From left to right: University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, George L. Jacobson, Ph.D., Karen R. Boucias ’71, Denham S. Ward, M.D., Ph.D. ’69, Tania Jo Sturtevant, Beth Sturtevant ’82, and University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery N. Mills, Ph.D. ’82.

ORONO, MAINE: The University of Maine celebrated its most distinguished philanthropists and honored top advocates at the biannual Stillwater Society Dinner on June 15 at Wells Conference Center on the Orono campus. UMaine Foundation President/CEO Jeff Mills shared that the Stillwater Society had welcomed 261 new members along with 119 members who had advanced in membership level since the last dinner in 2022. 

Joan Ferrini-Mundy, UMaine President, offered her “sincere congratulations” to the Stillwater Society and its members who “demonstrate extraordinary generosity to the University of Maine.” She also expressed her gratitude towards the dinner’s awardees, who “give in many, many ways” not only financially, but also in an “abundance” of “time, treasure and talent.”

With over 180 guests in attendance, Mills presided over the ceremony and presented awards to honored members Karen R. Boucias ’71 and George L. Jacobson, Ph.D., Beth Sturtevant ’82 and Tania Jo Sturtevant, and Denham S. Ward, M.D., Ph.D. ’69.

Karen Boucias earned a B.A. degree in English from UMaine in 1971. After completing a M.S. in Library science, Boucias began her career at the University as a department head at Fogler Library in 1981. Later appointed Director of Admissions for the Office of International Programs in 1985, she also served as the University of Maine’s designated member on the Board of Trustees for the American University in Bulgaria. Since her retirement, she has continued to serve on the UMaine Board of Visitors and the Collins Center for the Arts Advisory Board.

Professor Emeritus George L. Jacobson earned a B.A. degree from Carleton College and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. A former staff scientist for the United States Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, he joined the faculty of what is now known as UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology in 1979. Jacobson and the “faculty five” of partners worked with policymakers to garner bipartisan support for the University, resulting in over twenty-five years of substantial public investment in research. He would go on to serve as the Director of the Climate Change Institute until his retirement in 2008.

Born and raised on a family farm in Milo, ME, Beth Sturtevant earned an Associate of Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology in 1981. A long career at CCB Construction Services followed, with her eventually becoming the President after the purchase of a majority share in 2004. A member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, she successfully lobbied state legislators for approval of $50 million in debt service toward the construction of the planned Engineering Education and Design Center. After selling CCB in 2019, she has continued to serve as an incorporator of the UMaine Foundation and finished a six-year term on the UMaine Board of Visitors in 2023. Tania Sturtevant, raised in the mountains of western Maine, attended the University of Southern Maine and the Boston School of Social Work. Enjoying a twenty-year career in social research and social work, Tania became a stay-at-home parent to raise their daughter, Sophia. It was then she discovered her love of art and is a full-time contemporary abstract painter today.

Clinton, Maine native Denham Ward earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UMaine in 1969 and, later, a Ph.D. in Systems Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.D. from the University of Miami. He went on to a career in academic medicine at UCLA, serving as Residency Program Director and Chair of Anesthesiology. As President of the Association of Anesthesiology Program Directors at the University of Rochester, Ward’s passion for improving medical education led him to being instrumental in the development of an M.S. in Health Professions Education. After moving back to Maine, he served as President and CEO of the Foundation for Anesthesiology Education and Research, helped start the Academy at the Maine Health Institute for Teaching Excellence and mentored UMaine pre-med and biomedical engineering students. Ward and his late wife Debbie Lipscomb personally contributed to engineering and honors scholarships, along with co-founding the Abbagadassett Foundation which contributed to the Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center. Ward continues to serve on the Honors College Board of Advocates and as a UMaine Foundation Incorporator.

In his remarks that evening, Mills recognized the “difference” that the Stillwater Society and its “most generous donors” have made as the Foundation welcomes in another record-breaking year in fundraising. In closing, guests were entertained with a show by the Stillwater Players, a group of UMaine faculty and students, who composed three parody songs, tailored to the awardees’ accomplishments and careers.

The Stillwater Society was created in 2000 to recognize people who have consistently demonstrated philanthropic leadership, loyalty and dedicated service on the University’s behalf. The awards are presented biannually at the Stillwater Society Dinner.