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Mike Akanji ’15, M.B.A. ’17 Director at Tree Street Youth

IN THIS ISSUE Spotlight on Community Service Remembering Dr. Madore Guarantee the Future Campaign Reaches Record



22 16



5 Letter from the President

In October, Thomas announced it would work to reach an ambitious $27 million fundraising goal to support scholarships, academic and student success programs, create a new athletic facility, and bolster the Thomas Fund – all by December 31. With a head start and historic gifts, including from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the College met and exceeded that mark. Learn more about this successful effort and how donors and volunteers are making an impact.

18 Thomas Athletics 24 Class Notes 28 In Memoriam

ON THE COVER: Mike Akanji ’15, M.B.A. ’17 stands outside of Tree Street Youth in Lewiston, ME. Mike is the Program Director at the nonprofit, which strives to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn.Learn how Mike works to positively shape and influence his community.


On page 9 of the same issue of the Magazine, Cody Vigue ’13 was incorrectly spelled as Codey. 2  THOMAS MAGAZINE  WINTER 2021 

Spotlight on Service Thomas College’s mission is to prepare students for success in their personal and professional lives, and for leadership and service in their communities. These days, focusing on community is more important than ever. We caught up with several individuals who do this work every day, either as volunteers or through their jobs.

Read the story on page 7. In our December 2020 Annual Report, faculty member Dr. Kelly Mechling was listed as a donor alongside Seth McMillan. The recognition should have been attributed to Kelly Mechling and James Culley. Thank you to Professor Mechling for bringing this to our attention, and we apologize for the error.

Thank You for Supporting the Guarantee the Future Campaign!


Larger than Life: Remembering Dr. Nelson Madore Retired professor Dr. Nelson Madore passed away in December, leaving a legacy of caring, education, and service that has inspired generations of Thomas College alumni.

Please mark your calendar for Thomas College’s 6th annual Day of Giving, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Over the past year, alumni, students, faculty, staff, families, and friends of Thomas College have joined in a common cause: helping students succeed, even through the most challenging times.


Your gift can support any number of funds, including these or others, such as endowed scholarship funds,

We hope you’ll join us again.

special initiatives and matches, or athletic programs,

On this year’s Day of Giving, your donation to

just to name a few.

Thomas can be doubled, up to $200,000, thanks to generous donors. Their gifts will support the creation of the new athletic facility and emergency student aid through Student Success Grants.

Plus, if 1,000 donors contribute at any level, another amazing supporter will contribute $100,000 for scholarships and immediate student needs.

That’s a total of $500,000 in one day!

Please consider donating online on April 14 at or mailing a check prior to April 14, payable to Thomas College, using the postage-paid enclosed envelope.

Thank you!

“If we seek and work towards brighter days, we can create them.” – President Laurie G. Lachance M.B.A. ’92

The Thomas Magazine is published three times per year by Thomas College. Signed letters may be sent to the Editor at Thomas College, 180 West River Road, Waterville, ME 04901 or emailed to Letters and news items may be edited for length and style. MISSION


Thomas College prepares students for success in their personal and professional lives, and for leadership and service in their communities.


College BOARD OF TRUSTEES Conrad L. Ayotte ’77, H’98 Co-Chair Todd D. Smith ’92, M.B.A. ’99, H’19, P’24 Co-Chair Brian M. Bernatchez ’88 1st Vice-Chair Douglas L. Cutchin H’09 2nd Vice-Chair Kenneth P. Viens H’17 Secretary & Clerk Clifford C. Abbott, Jr. Michael D’Appolonia Jim A. Doyle William M. Dubay ’72 Holly Ferguson ’95, M.B.A. ’96 Robin Goodwin M.B.A. ’90 Charles “Wick” Johnson, III Meredith H. Jones Danielle K. Marquis ’99 Joseph B. Moore Cary Olson Cartwright Dorcas B. Riley Greg Savard ’89 Kelley B. Shimansky ’89 Richard F. Spellman M.S. ’80 Laurie G. Lachance M.B.A. ’92 TRUSTEE EMERITI James W. Hennigar H’03 Susan B. Lavenson H’94 Susan S. Roche EDITOR MacKenzie Riley Young COPY EDITOR Erin Baltes CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Erin Baltes Cameron Creamer ’15, M.B.A. ’16 Larry Davis ’70, ’74, M.S. ’78 MacKenzie Riley Young Michael Sullivan

Letter from the



ACH JANUARY I CHOOSE A WORD as a source of inspiration for the new year.

This year, I chose one that is simple yet powerful: “light.” As we close a year that was fraught with challenges, injustice, and loss, 2021 represents hope and possibilities. If we seek and work towards brighter days, we can create them. By embracing this idea at Thomas College, we can also instill in our students the determination and skills they need for life, as reflected in the Thomas mission: to prepare students for personal and professional success, and for leadership and service in their communities. Examples of our latest work include the ongoing efforts of our Presidential Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice. Volunteer faculty, staff, students, and alumni led a 21-Day Challenge this winter to help us all learn and grow in our understanding of racial inequality and to foster a more inclusive and just campus, community, and world. In addition, we remain vigilant in our fight against the pandemic, continuing rigorous testing and safety protocols to keep our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities safe while also providing an in-person education. In the spirit of celebration, I am delighted to share news on the College’s hugely successful Guarantee the Future Campaign. We announced the Campaign in October, having secured a historic $13.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. With their help and that of many others, the College was on its way to reaching an ambitious $27 million goal. Incredibly, we raised $30 million by the end of December to support a brighter future for all Thomas students. Alumni, friends, and donors who see Thomas as a light that guides the way for students and graduates invested generously in this remarkable endeavor. Thank you! This issue of the Thomas Magazine showcases the many ways in which our alumni, students, faculty, and staff bring positivity and light to their communities through service. As we continue down the path of 2021 and beyond with a renewed sense of purpose and hope, let us follow their examples and find our own ways to brighten our world.

With gratitude,

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Haley Campbell Cameron Creamer ’15, M.B.A. ’16 Ben Wheeler DESIGN

Laurie G. Lachance M.B.A. ’92 President

O’Brien Design Haley Campbell 




N O C TO B E R 1 4 , Thomas

College announced that the Harold Alfond Foundation had made a significant investment in Thomas students. The Foundation’s pledge of $13.5 million – the largest gift in Thomas history – will support new academic programs, enhanced student retention programs, expanded affordability initiatives, and academic and employer community partnerships through the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation. In addition, the College’s leadership and volunteers secured

