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University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College

Celebrating 25 Years of Transforming Lives and Serving the Community 1988-2013

Greetings from Dean Gibson

Dear L-A Friends, For the past 25 years USM LAC has changed people’s lives by providing higher education and aspirations to the people of the greater Lewiston-Auburn area and beyond. Our longevity and success is a testament to the hard work and tenacious spirit of the people that founded the campus. We at USM LAC are proud to share with you our rich history over the past 25 years. I would like to THANK ALL OF YOU on behalf of the faculty, staff, alumni and students of LAC, for without your foresight, commitment and ongoing support we would not be here today.

University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College 51 Westminster Street Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 753-6500 TTY (207) 753-6511 This Commemorative Booklet was a project of the Office of the Dean of the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The content was curated from school records, archives and interviews, as well as published news stories and press releases. Printing by Central Maine Community College

Sincerely, A member of the University of Maine System

Joyce T. Gibson Dean 2

The University of Southern Maine shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other areas of the University. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. Questions and complaints about discrimination in any area of the University should be directed to Campus Diversity and Equity, 780-5094, TTY 780-5646.

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

A great success story In the fall of 1988 USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College began with 673 students jockeying for room in between construction workers and painters. Equipment and furniture was still arriving and many wondered if creating the campus would even work. But it did work. In fact, it is probably one of the community’s greatest success stories.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


Early 1980s-1988: The Planning Years

The original artist’s concept of the campus.

1981-1983: M  eetings amongst City staff and Mayor Paul R. Dionne. University of Maine Board of Trustees directed the Chancellor to conduct a study concerning the establishment of a Lewiston campus of the University of Maine.

The Lewiston-Auburn community was ferocious in its push for a four-year University of Maine campus to serve its businesses and citizens in the early 1980s.

disagreed at the polls twice, once in 1984 and again in 1985, voting against a $3.1-million local bond that would have combined with $2 million in state funds to start the college.

An economic study conducted in 1983-1984 determined that this new university would generate nearly $10 million a year. But voters

Originally planned as UMaine at Augusta’s Lewiston-Auburn Center because UMA already had a center located at the former


USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

Area development groups back campus Lewiston Daily Sun October 20, 1984

“You have to look at changing needs by business as well as residents in the labor force. Looking back over the last 20 years, we’ve doubled the number of jobs in health and services fields. We are changing. Our needs are changing.” Michael Moniz, LAEGC executive director

Construction of the campus started in June 1988.

Sacred Heart School in Auburn, the plans changed after the defeats at the polls and discussions turned to the new university coming under the control of the University of Southern Maine.

year degrees would be of great benefit,” said professor and former Lewiston-Auburn College dean, Betty Robinson.

Operating funds for an L-A-based university under the auspices of USM were included “UMA was offering associate degree programs in the University’s two-year budget in Auburn, but the community felt fourrequest. Following that request, the joint Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


Early 1980s-1988: The Planning Years

Ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies for Lewiston-Auburn College in October 1988. Pictured from left to right are former Mayor of Auburn John Cleveland, University of Maine System Trustee Geneva Kirk, Auburn Mayor Harry Woodard Jr., Governor John McKernan, Lewiston Mayor Maurice Labbe, and former Mayor of Lewiston Paul Dionne.

Appropriations and Financial Affairs Fifteen possible sites were viewed. The Committee earmarked $1.1 million to plan and decision to locate the new college in the operate the new college through 1989. former Central Maine Tennis building on Westminster Street in Lewiston’s Industrial In the fall of 1987, officials began the search Park was not without its skeptics. for a building to house the new campus. Fifteen weeks after renovation began on the 6

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

June 1987: After two bond defeats in 1984 and 1985, the joint Appropriations & Financial Affairs Committee earmarks $1.1 million to plan and operate the new LewistonAuburn College through 1989. September 1987: Harlan Philippi, the University of Maine System senior associate, starts groundwork for the new college. Lewiston-Auburn officials meet with Philippi to begin the search for a building. October 1987: After touring and reviewing five different buildings, University officials meet and agree to begin discussions with the owners of the Central Maine Tennis building at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston.

Club pro Norm Gellatly of Auburn performs a backhand return shot on one of the courts at Central Maine Tennis in Lewiston. The building eventually became the site chosen for the Lewiston campus.

April & May 1988: Site plan approval by Lewiston Development Corporation and Lewiston Board of Appeals. June 1988: Construction commenced.

building, classes commenced September 6, 1988. “The school still looked like a construction site, but it opened its doors,” said Robinson. According to school records, 673 students were enrolled in the LAC’s first semester; 840 enrolled in its second semester.

September 1988: Classes commenced. LAC becomes sixth USM college. First degree program: Management and organizational studies.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


Professor Marv Druker prepares for class in the original office at LAC in 1988. Behind him construction was underway to convert the former tennis courts into classrooms.

