UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AT MACHIAS
Policy & Procedures Manual
SUBJECT: HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AT MACHIAS SECTION I
DATE: l/l994, 6/2000
The University of Maine at Machias, the easternmost college in the United States, had its beginnings as Washington State Normal School. Its history is a record of a committed people: faculty, administrators, students, citizens of Machias, of Washington County, of the State of Maine and other supporters, whose compelling sense of purpose and direction have enriched the lives of citizens of eastern Maine and far beyond.
The concept of a state normal school to be located in Machias met with controversy. Other areas, particularly Skowhegan, were rivals for the new normal school. Payson Smith, the State Superintendent of Common Schools, and the citizens of Machias worked untiringly to realize their dream of such a school in Machias.
The opening of the normal school on the hill followed much controversy and discussion. Such a start is common with most worthwhile projects. Payson Smith, the State Superintendent of Common Schools, was strongly in favor of a normal school for Washington County and the logical location was in Machias, but others prominent in the school department were not in approval. Leading citizens in Machias met January 20, 1909, which was early in the session of Legislature, to consider possibilities for getting a normal school here. At this meeting in the selectmen’s office, William C. Leighton, was chairman, and Frank S. Ames, clerk. A special town meeting was planned for an early date.
At that meeting (January 27, 1909), Edward E. Talbot presented a resolution asking the county senators and representatives to use all honorable means in their power to induce favorable action toward thepassage of the Normal School Act.1
Mrs. Effie Talbot’s manuscript, “Early History of WSNS” substantiates the early support for the school:
All citizens were invited to attend a hearing at the State House, Tuesday, February 2, 1909 and to use their influence to get the cased (sic) before the Educational Committee…. The hearing was largely attended, not only by citizens of Machias, but by interested persons from all over the county. The presentation of the case was one of the most complex ever made before a committee of the Legislature.2
And the Union-Republican continues the narrative:
Word was received by Edward B. Curtis, February 26, 1909, that the bill had passed and Machias was to have the Normal School. The community had succeeded.3
The town had offered to purchase and donate to the state twelve acres of land on which to erect the normal school, and the Trustees of the State Normal School accepted the land offer. At a July 30, 1909, special town meeting, the townspeople approved the purchase of the O’Brien land and authorized the borrowing of $4,000 to meet the sale price.4
But there was no progress on the construction of the normal school. Following the legislative action, there was a long period of inactivity.
At last a feeling grew that the matter would be allowed to lie until the legality of the vote had expired. To allay such a danger, Mr. Curtis took matters in hand personally, and at his own expense, started the foundation of the building on the land allotted for it.5
The Machias townspeople again offered tangible support to the dream of a normal school. At their March 28, 1910 town meeting they authorized the borrowing of $12,000 to cover the cost of construction of the model school for the normal school.6
The support exhibited by Mr. Curtis and by the town of Machias spurred the state officials to action and progress on the construction of the administration/classroom building began.
Mrs. Talbot in her account of these events concluded:
It was not through the efforts of any one person that Washington State Normal School crowns O’Brien Hill. It was through the harmonious action of the whole county.7
Dr. Payson Smith and Mr. William Powers, the first principal of the Normal School, spent several months in a door-to-door recruiting program. On September 12, 1910 Washington State Normal School opened with forty-three students meeting in Libby Hall of the old Machias High School. These temporary quarters on Lower Court Street were loaned to the school by the town of Machias. On January 3, 1911 the school was moved to a new administrative/classroom building located on the site of Powers Hall, the present administrative building. The classrooms had no seats so the students sat on boxes, but the dream of a school in this location was realized. Thus Washington State Normal School, the child that was to become the University of Maine at Machias, was born. Its charge was in part that the school “shall be devoted to the training of teachers for their professional labors and such other post-high school work as may be deemed essential by the State Board of Education.” The two year curriculum was confined to the preparation of teachers for the elementary grades.
EARLY YEARS, 1910-1929
Under the able leadership of Dr. William Lincoln Powers the school grew. On Margaretta Day, June 12, 1912, twenty-three students were graduated from Washington State Normal School, and on that first graduation day the administration/classroom building was dedicated by Governor Frederic W. Plaisted.
By 1914 plans for the construction of a dormitory for women were under way. The O’Brien House, which was used as the home of the principal and for some classroom space for the domestic science classes, faced the new structure. The following year the O’Brien barn was dismantled, and the house was moved two hundred feet south to the site of the barn and its present location. The ell of the house was moved to Dublin Street and became a private dwelling now owned by Harold and Marguerite Moffett. Lumber from the barn was used to build another Dublin Street dwelling now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence R. Schoppee.
In 1915 the dormitory for women, now known as Kimball Hall, was opened. All out of town women students were required to live in the dormitory. Board, room, heat and lights cost five dollars per week for a double room and five dollars and fifty cents for a single room. All out of town men were required to eat at the dormitory; the cost for their meals was four dollars per week. The dean secured rooms in private homes for them; the cost for those was a dollar a week for a double room.