Scholarships $9,908,187


  HAIBI $2,000,000 7% New Academic Programs $4,000,000


Thomas Fund $4,019,369


Student Success Programming $5,688,588


Athletic Facilities $4,391,502


funding from individuals, foundations, businesses, as well as federal grants, for a total of more than $26 million. In addition to key areas supported by the Harold Alfond Foundation, the focus was to increase access and affordability through scholarships; strengthen academic and student support programs; create a much-needed athletic facility; and bolster the Thomas Fund, which


provides immediate support for emergency scholarships, IT improvements, campus upgrades, and more. Upon announcing the Harold Alfond Foundation’s incredible commitment, President Laurie Lachance M.B.A. ’92 shared that the College would seek to raise $27 million by the end of 2020. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Board of Trustees, alumni, and friends of the College, plus a renewed federal TRIO grant for nearly $1.3 million for student success programs, over $30 million was raised. “This is more than twice what was raised previously, and we did it in a year that was challenging beyond measure,” said President Lachance. “It has much to do with the spirit of Thomas College, including our mission, who we serve, and how we serve them.” She added that the Harold Alfond Foundation investment signaled that Thomas is worthy of investment and helps to change students’ lives, launching them on career paths that take them to new heights. Of the funds raised, more than half were earmarked for scholarships or student success programs that drive student retention and graduation. “You need results, and Thomas College gets results,” reflected donor Peter Prescott. “When you talk to students and alumni, they are very excited about having attended.” “We worked towards a common goal,” added Tiffany White ’20. “The students, staff, alumni, and community

came together, and that is reflected in what the campaign is all about.” Among donors, more than one-third are Thomas graduates. Contributors Doug Sukeforth H’19 and wife Rita were committed to a new facility for Thomas College athletics and a welcoming space for the community. “We have grandchildren who received degrees here, and that brought a greater understanding of Thomas,” Doug said. “What we see at Thomas is a well-oiled machine, and we are proud to support it. To other Thomas supporters, we say ‘Thank you.’ To students: keep your eyes open wide to see the opportunities that lie before you.” “I often describe Thomas’s community as people of integrity, humility, hard work, and a ‘can-do’ attitude,” added President Lachance. “When you have those attributes, absolutely anything is possible.” n

Mike Akanji ’15, M.B.A. ’17

Finds Professional Passion at Tree Street Youth


N 2015, MIKE AKANJI received his

bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Thomas College. After four years excelling as a student-athlete, he considered pursuing a career in the FBI, but ultimately decided to stay in school, earning his MBA from Thomas in 2017. Mike knew that his passion lay in helping other people and making a difference in the world – especially in the lives of children. That passion led him to his current role as the Program Director of Tree Street

Youth, an organization based in Lewiston, ME. Tree Street Youth is a nonprofit that strives to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through programs rooted in academics, the arts, and athletics in a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference. Shortly after starting at Tree Street, Mike says he learned that “Lewiston is full of kids that are just like me and my friends when we were growing up – kids from many different backgrounds,

from all over the world with different cultures and histories. These are tough, smart, good kids who just need a little extra help and someone to be there for them.” Whether facilitating after-school programs; teaching leadership and empowerment skills; running college prep classes; or just being a shoulder for someone to lean on, Mike says that he is honored to be able to have an opportunity to positively impact the lives of so many children through his work at Tree Street Youth. “Tree Street has helped a lot with the challenges the pandemic has presented,” he adds. “A lot of kids went from having family around all the time to living in a bubble and having virtually nobody around them. Everyone at Tree Street appreciates personal relationships more, and it really illustrates the impact and value surrounding interactions with the kids. Everything has become a lot more special.” n 




Sydney Abbott ’21 Pairs Passion and Knowledge for Social Justice Internship


a Psychology major, enrolled at Thomas College, she faced uphill challenges making ends meet. With the College’s help, she tapped into additional scholarship support and created a personal financial plan, then secured a retail job locally. While that opportunity was helpful, she was also able to apply her growing Thomas education to a unique and meaningful internship opportunity at the YWCA in Lewiston, also known as the YW. Now, her passion and skills are aligned with her personal and professional success. “I had worked there previously for summer camp and loved it,” Sydney reflects. “The Executive Director told me that I could do my internship there, and I was sold. Their mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is incredibly important to me.” As a social justice intern, Sydney helped to build the roles and responsibilities of


the paid position herself, tapping into an issue she cares deeply about. “I really wanted to do social justice work, and I love social-emotional learning with kids,” she notes. She set to work shaping three programs: the Ready Together program, which helps new Maine families grow more comfortable with center-based childcare; an English conversation class held online and in person to help individuals practice English; and her favorite, an anti-bias curriculum that the YW will incorporate into its preschool and school-age programs. “I know I’m doing something right when I look at the kids we serve,” she reflects. “People need to feel like they have someone on their team, and I can be that person.” She interacts with children in myriad ways, from visiting with them at breakfast to helping with homework or playing on the playground. Because she works in her hometown, she also gets the gratification of seeing her work in action. “It’s

been really nice to see how this work plays out. The YW is definitely a source of light in the Lewiston community.” Sydney looks forward to continuing her work with the organization this spring, following graduation. n

SPOTLIGHT ON SERVICE How Thomas College Alumni Impact Their Communities


ACKENZIE PERRY ’17 began her journey with Make-AWish Maine as an events and marketing intern during her second year at Thomas College. She fell in love with the Make-A-Wish mission and was hired as the full-time Wish Coordinator after graduating in 2017. “Here at Make-A-Wish, our passion is providing hope when children and their families need it most. When a child is going through a difficult medical journey, it can feel daunting for the whole family. Allowing a child to focus on something happy can provide them with the hope, strength, and joy needed to push through.” During this challenging year, Mackenzie says that the organization has had to find new ways to continue their mission of granting a wish to every eligible Maine child. “Although travel wishes are on hold, we are still granting wishes that don’t involve travel or large gatherings and we are seeing kids get more creative than ever! Finding new ways to continue to provide hope has been uplifting and empowering.” Mackenzie is proud of the organization she works for and knows it has a big impact. “We have seen communities come together in so many incredible ways, from car parades to a police officer turning into the sidekick of a child who wished to be a superhero, and even schools forming an assembly to surprise a student who is a wish kid.” She adds she got so much more from Thomas College than her degree alone. “I learned the importance of excellent customer service, which we provide to every wish family along with the many donors and volunteers who make our 


“We have seen communities come together in so many incredible ways” work possible. I learned the importance of networking, which allows me to solicit donated items for wishes across the state. And perhaps most importantly, I learned a sense of community from Thomas staff and my peers.” Mackenzie is one of many Thomas alumni who are doing meaningful work

in their communities, either through their professions or volunteerism. These dedicated graduates – some of whom we celebrate here and throughout this issue – reflect the College’s mission: to prepare students for success in their personal and professional lives, and for leadership and service in their communities. n


DARREN FORKEY ’18, M.B.A. ’19 Athletics Assistant Alfond Youth & Community Center As a student, Darren discovered a love for community service as a student-athlete. The baseball team’s annual tradition of packing boxes of gifts and supplies for area families at the holidays lit a spark in him, he says. Now he works every day to help children in the greater Waterville area. “Using my Sports Management degree gives me drive,” he shares. “Coaching kids in multiple sports, I get to see my impact through them. They need athletic opportunities to build life skills, especially now, with the times we’re in.” He is also proud of the AYCC’s work to feed people in need at the holidays and his continued ties to Thomas, where he says it all began.

BELLA VANZANDT ’24 In a normal year, Thomas College students go into the community to volunteer. First-year Elementary Education student Bella VanZandt realized that would have to look different during the pandemic, so she got creative and brought an opportunity to campus. VanZandt worked with the College to create a three-week volunteer event in which students could safely gather to create children’s winter hats and friendship bracelets. The items were donated to the Home for Little Wanderers in Waterville, a social services agency that supports children and families. She even contacted her alma mater, Gorham High School, and students there also participated. Altogether, they made and donated more than 30 winter hats and 100 bracelets. “It felt great that I was able to at least donate something to a great organization,” she says. “It was awesome to see how much the Thomas community rallied.” VanZandt says this was a wonderful start to her involvement with the Waterville community.