L-A College celebrates anniversary and success Sun Journal Sunday April 25, 1993

“Since opening its doors for the 1988-89 academic year, Lewiston-Auburn College has more than lived up to the vision held by its early community supporters. Steadily rising from the 1988 level of 1,070 students, the spring 1993 semester attracted 1,570 students, a 47 percent increase. ”


USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

Harlan Philippi, UM Senior Associate, was chosen to start the groundwork for the college in 1987. He served as Chief Executive Officer and founding Dean from 1988-89.

The University of Maine at Augusta The University of Maine at Augusta was part of USM’s Lewiston campus until 2006. Prior to their relocating to the Lewiston campus, they had operated as a University center for many years in Auburn. UMA offered the following associate degrees: • • • • • • •

An early science class at LAC.

Applied Arts/Graphic Arts Business Administration Criminal Justice General Studies Liberal Arts Social Services Library Information Technology

Gloria Jones served as director of UMA’s LAC campus until her retirement in 1997. In 1998 Thomas Abbott was appointed UMA’s dean of extended programs at the LAC campus.

The new college ultimately was a collaboration between University of Southern Maine and University of Maine at Augusta. Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


1989-1997: The Early Years

USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College’s first graduating class at commencement exercises in 1991. Left to right are Freddie Miller, Mary Sylvain-Leonas, Mary Hawkins, Stacy Slack, Doris Morgan, Margaret Craven, and Lucien Gosselin. Le Centre d’Héritage Franco-Américain began as an independent study project at St Dominic’s High School in Lewiston in 1970/71. A non-profit organization in 1972. The mission of the Centre d’Héritage included preserving the past as well as conducting cultural programming to promote Franco-American culture. After being housed at several locations, the Collection was transferred in 1989 to USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College and was initially housed at the LAC library. Eventually a separate space was established for the Collection on campus. In 2001, thanks to a generous donation by Professor Madeleine Giguère, a modern climate-controlled reading room and storage area were established to be a permanent and secure home for the Collection. In July of 2013, the Collection expanded again as they moved to another, larger space on campus. The Franco-American Collection, as it is now known, is one of the largest repositories of Franco-American archival material in the State of Maine. It serves the local community and is a resource for USM students and scholars worldwide. Above, Madeleine Giguère, the Collection’s first coordinator and benefactor, speaks with a student in the Collection. An internationally recognized sociologist, Professor Giguère was known locally and regionally as “la marraine” (the godmother) of Franco-Americans.

LAC initially offered one program: a four-year which brought 1,000 students and associate bachelor of science degree in management and degree programs in business administration, organizational studies. English and social sciences to the new college. UMA moved its Auburn campus to LAC, 10

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

1989: Social and behavioral sciences B.A. degree offered. R.N. studies degree extended from USM College of Nursing. Interactive television classes of the Education Network of Maine move from UMA’s Auburn Center to LAC.

Helen Greenwood, former USM Provost and Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College from 1989 - 1996.

1990: S  econd phase of building completed with expanded library, science labs, art room, computer classroom, bookstore, LA Cafe, and faculty offices. 1991: N  atural and applied sciences B.A. offered. Arts and humanities B.A. offered. 1993: U  MS Board of Trustees reaffirms Lewiston-Auburn College as the third campus of USM. 1997: S  econd computer classroom opens.

Betty Robinson, Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College from 1996-2003. Professor Robinson and Professor Marv Druker were the first two full-time faculty members to be hired for the college in 1988.

Cell and molecular biology lab opens. Minor in information systems is offered through agreement with CMTC.

Changes in programs throughout LAC’s history have been dictated by market demand, and in 1989, a bachelor of arts in social and behavioral science was added. Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


1989-1997: The Early Years

The R.N. Studies degree was extended from USM College of Nursing to LAC. This 12

program was designed for R.N.s with an associate degree or diploma. Later, in 2000,

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

Lewiston-Auburn College started its first graduate program in occupational therapy in 1995. The majority of USM MOT graduates choose to stay in Maine and serve Maine citizens. The program at USM LAC enjoys a national and international reputation for excellence, and has been recognized by international scholars for its unique and rigorous curriculum.

the program began offering a bachelor’s in nursing. The first degree students graduating from LAC in 1991 included nine from the

bachelor programs and almost 50 from the associate programs.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


1998-2003: Community Engagement

The teacher education program CLASS was started in 1998. The program was an innovative program in undergraduate teacher elementary education which included courseswork in an academic major leading to a bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts field. Successful completion of the program resulted in certification to teach in elementary and middle schools.

Senior College, courses for people 50 or older, was started at Lewiston-Auburn College in 1998. It offers a wide-variety of courses and requires only a love of learning to participate. In addition to taking courses, members of Senior College at USM LAC participate in a variety of social activities and information sessions. They also fund a large scholarship for USM students each year.

Among the school’s first graduates were Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council President Lucien Gosselin, a strong advocate for the college in its planning stages, and State Sen. Margaret Craven. 14

In 1991, LAC added a bachelor of arts in natural and applied sciences and in the arts and humanities.

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

The masters in leadership studies program at USM LAC became the first to offer an international studies travel class. It visited universities in Botswana and South Africa with the intention of establishing academic and business partnerships. Pictured is MLS student Matt Cote visiting a school in Botswana in 2005.