Expenses other than board and room included travel and text books of professional subjects. All other text were provided by the state. Tuition was free to those who pledged themselves to teach in the public schools of Maine for two years. The others paid fifty dollars per year.
One of the conditions of admission for these early students was age; men had to be seventeen years old and women sixteen years old before they could enter.
One of the conditions of admission for these early students was age; men had to be seventeen years old and women sixteen years old before they could enter.
In 1922 a wing was added to the administration/classroom building, and the domestic science department previously housed in the women’s dormitory was moved to the administration/classroom building. In 1925 two hundred students were attending Washington State Normal School. The school was recognized for the success of its teacher training program and as a cultural center in Eastern Maine. Mildred Scott Washburn of Perry, Maine, a member of the class of 1926, captured the spirit of those early days in her “Alma Mater” song:
High on the hilltop
Stands our Normal School of fame.
Welcome all students
Here to share her name.
How we love and cherish
Memories of those golden days
Those, though friendships sever
Will remain always.
In March of 1927 Dr. Powers was granted a leave of absence because of his illness. On August 7, 1927 William L. Powers, the pioneer principal, died. Some years later Earle Merrill wrote of him:
He once said, “Teaching demands virtues of a positive sort that shall make their impress for good upon those who are taught.” He taught this by his life.8
The WSNS class of 1927 had dedicated the Washingtonia, its yearbook, to him: “In appreciation of the vistas of knowledge which he (had) opened before (them).”
Through March 1927 to November 1927 Earle D. Merrill served as acting principal. In November of that year Philip H. Kimball, then Superintendent of Schools at Brunswick, Maine, was elected by the Normal School Trustees to succeed the late Dr. Powers. In that same year a new three year program designed for the preparation of teachers in junior high school was initiated.
In June of 1928 the administration/classroom building was rededicated as Powers Hall. The alumni presented a picture of Dr. William L. Powers to be hung in the Assembly Hall.9
THE SECOND SCORE, 1930-1949
Under Mr. Kimball’s administration the school continued to expand. In 1930 the Normal School graduated its first class from the three-year junior high school program. Curriculum revision was underway in the two-year elementary program. Domestic science classes were eliminated and industrial arts classes decreased. By 1932 the course for elementary teachers was lengthened to three years.
In June of 1928 the administration/classroom building was rededicated as Powers Hall. The alumni presented a picture of Dr. William L. Powers to be hung in the Assembly Hall.9
On February 10, 1936, fire destroyed the administration and classroom building and all of its contents with the exception of a few records saved from the principal’s office. Immediately the principal and the faculty met and made plans to continue classes.
As The Union-Republic June 11, 1936, in “New Powers Hall Monument to Champions of Education” records:
Before Monday night arrived, plans were underway looking to the replacement of the burned building. To this end everyone, citizens of Machias and friends everywhere, unanimously and vigorously cooperated. The trustees of the Normal Schools and the Governing Council after carefully canvassing the situation decided unanimously to proceed immediately with the rebuilding.
The citizens of Machias worked with the state to rebuild the administration and classroom building. The town agreed to contribute $5,000 of the $100,000 needed for the fireproof structure planned by architects Bunker and Savage of Augusta, and to pay forty percent of the operating fees not to exceed $3,000 for the following five years.10
The town’s $5,000 obligation was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Lee Longfellow. This in addition to the $68,000 insurance money was applied to the total construction cost. On May 14, 1936 the contract for the new building was awarded to Walter W. Milton, an Augusta contractor, for the cost of $110,000.11
On March 6, 1937 the formal opening of the new administration/classroom building was held. Over 500 people attended the open house that afternoon and evening. On June 14, 1937 the building was formally dedicated as Powers Hall in honor of Dr. William L. Powers. His son, Dr. John Powers of Cooperstown, New York, delivered one of the formal dedication addresses. The Portland Alumni Association, represented by Mr. Homer Worcester, presented the portrait of Dr. Powers that now hangs near the front entrance of Powers Hall.
A reporter for the Machias newspaper, The Union-Republican, wrote that the new building would be “a perpetual monument to the wonder which can be accomplished by a group working with unstinted energy and complete harmony…”12
Over the proscenium arch of the stage in Powers Hall was inscribed the school’s motto: “Service, Fellowship, Idealism.” These words were used to describe the administration of Dr. Philip Kimball.
He gave his skillful services willingly to educational progress and to each student who had his guidance. He believed in fellowship for itself, as well as for its professional value. His aim was the ideal and he taught that only the best work of which one is capable is satisfactory.13
Following the sudden death of Dr. Philip H. Kimball on July 3, 1942, Earle D. Merrill again served as acting principal until July 1943. During the war years enrollments hit an all time low. Aroostook State Normal School was merged with Washington State Normal School, and Dr. Clifford O. T. Wieden, principal of ASNS, became the principal of WSNS.