SEAN TRAHAN ’96, M.B.A. ’96 Volunteer Maine Audubon Society Sean Trahan (pictured second from right) lives and works in Texas but summers in his home state of Maine. He got involved with the Penobscot Valley Chapter of the Maine Audubon Society as one of its neighbors. The organization works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people in education, conservation, and action. “Being so close, I wanted to be more involved and help educate people regarding the unique wildlife habitat at Fields Pond.” He was asked to serve on the state board to apply his professional expertise to their technology needs. “I got a degree in Computer Information Systems, then my MBA, at Thomas. With the skills I built there and in my position at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I’m able to bring experience to the organization to assist with moving forward technologically.”

EVELYN SWAN ’18 Communications Assistant U.S. Senate “I’ve been honored to serve as a member of Senator Angus King’s communications team for the past 2 ½ years,” Evelyn reflects. “If you work in the United States Congress, you know that your first duty is to the people of your district – whether it’s helping them navigate the challenges they face; working with a federal agency on their behalf; or listening to their legislative concerns and answering their questions.” Evelyn and her colleagues support the Senator’s legislative efforts by communicating them to the people of Maine through social media, state news sources, and the Senator’s monthly e-newsletter – especially important during these unprecedented times, she notes. “My advice to current students: take every chance that you’re offered; make connections; advocate for what you believe in; and don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something.”

HARRY LANPHEAR, III M.B.A. ’96 Volunteer, Kennebec Valley YMCA

BETTY-JANE MEADER Although retired faculty member Betty-Jane Meader did not graduate from Thomas, her commitment to community service is legendary, and helped to inspire many alumni. Today, she remains well known throughout the state for her dedication to several organizations.. “Volunteering at the Evening Sandwich Program and the Essentials Closet for the Waterville United Church of Christ has been rewarding,” says Betty-Jane. “These services assist people on the margins in our community and make a difference in their lives. Helping others who are less fortunate is fulfilling, and the pandemic has made this assistance more vital than ever.”

CAROL CAREW M.B.A. ’01 Chief Executive Officer Bucksport Regional Health Center Shortly after Carol Carew received her MBA from Thomas College in 2001, she became the Chief Executive Officer of the Bucksport Regional Health Center, a federally qualified health center located in Bucksport, ME. Carol is incredibly proud of what her team has been able to do throughout the pandemic. “We’ve continued to provide non-stop access to medical, behavioral health, and dental care for everyone in our region. We have provided services both in-person and via telehealth; we’ve provided COVID -19 testing to literally thousands of people; and, we will be instrumental in vaccinating our entire community!” 

Harry Lanphear cares deeply about the many programs and services that the Kennebec Valley YMCA, located in Augusta, ME, provides to at-risk youth and families and has made volunteering there a priority. He serves on the Board of Directors and co-chairs the Strong Kids Committee, which works on annual fundraising. “The need to support nonprofits has dramatically increased,” notes Harry about the last year. “Most are struggling and need help more than ever.” He adds that personally, volunteering is incredibly rewarding. “My passion is youth-related activities. For others, it could be helping feed the hungry or supporting a hospital. Get involved with a cause you care about.”

BRIAN POMEROY ’19, M.B.A. ’20 Experienced Air Transportation Specialist United States Air Force Brian served in the military for more than ten years before beginning his journey at Thomas. He completed his Bachelor’s in Sport Management in December 2019, and recently completed the on-campus, ten-month MBA program. Today, he is a stay-athome dad of two-year-old twins while applying for work. And he is using his experiences to prepare for the future. “While in the military, I lived by three core values that continue to push me today: integrity first; service before self; and excellence in all you do. During the pandemic, I’ve leaned on these values to keep myself from giving up or allowing stress to overcome me. Even now, during my job search, I have continued to improve myself through exercise and additional learning of coding.” His active-duty deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan gave him a new perspective that he carries with him today. “Life is beautiful, and we should appreciate all we have. So, while I conduct my professional search, I also cherish watching my children grow, learn, and experience life for themselves.” “My Thomas degree opened so many opportunities that I never would’ve imagined ten years ago,” Brian adds. “As of now, I have interviewed with three professional organizations and am waiting on calls from a few more. Thomas has set me and my family up for tremendous success.” n






pandemic on a college campus is an enormous task, but Thomas College student leaders made it possible. Many staff and students made social life events engaging this year – with students from the Campus Activities Board (CAB) playing a particularly large role. CAB is a student club that plans, coordinates, and hosts student activities, both on and off campus. Events range from do-it-yourself projects to apple picking and bowling and a Thomas favorite, BINGO nights. “CAB plays a huge role in campus life by inviting students to take a break from their studies and do something enjoyable in a safe, welcoming environment,” says Sam Coughlin ’20, who was very involved in CAB. “It also gives the club members actual experience creating an event and seeing their ideas come to life.” Although the 2020-2021 academic year has been unique, Sam notes that in the fall semester, CAB members hosted the same number of events – just with extra precautions. First-year student Addison Landon says that although she has never experienced Thomas in non-pandemic times, she loves being active in CAB. “This year we had a new factor to


consider when planning our events: student safety. We enlisted a variety of safety precautions to help protect the health of the Thomas College community, some of which included limiting social groups to four people and ensuring that off-campus events were closed to the public,” says Addison. Events fall into three categories: entertainment, homegrown events, and excursions. Entertainment events included having a performer on campus; homegrown efforts were on-campus activities, such as paint nights; and excursions (off-campus trips) included bowling or movie nights. “My personal favorite this past semester was our Dine-In for Dessert event in November,” recalls Addison. “We decorated the BerryDunn Student Senate Room with fairy and tea lights and served sweet treats from a local bakery, Holy Cannoli.” Addison is very proud of what she and her fellow CAB members accomplished. “Despite the uncertainty around the pandemic, we were still able to provide students with entertaining events, all while keeping them safe. Planning campus life events during a pandemic caused CAB student-leaders to be innovative and think of new ways of having fun – but, they also made sure to work hard to make traditional events

happen that students look forward to every year. For example, this February they successfully and safely held Deep Freeze Week. The event was planned by a small group committee of about eight students from the Campus Activities Board. Planning started in October with regular meetings. “With COVID, the group had much more to discuss, troubleshoot, and refine to make this year’s event both safe and fun. They worked hard to spread events across campus, offer virtual options, do raffles without paper tickets, select games and novelties, contact vendors, plus figure out logistics and staffing for all of the events too! They did an incredible job this year and were invested in making a week that would stand out!” said CAB advisor and Senior Coordinator of Student Activities Michael Sales. “Our vendors for many of the activities for Winter Carnival told us that our event was “the safest they’ve seen” and that we went great lengths to ensure that all possible scenarios/safety issues were thought of and worked out in advance,” said Michael. Highlights from the week included Big Prize Bingo, Winter Carnival, Stuff-ADog, CJ Club’s Clue-themed escape room, Caricatures, Carnival Games at the SAAC Sports Zone, and Lava Bead Bracelets. Michael was so proud of the success of the week – hundreds of students engaged and had fun. He credits the Campus Activities Board for never giving up on a challenging week and a big thank you to the wonderful winter carnival volunteers who helped make it possible. Sam graduated in December 2020 but has so many fond CAB-related memories. “CAB brought out a side of me that I didn’t know I had. It taught me what it is like to be a leader and to work with people who have different leadership styles,” she notes. Addison says the spring semester is full of fun events, too, and that more will be on the horizon. “My involvement with CAB constantly keeps me engaged with the Thomas College community. I have made so many wonderful friends, and I know that the best is yet to come.” n 



