Three of UMaine’s best advocates honored at Stillwater Society Dinner

2022 Stillwater Society Awardees

The University of Maine celebrated three of its top advocates at the Stillwater Society Dinner May 21. The annual event in Orono honors UMaine’s most generous philanthropists. Currently, there are 1,541 members in the society, including 270 new members inducted and 197 members who advanced in their membership level at the event. 

“The Stillwater Awards honor those who have consistently demonstrated philanthropic leadership and dedicated service on behalf of the University of Maine,” said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “This year’s honorees — alumni Matthew Rodrigue and Trish Riley, and longtime College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey — are among our staunchest champions of student success and the importance of a research university to Maine and beyond. We appreciate their vision and commitment to our R1 university and tomorrow’s leaders.”

Those honored, also Stillwater Society members, were alumni Matt Rodrigue and Trish Riley, and Dean Dana Humphrey. 

Rodrigue grew up in Wilton, Maine, where he was a standout runner and valedictorian of the Mt. Blue High School Class of 2000. As a student at UMaine, Rodrigue participated in varsity cross country, Student Government and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He also served as the Student Trustee for the University of Maine System and was a Senior Skull. Rodrigue has served four terms on the Board of Visitors. He is an Incorporator of the University of Maine Foundation, where he is currently a member of the Investment Committee. He also co-chairs the UMaine 2025 Commission, and he remains an active volunteer with Sigma Phi Epsilon. 

Riley from Brunswick was active in Student Government and was elected the first woman Student Government president. She served as a student representative to the Faculty Senate and on the first Task Force on the Status of Women, chaired by her mentor English professor Constance Carlson. A member of Pi Beta Phi, she also was active in the women’s movement, leading the first women’s symposium and working with community members to launch a day care center on campus. She also worked to gain students the right to vote in their college town. She has served as president of the Alumni Association, chaired the Board of Visitors and served on the UMaine Foundation Board of Directors. Presently she serves on the UMS Board of Trustees. Riley holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from UMaine.

Humphrey from Palmyra taught early in his career while doing research for the Maine Department of Transportation. He became a pioneer in using cut-up pieces of scrap tires, which he called tire derived aggregate (TDA), as fill for highways and bridge abutments. Over the years, he did projects coast to coast in the U.S., and consulted on projects in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Europe. In 1994, his accomplishments were recognized when he was named the Distinguished Maine Professor and the Carnegie Foundation Maine Professor of the Year. He served as chair of Civil Engineering, chair of UMaine’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, lead for formation of the Maine College of Engineering, Computing, and Information Science, and, for the last 16 years, as dean of the UMaine College of Engineering. Under his leadership, the college’s enrollment has grown over 70% and annual research awards now top $30 million. He oversaw the fundraising, planning and construction for the $78 million Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center that will open in August 2022. He also serves on the review committee of the Alfond Leaders Student Debt Reduction Program. For this work, he was honored as the inaugural Kenneth Warren Saunders and Henry W. Saunders Professor of Engineering Leadership and Management.

University of Maine Foundation President Jeff Mills, who emceed the event, noted, “It is a pleasure to celebrate those who give so much back to UMaine and this is our opportunity to thank them. We never want anyone to think that this extraordinary service is taken for granted.”

Guests were entertained by UMaine School of Performing Arts faculty and recent alumni who wrote and performed a parody song to honor each awardee. 

​​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 semi-annually at the Stillwater Society dinner.