Student enrollment reached 1,400 including many nontraditional students with an average age of 33. The majority of students were women.

In 1992, the Franco-American Collection opened as the largest Franco-American archival repository in the state, with material on history, politics, religion, education, industry, business, theater and music. Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


1998-2003: Community Engagement

Governor John Baldacci assists Dean Betty Robinson along with other dignitaries during the grand-opening ceremonies for the 2001 expansion at USM LAC. The 3.5 million-dollar project funded by the Maine Legislature was the first major renovation and expansion since opening in 1988.

The collection includes documents, news clippings, photographs, and artifacts about Franco-American history and culture. The Atrium Art Gallery, centrally located 16

at the main entrance to LAC, presents art exhibitions of paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, and contemporary crafts.

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

LAC Grand Reopening November 11, 2001

The 3.5-million-dollar project funded by the Maine Legislature was the first major renovation and expansion since opening in 1988. Renovations included three new science labs and classrooms, a nursing lab, a computer seminar room, and a multi-use function room. A new space for USM’s Franco-American Collection, including a reading room named for the Collection’s first Coordinator and benefactor Madeleine Giguere, was created. The project also included a larger bookstore, more faculty space and a library expansion. A total of 20,000 square feet of space was added or renovated, which increased the total square footage of the building by almost 30 percent.

Zark VanZandt, Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College from 2003-2007.

Exhibits highlight Maine artists, but also include artists from around the country. The gallery hosts a biennial open juried exhibition for artists in Androscoggin,

Franklin, and Oxford counties, and a biennial exhibit of work by members of the Maine Crafts Association.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


2004-2013: Moving Into the Future

From 2003-2004, over 11,530 hours of service-learning projects were documented by faculty in which LAC students collaborated with many community agencies and organizations. 18

These types of service-learning programs are still an integral part of LAC programs today. Increasingly, LAC’s impact spans not just the state but the globe.

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

Leadership and Organizational Studies becomes USM’s first fully online program Professor Betty Robinson becomes USM’s first CTEL (Center for Tech Enhanced Learning) Ambassador, charged with spreading innovations around teaching online at USM.

“Having the opportunity to be at LAC during those early years was one of the most exciting periods of my 45-year academic career. There was a willingness to experiment, a strong commitment to the craft of teaching, and a sincere commitment to students. And I soon came to know that LAC was a building filled with heroines and heroes--our students, who worked, raised families, and took classes with a seriousness of purpose I had never before seen in students.” Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities, Robert M. Schaible

The graduate program in Occupational Therapy makes significant contributions to the local community while featuring a nearly 100 percent job placement rate upon graduation.

Study abroad opportunities at LAC enable students to acquire a special education and knowledge about the world and its many cultures.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


2004-2013: Moving Into the Future

After a major capital campaign, USM LAC breaks ground for a new building in 2006. The expansion provides space for Senior College, CollegeforME Androscoggin, and other community partners. It also provides several new state-of-the-art classrooms designed to be used for online learning.

In 2007, USM celebrated the opening of a new 14,000-square-foot wing which includes space for a campus learning /outreach center called LearningWorks, the hub for the College for ME-Androscoggin.


The space is home for Senior College, Women Work and Community, The LAC Writing Center and the Maine International Center for Digital Learning.

USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

2006-2007 construction and expansion highlights • Approximately 14,000 square feet is added that connects to the original building Marvin Druker, Professor Emeritus, Leadership & Organizational Studies and Interim Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College in 1996 and 2007-2009. In 2013 the Office for Community Engagement was named in his honor for his past work and commitment to the program.

• The new building houses LearningWorks and serves as operational hub for the CollegeforME-Androscoggin initiative • A brand new Writing Center along with an office for Senior College is included in the expansion • Additional “smart” classrooms are added which include multimedia options and cameras

Joyce T. Gibson, Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College from 2009 - present.

Many of LAC’s students serve the region through internships and service learning and 90 percent of its over 1,200 graduates still live and work in Maine.

• Occupants eventually include Women, Work and Community and the Maine International Center for Digital Learning

Businesses can hire from an educated workforce that includes LAC students who have been taught skills in communication, leadership, critical thinking, how to work with different cultures, and how to adapt to new technological tools. Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013


As USM celebrates 25 years in the Lewiston-Auburn area, it remains dedicated to serving as a resource for the community that created it. As the economic study in the early 1980s predicted, USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College has been an educational and economic engine for central Maine and beyond.

The Atrium Art Gallery at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.


USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

USM LAC Mission Statement We are leaders in interdisciplinary education, integrating the liberal arts with workplace and community. Our mission is to engage and graduate students through a transformational educational experience - preparing them to be creative critical thinkers, strong effective communicators, and informed responsible stewards of the world.

Celebrating 25 years: 1988-2013



USM’s Lewiston Auburn College 25th Anniversary

USM LAC 25th Anniversary Commemorative Book  
USM LAC 25th Anniversary Commemorative Book  

Celebrating 25 years of transforming lives and serving the greater Lewiston-Auburn Community.