Advance into Law



who began nurturing a passion for law at Thomas and are making strides both professionally and towards improving the world. Emma Mora ’21 was inspired based on personal experience. “I want to be an advocate for immigrants and refugees in America,” Emma says. “I am an immigrant. The citizenship process was very long, hard, and lonely. I want others to feel they have someone to talk to, someone who understands.” After graduation, she plans to enroll in law school. She is fluent in Spanish and French and wants to be a translator. Her Thomas experiences helped her both grow into a leader and build community connections; she serves on the President’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice here and is Student Senate VP. Katie Taylor ’19 is a Daniel Webster Scholar at UNH’s Franklin Pierce School of Law. “I’ve always been interested in advocating for what I believe is right,” says Katie. As a child, she and her brother accompanied their police officer father to community service events, distributing food or spending time with elderly people around the holidays. “Observing the difference he made in the community made me want to do the same.” To Thomas students considering a law career: “Reach out and ask questions. Thomas College graduates contacted me during my first year about outlining and exam prepping early and provided or pointed to study resources.” Tawny Alvarez ’05 has been an attorney for more than a decade. She is a partner with Verrill Dana in Portland, ME, specializing in employment and labor litigation. She has received national recognition as a New England Super Lawyer and Rising Star and co-hosts the popular “HR Power Hour” podcast. Tawny says her time at Thomas helped her see the business side of work. “Law isn’t just about practicing; it’s about business, marketing, technology – and lots of reading! Thomas prepared me.” n


Katie Taylor ’19

Emma Mora ’21



DR. TRACEY HORTON PROFESSOR OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE Professor Horton serves on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, which provides policy direction for the State of Maine and juvenile justice issues; administers federal funds that the state receives through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; and ensures that Maine complies with its requirements. “We work to ensure that youth aren’t held in jails or facilities with adults; that Maine addresses racial and ethnic disparities of youth in the justice process; and that efforts are made to reduce and prevent delinquency and divert youth from court and correctional programs whenever possible,” she says. Her experience is reflected back in her classes. “I share with my students what happens in the criminal justice system and encourage them to be part of something that makes a difference in young people’s lives.” 

DR. ANNE-MARIE THIBODEAU ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS Though the pandemic has put volunteer opportunities on hold, Dr. Thibodeau looks forward to returning to her work at the Waterville Area Humane Society as soon as possible. “I have long had a passion for homeless animals, bringing home strays in elementary school,” she says. “Today, I can’t bring them all home, but I can help provide them with food and medical care and find them forever homes.” This love has helped Anne-Marie develop new friendships and connections with like-minded faculty and students, and she adds, “Animal adoptions are on the rise through the pandemic. Pets make great companions, especially while so many people are working from home.”

Faculty members’ work takes incredible dedication and time, including the personalized support for students that has long been a staple at Thomas College. Faculty also lead by example when it comes to community service, taking the Thomas mission beyond campus as volunteers. We caught up with a few professors to hear their stories.

DR. DONALD CRAGEN PROFESSOR OF SPORT MGMT AND H. ALLEN RYAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS CHAIR Dr. Cragen connected to Waterville Creates, which works to grow the creative economy through arts and cultural programs and institutions, through former student Cody Leland M.B.A. ’14. “Cody was interning at the Waterville Opera House and recommended me to their director,” Dr. Cragen recalls. “I agreed to serve on the board and assist with marketing. When Waterville Creates merged with the Opera House, I was asked to join their board.” Though happy to volunteer, he notes that he also benefits personally. “The people associated with the organization are some of the kindest and most genuine. I get a great sense of pride at watching how Waterville is transforming and how much Waterville Creates and the Opera House are contributing to that. I see Waterville continuing on the path to a more vibrant and welcoming community.” n


Pictured standing, from L to R: Brian Phillips ’89; ­­­­­­­­­­­ Dave Caron ’75; Sean Trahan ’96, M.B.A. ’96; Greg Savard ’89; Kevin Michel ’89; Ralph Gamache ’77; Russ Estey ’89; Joel Goloski ’83; Doug Wilson ’88 Front: Mark Andrews ’87; Dr. Madore; Moe Beaudry ’94; Kent Cassidy ’88


The Life of Dr. Nelson Madore


HEN BELOVED, retired p r o f e s s o r D r. N e l son Madore passed away Christmas Eve, the Thomas community began sharing memories and messages of gratitude for his wisdom, guidance, and friendship. Alumni, faculty, and colleagues honored his 40 years of teaching and advising, plus his legacy of civic and military service – all of which created a hugely impactful, meaningful life. Raised on a farm in Maine’s Aroostook County, Nelson built a strong work ethic and deep sense of caring. “He felt bad when teachers would punish him and his friends if they spoke French,” recalls wife Paula (Franzen) M.B.A. ’93, P’04. “Throughout his life, if he felt anyone was ridiculed or made to feel unworthy, Nelson spoke up.”


After high school, he enlisted in the Army and eventually became a Green Beret, Army Ranger/Paratrooper, and member of the 101st Airborne Division. He was one of the first to go into Vietnam and even sat with President Kennedy to share his perspective that a war there would be unwinnable. For years, he was a military advisor, and was even picked up from campus by a military helicopter one afternoon. At Thomas, Nelson taught history, management, and government. From his time teaching and advising many groups, such as fraternities and sororities like Alpha Gamma Delta, to his involvement in Waterville, including as the city’s mayor, he became larger than life in students’ eyes. They inspired him, too, says Paula. “He was like a father teaching a child to ride a bicycle with training wheels and then pridefully watching when the

child removed them and peddled off by themselves.” Sara (Delgado) Languet ’95 recalls a lesson that embodied Dr. Madore. “The first step in knowing how to be a good supervisor, he said, is to know people’s full names – and connect with them in a way that demonstrates care and respect.” “Nelson’s impact centered around his caring demeanor, unrelenting support, and trusted advice,” adds Kellie (James) Guarino ’92, M.B.A. ’98. “He observed and listened, and his soft-spoken words were always heartfelt.” “Few people can match his contributions to service,” shares friend and retired faculty Al Souza. “He was very caring, a good listener, and a loving family man.” “The thousands of students he impacted is undeniable,” says CJ McKenna ’04, M.S. ’09. “Most impressive is the positive influence he had on us, even after graduation. There is an unspoken, mostly unattainable Dr. Madore bar that we all strive for every day.” The College is working with alumni to host a celebration of Nelson’s life during Homecoming and Family Weekend. The tentative date is Saturday, October 16. Stay tuned to social media and Terrier Tracks, the College’s monthly email, for more information. n

