Excerpts from Mainely People About Forestry Alumni

Dick Hale '44 stands proudly in front of the Galaxy of Stars display in the reception area of Buchanan Alumni House. The user-friendly computer display recognizes UMaine's outstanding alumni.

Dick Hale ’44 turns his vision into a reality (Mainely People, Winter 2005)

Back in the fall of 1991, the alumni association published a special issue of the alumni magazine profiling 125 of the University of Maine’s most outstanding alumni.  The accomplishments of these graduates greatly impressed Dick Hale, a Class of ’44 member and an associate professor emeritus in forestry.

Dick thought that UMaine’s outstanding alumni should be recognized on an ongoing basis.  He came up with an idea for a user-friendly computer display that cld tell the alumni stories to the public.

Dick’s vision could not be implemented at the time – the technology was just not available and the alumni association did not have an appropriate space for the display.  But with the completion of Buchanan Alumni House in 2002 and rapid advances in technology, he once again presented his idea to the alumni association and the UMaine Foundation.

The reaction to Dick’s idea was overwhelmingly positive and he began working closely with alumni publications editor Jim Frick on a strategy to make it a reality.

The project gained momentum when Dick met with the director of UMaine’s Computer Connection store, Doug Marchio.  At the time, Doug was working on an agreement with IBM and he thought they might also be interested in this project.  The IBM people liked the idea and agreed to fund all the hardware needed for the project.

With the computer needs taken care of, Dick began his own fundraising campaign to pay for the display cabinet and the software that would need to be developed.  He own Class of ’44 generously donated $5,000.  He then set up meetings with every college dean and key administrator.  Those meetings resulted in donations to the project totalling over $11,000.

During the summer, the Class of 1960 joined the Galaxy of Stars project, pledging money to fund a custom-made cabinet for the display.

With all the needed money raised the new media student group ASAP was hired to develop the software program which will include voice-overs, slide shows, and audio and video clips of upwards of 150 outstanding UMaine alumni.

At Homecoming 2004 the Galaxy of Stars was unveiled and demonstrated at an IBM funded dinner.  Thirteen years after his original idea, Dick watched his vision become a reality.

“I’m a member of the Class of ’44, and we can be a persistent and pushy bunch,” he said.  “We’re not getting any younger and we like to see things get done while we’re still around!”

(Mainely People, Winter 2005)

Performing in the Alumni Band at Homecoming is a family affair for David '94 and Laurie Mann Spooner '96, 98G and baby Mikaela.
Performing in the Alumni Band at Homecoming is a family affair for David '94 and Laurie Mann Spooner '96, 98G and baby Mikaela.


Sara “Sally” Medina, the first female student to graduate from the University of Maine’s forestry department, was honored last spring by the Abnaki Girl Scout Council after retiring from six years as council president.  The council is in the process of raising money for an endowed scholarship in Sally’s honor in cooperation with her employer, Seven Islands Land Company.  The scholarship is intended to help another female student follow in Sally’s footsteps.  Sally’s experiences as a Girl Scout gave her “the confidence to do something that was out of the ordinary.  To do something I wanted to do, not something somebody else thought I should do.”


I was ecstatis to see my college roommate, Cheri Meinsen Birch.  Cheri teaches environmental science to children in kindergarten through third grade in Hollis, New Hampshire.  Her husband Craig Birch, was also at Reunion and works as a forester.

Todd Ehrlich was at Reunion even though it was the day of his tenth wedding anniversary.  What dedication!  He and his wife have two daughters: Miriam who is 8 and Rebekah who is 5.  Todd is a high school math teacher in Brooklyn, New York.


We would like to announce the births of two new Black Bears to our classmates!  Tiffany and Daniel LaMontagne informed us of the birth of their second son, Cameron Aiden (eight pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches).  They and their first son, Connor, live in Canaan, Maine.  Dan is a forester for Plum Creek Timber Company.


In the great wide world of sports, Chad Hayes has had a busy year with football since his UMaine days.  Chad is a native of Old Town and former UMaine football tight end.  He has currently worked out a deal to play on the Cincinnait Bengals football team.  Up until now Chad had been playing in the World Bowl for the Frankfort Galaxy.

(Excerpts from Mainely People, Winter 2005)