2019 valedictorian, is a double major in microbiology and music, with a minor in molecular biology. “Drew is an outstanding undergraduate student from Maine who took full advantage of the breadth and depth of a research university,” says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.

As a UMaine student, Brooks received multiple scholarships awarded through funds held at the University of Maine Foundation including the Edie McVay King Scholarship. In fact, he has had the opportunity to meet and thank Edie at several UMaine scholarship events. He also received the Frederick Radke Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

“Completing two degrees at the University of Maine can be financially challenging,” says Brooks. “I am so grateful to have received the Edie McVay King Scholarship, not only because it has reduced my debt, but also because it has been awarded to me in recognition of my performance as an outstanding microbiology student in the department of molecular and biomedical science.”

Since his sophomore year, Brooks has been a student researcher in the Wheeler Lab studying the fungus Candida albicans, which can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals.

Beyond the classroom and lab, Brooks has participated in five UMaine music ensembles — University Singers, Black Bear Men’s Chorus, Oratorio Society, Euphony Chamber Choir and Opera Workshop. He hopes to continue his vocal training when he moves to Boston this summer.

As a sophomore, Brooks was accepted to Tufts University School of Medicine through the Maine Track Early Assurance program. In August, he will start his first year of medical school.


Planning Ahead with Matching Funds

Planning Ahead with Matching Funds

What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again . . .

This phrase, from the popular song “Singin’ in the Rain,” reflects the enthusiastic feelings of Norma Towne Clayton ’63 and her husband John, they recently received a thank-you letter from the first recipient of the Norma Towne Clayton Scholarship at the University of Maine.

This endowed scholarship fund provides scholarship assistance to a graduate of a Maine high school and of Lake Region High School in Naples, Maine, if possible. The endowed scholarship was originally to be funded by the Claytons upon their deaths. However, since their move to a continuous care retirement community in 2011, it became obvious to them that it might be possible that they could outlive their retirement plan savings and pensions. Although it is their hope that they “run out of breath before they run out of money,” they began to think of ways to make the scholarship a reality during their lifetimes. 

With the help of Sarah McPartland-Good, who specializes in planned giving at the University of Maine Foundation, they crafted a workable plan for establishing Norma’s scholarship through a series of annual gifts to the Foundation that were affordable to them. They had further encouragement during a five-year matching gift program when the Foundation agreed to match their annual gifts. Always ready for a bargain, they made their pledge immediately!

The University of Maine Vision for Tomorrow campaign matching gift program a few years later provided a similar matching situation, so they’re working on that pledge to bolster Norma’s endowed scholarship fund. John says that this has made it possible for them to fulfill their dream for the University of Maine earlier than anticipated and that it also feels good to have made a “warm hand gift, rather than a cold hand one!” They have been personally satisfied by being able to see the results during their lifetimes.

Both Norma and John put themselves through college; Norma worked in the dining halls at the University all four years on campus and for four summers at Migis Lodge in Casco, ME. She received help through loans from a member of the South Bridgton community who had provided financial help to other young people from South Bridgton. He died during the second semester of Norma’s junior year and in his will cancelled any college loans that were outstanding at the time of his death. A couple in the community, knowing of the help provided by the deceased man, stepped forward to loan Norma what she needed to complete her Maine education. The thoughtful gesture made its philanthropic mark on Norma.

John’s story is similar in that he, too, put himself through college by working part-time at a department store’s customer service pick-up area, where he delivered items such as television sets, window air conditioners, furniture, and, lawnmowers to customers when they came to pick them up at the loading platform. He was also the baritone in a paid solo quartet of a church in center city Wilmington, DE. It can be said that he “sang himself through college!”

Norma and John, during their working years and with more disposable income, provided help for several college-age young people, asking only that the recipients provide similar help to others in college after they are established and able to provide such help. The Claytons have strong feelings about giving back to the communities and organizations that supported them when they were young. This has been important to them and they carried it one step further by both working as planned giving associates at two different universities during the last 14 years of their careers.

To talk with someone about providing for your University of Maine dream, please contact the University of Maine Foundation.