CATCHING JEAN CROCE ’94 UP WITH By Larry Davis ’70, ’74, M.S. ’78


N LATE 1970, I WAS MANAGING a new pub in Waterville called You Know Whose Pub when a young couple, Jean Poirier and Billy Croce, came in for drinks and food. They were very much in love, full of fun, and we hit it off immediately. Jean was a medical secretary, and Billy managed Peter Webber’s Ski Shop two doors down from the pub. They were expert skiers, both having learned to ski before age five. They became regulars at the pub, and we shared many laughs. Jean grew up in Waterville, graduating as an honor roll student from Waterville High School in 1967. She wanted to become a dentist like her father; but with five siblings, that track seemed out of reach financially, so a more modest approach was taken. She attended Cardinal Cushing College, graduated with an AS degree as a medical secretary, and worked at Children’s Hospital in Boston in Pathology and Ophthalmology. After working a year, at age 21, Jean and a coworker friend bought one-way tickets to England, setting out to hitchhike 

across Europe with $200 each. In England, they met up with a popular Waterville High School exchange student, Bob Wiles, fondly nicknamed “Crumpet,” who also attended Thomas and was a star soccer player. Jean and her friend stayed for two weeks with Crumpet and his parents and had a ball. They then hitchhiked through Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, and Spain, and visited a Norwegian exchange student whom Jean’s parents had hosted. Jean and her friend loved every minute of their adventure. Back home, Jean worked as a medical secretary, and later, she and Bill married. In 1985 she took a position as Executive Secretary for Paul Jensen, Thomas College’s then President. Jean worked for several Presidents: Cy Joly, Dave Emery, George Spann, and Laurie Lachance M.B.A. ’92. She credits Dr. Spann with saving and growing the College when many small schools were disappearing

from the scene, and credits President Lachance with putting Thomas on a fast growth track.

Nine years after starting her Thomas degree, Jean completed her BS in Management, all while working full time and supporting her two children, Lisa and Tim. She retired in 2014, and she and Bill cruised the Maine coast each summer, sailing to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Saint Augustine, Florida, for the winters until Bill sadly passed away in 2018. While the pandemic has kept Jean at home more recently, she stays connected to her many friends. Looking back, Jean still loves Thomas students and their ability to work hard in school and at their jobs. She is very aware of the family atmosphere at Thomas and how much the professors and staff care about the students and their success. She was always amazed at the growth of students while attending Thomas. n


Terrier Profiles Alumni and Student-Athletes Impacting their Communities JULIE (FABIAN) BENECKE ’92, P’24


ULIE BENECKE’S JOURNEY with Bedside Manor began when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “She lived with us for a number of years, but eventually she reached the point when she needed to be at a place that could provide 24/7 supervised care,” Julie says. “We chose a care facility, but after a couple of months, it became clear that it was not a good fit for our mom.” Julie and her brother purchased and renovated an abandoned group home, and the first Bedside Manor Memory Care location became a reality. Bedside Manor now operates two facilities in Oakland, where they provide long-term care for residents with dementia. This year past has been especially challenging due to the pandemic, but Julie says that staying positive is one thing that we have control over. “Watching families visiting their loved ones at the window and witnessing the heartache for the residents, as well as their families, made it that much more important to stay positive and upbeat,” she shares. With her personal and professional experience, Julie often serves as a resource for others in the community who have


family diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “It is very common for people who know me to reach out for guidance as they navigate dealing with caring for their loved one. Many times, the family member is not at the point that they need 24/7 care, but I am able to offer advice and information on agencies that can assist the family.” Julie sees her work playing multiple roles in the larger community. “As a successful small business, we provide employment to members of the community,” she notes. “In addition, we are providing a care option to local families that allows them to be close to their loved one.” As a basketball and softball standout and member of the Thomas College Athletics Hall of Fame, Julie sees much of her success rooted in her time as a student-athlete. “To be a successful athlete, you have to be dedicated and prepared to put a lot of hard work into improving your skills,” she says. “Starting a business is the same. You must be prepared to give it 100%.”



OTH SPORTS AND COMMUNITY have always been a

major part of Scott Mullen’s life. When he graduated from Thomas and moved to Mid-Coast Maine, he felt a void in both of those areas. He says that coaching helped close both of those gaps for him. “I didn’t really know

anyone in the region, but coaching gave me the opportunity to be involved in sports and make connections in the community.” Scott has coached a variety of sports at nearly all levels, including soccer, basketball, football, and his greatest passion, baseball. He has coached his four kids in everything they have played since they were old enough to participate in sports. This experience led him and a group of other dads to start the Coastal Maine Storm in 2020. Despite being interrupted by COVID, the club was still able to compete in summer and fall leagues last year. “At the end of the fall season, my son added up all the games and scrimmages we played, and he realized we hadn’t played much fewer games than the 60 games played by Major League Baseball,” Scott says. Looking forward to coaching has kept Scott going through the pandemic. “I look forward to baseball as much as my 12-year-old son does. My day job became very busy due to the pandemic. Having baseball practice and games each week this summer was a great way to get outside and enjoy distanced interaction with friends.” His time as a student-athlete at Thomas was a catalyst for Scott to begin volunteer coaching. “People buy into your knowledge of the game a little more if you played at the collegiate level,” he notes. “Looking back, I’m not sure I knew what I was doing as a coach those first couple of years; but, luckily, I kept getting opportunities to continue coaching.” Scott credits some of his Thomas mentors, including professors Peter Gilbert and Dr. Nelson Madore, as well as Provost Dr. Tom Edwards, for shaping his mentoring style. “Having playing experience certainly opened doors to coaching; but, to me, coaching is about pouring yourself into your players. Having those people take a genuine interest in me and my success probably shaped my coaching style more than my participation in athletics. I try to show that genuine interest in the success of all the players I coach today.”



OR RYAN KAPPELMANN , aspirations to mentor young athletes have been sparked by his own coaches at Thomas. Ryan, who is a junior on the ice hockey and baseball teams, got his start coaching thanks to the encouragement of his ice hockey coach, Jeff Ross. “I’ve known Coach Ross since I was 16,” he reflects. “I played for him growing up. During my first two years at Thomas, he always encouraged me to skate with his son’s and daughter’s teams to help. I started going once a week and would be on the bench for a handful of games.” Last March, Coach Ross asked Ryan to be an official coach with the Maine Moose, as an assistant on the U10 and U18 teams, and he jumped at the chance. Ryan says that it has been a great learning experience coaching the younger athletes. “As a leader, it’s awesome being someone that they can look up to and for you to be a role model for them. It’s a very humbling feeling having a U10 player say that they are your favorite player and that when they are older, they want to follow your path.” 

Ryan’s also made strong connections with the older players he has coached. “There are two brothers from Arizona on the U18 team that I have taken almost a big brother role with,” he says. “The other day, one was telling me that he wanted to change his college major to sport management and be a coach one day like Coach Kapp.” In addition to coaching hockey, Ryan also volunteers as an Augusta Legion Baseball Coach. He says that his Thomas coaches have made a huge impact on him. “Along with Coach Ross, Head Baseball Coach Greg King and Assistant Ice Hockey Coach Joey Waraskevich have taught me a lot about communication and how important it is to communicate from both a player’s and a coach’s point of view. I am very grateful to both Coach Ross and Maine Moose U18 Coach Matt Lavallee for giving me the chance to start my coaching career under such great guidance. I know I’m still young and learning, but I definitely want to be involved in coaching moving forward.” n


Student-Athletes on Leadership and Service Trevor Reed ’23 Men’s Basketball


“Athletics has allowed me and other community members to escape from all that is going on amidst this pandemic,” says Trevor, who double majors in Public Accounting and Business Administration. Between course work and his commitment to the basketball team, Trevor also serves as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. “Although there have not been a ton of events due to COVID, athletics has allowed me to meet new people in our community; grow my voice; and provide hope to others that we can get through these tough times.”

Hunter Hughes ’22 Hockey


In addition to being a student-athlete, Hunter is also a KiestMorgan Scholar, pursuing his Communications degree in an accelerated three years. “What makes being an athlete here at Thomas so special is the entire school community,” he reflects. “When we played hockey last season, our home games were always full of proud fans who cheered for us throughout our entire championship season. Knowing you have support from your school community motivates you to represent Thomas well and win for these great people.”

Mike Zemrak Athletic Trainer

As an advisor for two student campus organizations, Mike sees how meaningful students’ work can be. “Being involved with Student Athlete Advisory Committee and Special Olympics Club gives me a chance to interact with students in a different capacity than my everyday job as an athletic trainer, and it allows me to give back to the local community in which I grew up. Being a former collegiate student-athlete myself and having a family member with autism, I take a lot of pride being an advisor for these groups and helping to mold the next generation.”


Our student-athletes develop lifelong skills, even in an unusual year. Find out how the Terrier experience prepares them for success.

Maeghan Bernard ’22 Women’s Track & Field, Women’s Soccer WINSLOW, ME

Maeghan represents the epitome of the busy, hardworking Thomas student-athlete. In addition to studying Accounting, she serves as Co-President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; a board member for the North Atlantic Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee; a member of Thomas College’s Special Olympics Club; and an assistant coach for two girls’ soccer teams in the Central Maine United league. “The Thomas community is a safe and comfortable place to get outside your comfort zone and grow as an individual, which is what I did,” she notes. “During my first year at Thomas, I had trouble connecting with others. Now, I have so many new friends through classes, athletics, and clubs, just by putting myself out there and being more confident.”

Nikki Bradstreet ’21

Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer TOPSHAM, ME

Nikki, a Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology double major and member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, says her time as a Thomas student-athlete has helped her build her network and creativity. “Thomas athletics has helped me connect to the community from the very beginning. When you show up to school as part of a team, you instantly have friends and people to go to. This year has been challenging but has also forced teams to find new ways to stay connected and motivate each other to keep working.”

Stephen Gray ’22 Track and Field TURNER, ME

“A staff member I have connected with quite well is [Track and Field and Cross Country] Coach Wilson,” says Stephen, a Secondary Education major with a math focus. “A lot of his background in education and coaching aligns with my goals, so he is not only able to coach me, but also gives me insight into the fields of education and coaching.” 


Winter Athletics Wrap-Up



of the past year, one thing that has remained the same is Thomas College student-athletes staying active and engaged in the Thomas community. Even though they had to adapt, student-athletes were dedicated to improvement – both on the playing surface and in the classroom. Although opportunities for winter competitions were limited, basketball,


ice hockey, and track and field teams were hard at work sharpening their skills in practices, team bonding, and strength and conditioning. Thanks to amended rules, fall and spring programs held virtual team meetings, focused on topics ranging from film study to strength and conditioning and chatted to stay connected. These new rules allowed coaches and staff to engage student-athletes and help them through challenging times. As is tradition at Thomas, student-athletes have also performed well in the classroom. The North Atlantic Conference amended its All-Academic Team rules this year, opening eligibility to all student-athletes in both the fall and spring semesters. This change resulted in a record number of Thomas College student-athletes being named to the All-Academic Team, a total of 79. Additionally, the College continued its celebration of

teams who met the President’s Council’s Academic Challenge, with the unfortunate, temporary exception of a dinner at a beloved local restaurant, Big G’s. This year, despite the adversity student-athletes faced, 12 teams met the challenge of exceeding a team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the semester, with other teams close behind. After more than three months of hard work and preparation, winter sports teams were rewarded with the opportunity to compete in games at the end of February and the beginning of March. See results of those contests by visiting n

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Alumni Class Notes 1969

Roger ’69 and Nancy (Workman) St. Amand ‘69 recently sold The Paragon Shop, located in Waterville, ME, after 38 years of being in business.


Joseph Cleaves recently retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 42 years in a position he began during his senior year at Thomas. Joe is looking forward to spending his free time with his wife Kathy at their summer place in Dexter, ME, where he collects and restores classic sports cars and is cultivating his own tree farm.

Nancy (Workman) St. Amand


Craig Joseph recently retired from General Motors after 26 years of service in the Eastern United States. Craig and his wife Laura are in Venice, FL, enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather and playing some golf.





Larissa (MacDonald) Larrabee ‘94, M.B.A. ‘02 was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.



Evelyn (Dean) Chabot recently opened a self-storage business in Hebron, ME, with her husband. (Photo Included)

Linanne (Nye) Gaunce was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to Tracy (Randall) Warren, who recently received the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce 2020 Service Stardom Award.

Evelyn (Dean) Chabot


Congratulations to Chuck Hays, M.B.A. ’02, who was recently named the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce 2020 Person of the Year. (Photo Included) Brandi (Newby) Meisner ’02, M.B.A. ’05 was recently appointed Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

1991 Craig Joseph

Southern Maine (USM) and was recently awarded the USM President’s Award for Staff Excellence. This award is presented to one staff member annually and is designed to recognize individuals who have consistently demonstrated excellence in leadership and who exemplify a commitment to the University of Southern Maine’s mission. It is traditionally awarded to an individual who is a strong role model who serves their colleagues in a mentor capacity.

Christina Cracolici is currently serving as the Assistant Director for Athletic Media Relations at the University of

Traci (Willette) Dean ’03, ’12 recently got married.


Aaron Bouyea, Director of Athletics at Monroe Community College, has been named NJCAA Division I Men’s Soccer National Chair, as well as NJCAA National Chair for Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse. (Photo Included) RJ Gagnon ’07, M.B.A. ’10, was recently named to Uplift LewistonAuburn’s Notable 40 Under 40.


James Grant recently accepted the General Manager position

James Grant

Nathaniel Rudy

Alex Beaton

Congratulations to Amanda (Brooks) Barish ’13, M.B.A. ’20, who completed a 62-mile (100k) run to round out 2020.

Jasmine Ryan

Lenny and Joanna (Sinsabaugh) Shevenell

with Rinker’s Boat World in Houston, TX. Nathaniel Rudy M.B.A. ’10 recently started a new position as the Town Manager in Gray, ME. Michael Santo ’10, M.B.A. ’10, a CPA currently working as a senior tax manager with Wipfli, recently facilitated a dynamic presentation to the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce on the intricacies of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 tax season.


Congratulations to Amanda (Brooks) Barish ’13, M.B.A. ’20, who completed a 62-mile (100k) run to round out 2020. Congratulations to Alex Beaton, his wife Jordyn, and their daughter Nora on the arrival of baby Carter, who was born on October 12, 2020. Scott Dumas was recently 

promoted to Sergeant with the Waterville Police Department in Waterville, ME. Kayla (Giroux) Holt recently obtained her PMP certification and began working for CGI as a technical consultant. Jasmine Ryan went on to receive her MBA from Southern New Hampshire University after graduating from Thomas College. The combination of her strong educational background and her tireless work ethic have positioned Jasmine for success and recently helped her receive a promotion to the position of quoting specialist with Lincoln Financial Group. Lenny ’13, M.B.A. ’13 and Joanna (Sinsabaugh) Shevenell ’13 recently conquered Mt. Katahdin’s infamous Knife Edge Trail, summiting Pamola Peak after an arduous hike. The Knife Edge route is widely regarded as a “sign the will” level of hiking difficulty.


Alumni Class Notes Josh ’13 and Brittany (Souther) Tainter ’13 welcomed baby Brady on June 30, 2020.

Josh and Brittany (Souther) Tainter


Benjamin Savage was recently named Officer of the Month for the Portland Police Department. (Photo Included)


Benjamin Savage

Joakim Eliasson Sternas

Blane Guido

Nicole McSweeney

Andrea “Read” (Thurston)

Nicole McSweeney M.B.A. ’15 was recently named to the Board of Directors for the Augusta Colonial Theatre, based in Augusta, ME. Sadie (Theriault) Reinhard, who was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society while she was at Thomas, was recently promoted to Director of Finance at Community Concepts based out of Lewiston, ME. Jonte Roussel ’15, M.B.A. ’18 will be taking on a new professional challenge with the United States Postal Service. Andrea “Read” (Thurston) ’15, M.B.A. ’16 and Brett Smeltzer are planning to welcome a new baby boy, Maverick Owen Smeltzer, in April 2021.


Andrew FortinTrimble M.B.A. ’16 recently accepted a new role as Vice President, Director of Marketing with Skowhegan Savings Bank, based in Skowhegan, ME. Blaine Guido ’16, M.B.A. ’17 and Kelly Macomber ’17 recently announced their engagement.


Christie (Davidson) Bane ’17, M.B.A. ’18 is starting a new position as a project manager with Northern Light Health. Luci Charest was recently promoted to commercial lines insurance agent with Bilodeau Insurance. Tessa Johnson ’17, M.B.A. ’18 recently accepted a new position as an auditor with Otis Atwell, based out of South Portland, ME. Crystal Peatfield recently obtained an internship with C.R.E.A.T.E.! (Center for Expressive Arts Therapy and Education)

Joakim Eliasson Sternas recently began a new position as a management consultant at SolidEngineer, based out of Stockholm, Sweden.


Joshua Callnan ’18, M.B.A. ’19 recently started a new position as a staff accountant with Wipfli in Portland, ME. Joe Creta ’18, M.B.A. ’20 was recently promoted to Inventory Compliance Team Coordinator at Wayfair in Brunswick, ME. (Photo Included) Kelsey Dubay ’18, M.B.A. ’19 recently came back to Thomas to work as our Title III Grant Specialist. Amanda Reagan recently accepted a new position at Kennebec Savings Bank as a Loan Administration Coordinator.


Kayleigh Clinch ’19, M.B.A. ’20 recently started a new job as financial/accounting operations technician with Anthem.


Robert “Jameson” Dehmer recently started a new position with Camden National Bank as their Relationship Banker. Skyler Henry recently started a new position working in real estate and insurance with the McKenna Agency. (Photo Included) Baxter Levasseur recently started a new position with Five County Credit Union based in Waterville, ME. n

SUBMIT YOUR CLASS NOTES Please send your class notes to Michael Sullivan in the Advancement Office at


T o a




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“Thomas College always reminds me never to quit and to always strive to accomplish my dreams.” Lexi Reardon ‘22 Forensic Psychology

In Memoriam Class of 1952 Theodore Frederick Votoe passed away on October 1, 2020, at the age of 87 at home. He battled cancer over the last couple of years. He was born in Waterville, ME, and relocated to Orlando after serving in the United States Air Force at Pine Castle AFB. He enjoyed a very successful, 30-year career with Eastern Airlines. After early retirement from Eastern Airlines, he worked another 20 years with the Orange County Convention Center. He was a loving father and grandfather to many. He will be sorely missed but remembered with great fondness.

Class of 1955 Raymond L. Cyr passed on November 25, 2020, after a short illness. Raymond and his sweetheart, Lorraine R. Dore, were blissfully married for 42 years until Lorraine passed away in 2018. Ray graduated from Waterville High School and attended Thomas (Business) College. In 1955, Raymond enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Dow AFB in Bangor, Moron AFB in Seville, Spain, and Anderson AFB on the North Pacific island of Guam. During his eight years in the military, Ray served as a Catholic Chaplain Assistant. After being honorably discharged, Ray moved to Ansonia, CT. For 22 years, he managed Lewis Jewelers. Raymond had an acute interest in politics and serving the greater good. He wasn’t shy about expressing his views, albeit respectfully and with good cheer. He remembered every small detail of when and where he met or saw up close six American presidents and two popes. He cheerfully greeted worshippers

at St. Brendan Catholic Church in Ormond Beach. During his final years, Ray made it a point to tell his family of the six mentors who shaped his life – his admired uncle Monsignor George Cyr of Maine, businessman uncle Robert Maheu of Las Vegas, U.S. Air Force Chaplain Bill Campbell, nephew U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin of Maine, businessman Alan Schpero of Connecticut, and lifelong military pal Jim Kazmerski of Connecticut. Ray was a gentle and loving man, proud of his French-Canadian Catholic heritage.

Class of 1956 Clifton Reginald Walter passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Carrollton, GA, on January 2, 2021. Clif grew up in Madison and graduated from Madison High School and Thomas College. He married Joyce Angenette Smith in Madison in 1957. Clif worked at Kennebec River Pulp and Paper Company for several years as an accountant, office manager, and controller. Clif and Joyce later owned and operated Hidden Acres dairy farm in Madison as well as the Bingham Motor Inn in Bingham. He was honorably discharged after serving in the United States Army Reserve. In addition, he was a lifelong member of the Northern Star Masonic Lodge #28 in North Anson. He was actively involved with the Bingham Chamber of Commerce, planning the annual Fly-In, as well as the local snowmobile club, spending hours grooming the trails with his friends. Clif was a longtime member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He held many callings in the church over the years and could always be counted on to volunteer when service for


others was needed. Clif and Joyce traveled to Boston every month to serve as workers in the LDS Boston Temple for several years. When he wasn’t working or handling a church assignment, he could be found hunting and fishing with his two sons, Scott and Kevin, fiddle-heading with his dog King, flying his tiny Vagabond plane over to his brother’s house for lunch, reading an old worn western paperback (or watching a western on tv), researching the genealogy of his ancestors, or just puttering around the house fixing something. Clif loved to travel and enjoyed many trips with his family around the world.

Class of 1961 Mary K. Bossie passed away on November 29, 2020, at Northern Light Inland Hospital in Waterville. She graduated from Bingham High School Class of 1959 and attended Thomas Jr. College, graduating in 1961 with an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science. She worked at the old Sisters Hospital in Waterville in the pharmacy and had many fond memories working with the sisters, especially Sister Stephanie. Mary married her high school sweetheart Robert in 1963, and she devoted many years creating a loving home where together they raised their two sons. She was devoted to her family, which was the center of her life during their sons growing up years and was so proud of them. She was involved in many of their school activities, Cub Scout leader, and volunteered for many years at the Annual Clinton Lion’s Club Fair. She was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Fairfield where she taught CCD classes for several years. Later she began working at Judy Nutting’s daycare in Fairfield. When the daycare closed, Mary

got involved with helping disabled children, working at the Hilltop Center for Handicapped Children in Waterville and then at the Winslow Elementary School as a teacher’s aide in the pre-school children special needs program. She was employed there for 10 years until health issues forced her retirement.

Class of 1966 Cheryl (Hawes) Larner, 74, of Bangor, passed away October 15, 2020, after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although, the family believes she died of a broken heart. Her husband of 51 years and caretaker Jim died suddenly and tragically from an accident just six weeks earlier. Cheryl attended Union High School, graduating in 1964. She went on to Thomas College, earning her Associates degree in 1966. Soon after, she began as a medical secretary for Dr. Marshall of Waterville until 1973. She then took on an even greater job as “mom” to her daughter Lisa. Cheryl returned to the workforce in 1990 for the City of Bangor. Golfers in the area who played at Bangor Muni knew Cheryl as an efficient and trustworthy manager of the pro shop. In the off season, she could be found at the Bangor Auditorium managing the concession stands and keeping young concessionaires on task as they peddled popcorn and drinks during tourney time. Although she enjoyed her work at the golf course, the onset of Parkinson’s played a role in her early retirement in 2012. However, she found a new purpose in life: spending more time with and helping raise her granddaughter Alyssa. The last few years reversed roles, and Alyssa drove GrandMom to shopping and numerous appointments.

Stephen Loder, Jr.

S Outside of family, Cheryl enjoyed sports, especially basketball, which carried over from her high school days as co-captain for the girls’ basketball team in 1963/64. She also loved her Red Sox. If a sports game was not on, you could find her with her beloved cats or watching the birds in her backyard. The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Silver Linings Home Care for their exceptional care, and kindness. Thank you, Christine, Bev, and Diane.

Class of 1978 Ruth G. Higgins of Madeira Beach, FL, died on February 18, 2021, after a brief illness. She graduated from Oxford Hills High School, Thomas College (4.0), and got an MBA from Husson. She became a CPA in 1980 and conducted her own practice in Oakland, ME, until 2012, when back surgeries led to limited mobility. She married Stephen F. Higgins in 1967, and they had three amazing children. She loved golf, reading, knitting/ crocheting, and card playing. Nobody enjoyed a good story/joke more than she.

Class of 1984 Cynthia A. Brown, 74, of Randolph, passed away Friday, December 4, 2020, at her home. Cindy was born and raised in Hartford, CT. After the sudden passing of her father, Myron Zervas, the family moved to Gardiner to reside with her grandmother Pauline Carter. Cindy graduated from Gardiner Area High School and then attended Ricker College where she met her husband Charles. Cindy transferred to Thomas College, graduating with a degree in business administration. 

She furthered her education at Williams College and the University of NC, Charlotte. Cindy started working at Depositors Trust, now Key Bank. She gained experience in auditing, marketing, and the executive area, retiring as vice president and trust administrator. Cindy was a notary and a past director of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Kennebec Valley. She loved all animals and felt no animal should go hungry. She had a fondness for cats and always had rescue cats.

Class of 2003 K. Marie Hartsgrove, 60, died November 23, 2020, at her home after fighting cancer. She graduated from Nokomis Regional High School and received an Associate degree from Thomas College. She worked in accounting at the Dexter Shoe Company, United Way, and Gilman Electric in Newport. She had a strong, funny personality and was loved by many. She was a member of the Historic Preservation Society at the Newport Cultural Center and was also interested in Civil War reenactments. n

tephen James Loder, Jr., 49, of Clinton, passed away unexpectedly on January 25, 2021, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, Thayer Unit in Waterville. He graduated from Waterville High School in 1990. He was married to Emily Sears of Clinton in 1998. He worked as a cook for Sodexo at Thomas College since 2011 and worked part time in the summer for Pyro City. He had previously worked for Governor’s Restaurant, the Waterville Country Club, Olive Garden, Kirshner’s, and Sodexo at Colby College. Stephen was known as “the Egg-Man” at Thomas and was loved for his smile, positivity, and dedication to his role. He was also a strong supporter of the Thomas athletic programs and could be seen standing on the sidelines or bench at most home games. When off campus, he would often stop students when he saw them around town, saying hello, knowing everyone by name, and asking how they were doing. Stephen was a dedicated father to his daughter Cecile, attending all dance lessons and recitals from about 4-years-old until she graduated from high school, supporting her during the barrel races and everything she was involved with. Stephen was looking forward to his first grandchild due in early July. Steve leaves behind his ex-wife Emily; daughter Cecile; brother Jeramy Loder and his wife Tammy; brother Tobey Loder and his wife Heidi; and members of his extended family. He was looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild this July. A celebration of life will be held in the spring.

Dr. Nelson Madore


he Honorable Dr. Nelson Madore, beloved and retired Thomas College professor, passed away at his home in East Falmouth, MA, on December 24, 2020. Born June 7, 1943, to parents Adrien and Odile (Deschaine) Madore, Nelson grew up in Aroostook County, ME, surrounded by a large and loving family. He graduated from Fort Kent Community High School in 1961, then entered the Army and used his French language skills to help become a Green Beret, Army Ranger/Paratrooper, and member of the 101st Airborne Division. He received degrees from the University of Maine in 1966, 1967, and 1978, then earned his Doctor of Education degree from Vanderbilt University in 1982. At Thomas, Dr. Madore taught history, government, and management for 40 years. He served as an advisor to many student organizations, including the Judicial Board, Student Senate, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Epsilon Kappa. He was Faculty Chair for a number of years and an active fan of Thomas athletics. Through all this, countless Thomas students and graduates became extended members of the Madore family. Off campus, Nelson lived a rich life of civic service in the Waterville community. He was a member of many community organizations, active in church, and served on the Waterville School Board and later as Mayor of Waterville. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Paula (Franzen) M.B.A. ’93, P’04; daughter Ginny; daughter Maren ’04 and her husband Eric Reddy ’04; sisters Verna, Greta, and Mae; and several in-laws and extended family members. The family looks forward to a celebration of life later this year. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made in Dr. Madore’s memory to Thomas College, supporting either the Dr. Nelson Madore Scholarship Endowment or the Alpha Gamma Delta Scholarship Endowment, or to the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. More on Dr. Madore, his service, and his legacy on page 16.



Embracing the changing seasons on campus. 30  THOMAS MAGAZINE  WINTER 2021


In late January, Thomas College hosted its sixth annual Thomas Cup, a competition for high schoolers that fosters teamwork and innovation through a series of challenges. More than 200 students participated in sessions including innovation, robotics, cyber defense, Esports, and crime scene investigation. For the first time in Thomas Cup history, the College announced a $10,000 scholarship to each member of the winning team, with the Maine School of Science and Mathematics taking home the honors. Plus, because the second- and third-place teams were incredibly close in their point totals (within .25), the College extended scholarships of $8,000 and $6,000 to those participants, respectively. Dexter High School took second place honors, with Yarmouth High School garnering third. Thank you to the event’s sponsors, student competitors, and the friendly staff at participating high schools for encouraging and supporting this year’s awesome effort! Please save the date for next year’s Thomas Cup, slated for January 2022.


SAVE THE DATES We’re looking forward to including you in Thomas College’s annual traditions. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for more updates on our social media and at







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Thomas Magazine Winter 2021  

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