On June 10, 1945, WSNS Alumni dedicated the women’s dormitory to the second principal of the school, Dr. Philip H. Kimball, and the dormitory became Kimball Hall.
Dr. Wieden continued as principal of Washington State Normal School until July 1946 when Aroostook State Normal School reopened and Lincoln A. Sennett, a faculty member at WSNS since 1925, was elected principal by the Board of Trustees.
In 1946 a two-year liberal arts program was instituted at WSNS, but most students transferred to the teacher training program so it was dropped at the end of the first year.
AND THE THIRD, 1950-1969
In September 1952 Washington State Normal School became Washington State Teachers College, a four-year granting institution. Lincoln A. Sennett, principal of Washington State Normal School, became the President of Washington State Teachers’ College. When WSNS became Maine’s fourth teachers’ college, it provided the young people in attendance with the same educational opportunities available in other sections of Maine. The first Bachelor of Science degree was conferred in June of 1953.
In the late 1950’s enrollment began to grow rapidly. From a low of eighty-five students in 1956-57, the enrollment grew to one hundred forty-three in 1959-60. A need for housing for men students was recognized, and a $210,000 structure was opened in September of 1959 and officially dedicated as Sennett Hall on November 1, 1959.
The campus realized not only new construction but also program expansion. In 1959 the State Board of Education authorized the college to develop a Business Education curriculum for the preparation of teachers for secondary schools. The first Business Education students entered Washington State Teachers’ College in September, 1960.
As the campus developed, the need for more facilities was apparent. In 1961 a new classroom and library building was ready for occupancy. In 1963 a new dormitory for women was completed, and in 1965 a commons building was ready for use. In May 1967 the new buildings were dedicated and named: The library/classroom building was designated as Merrill Library and Torrey Hall; the new dormitory as Dorward Hall; and the commons as Kilburn Commons.
More changes for the campus came through legislative action. In 1965 the Maine State Legislature authorized the five state teachers colleges to remove the word “Teachers'” from their names, and Washington State Teachers’ College became Washington State College.
During a special session in 1968, the Maine State Legislature enacted legislation entitled, “An Act Relating to Coordination of Public Higher Education”, (Chapter 229, Laws of Maine, 1969 and Special Session of October 2-3, 1967, January 9,26, 1968, and September 18, 1968). This significantly altered the organization of Washington State College. In effect, this act established the University of Maine, to include the former University of Maine with each of its branches plus the five state colleges, under one board of trustees with a Chancellor as its executive officer. Under this new administrative structure, Washington State College became known as Washington State College of the University of Maine.
During this period enrollment continued to spiral. In fall of 1963 two hundred eighty-nine students were enrolled, but by the fall of 1969, the enrollment was four hundred ninety-four students.
The 1960’s were years of growth for the campus but at the close of the decade it met one of its most demanding challenges. The report issued by the 28-member panel of the Higher Education Planning Commission on November 11, 1969, suggested strongly that the Machias campus be reduced to a two-year school.
The activity of students, faculty, administration and loyal supporters in Washington County and beyond culminated in a public hearing held on December 2 with Dr. Donald McNeil, then Chancellor of the University of Maine.
Maine Sunday Telegram writer William Williamson records the events in an article entitled “‘Twas Hot Night in Machias for UM Chancellor!” (December 7, 1969).
Nearly 2,000 of those residents (Washington County) jammed and squeezed into the college auditorium and several classrooms . . . Dr. McNeil had come to get the response of area residents to the Higher Education Planning Commission (HEP) report, and he got it. Washington County treated the whole business as a gigantic insult, and responded as a united block. For the first time in recorded county history, white men cheered as Indians spoke, and vice versa. As WSC Professor George Thurston . . . suggested, the HEP proposal had such a uniting effect as to cause ‘the lion to lie down with the lamb, and the Rotary now agree with the Lions, the Baptists with the Congregationalists, Machias with Calais, students with faculty, politicians with voters, and even the Democrats with the Republicans.’14
The meeting had opened with several minutes of standing ovation for President Lincoln Sennett. This ovation; the series of ten minute speeches from the community members, faculty, administration, and students; and the one minute testimonies of legislators illustrated such support that Dr. McNeil on December 18 recommended to the Board of Trustees that Machias remain a four year campus.
A TIME OF GROWTH AND CHANGE 1970-81
In 1970, at a special session, the 104th Legislature of the State of Maine repealed Section 4-E of the Act which created the new University of Maine. This freed the Board of Trustees to make needed adjustments in tuition throughout the university system. By action of the Board on February 17, 1970, such adjustments were made.
On April 9, 1970, the Board of Trustees voted again to change the names of the various campuses in the university system. Effective July 1, 1970, Washington State College of the University of Maine became officially known as the University of Maine at Machias.
Other changes in 1970 occurred in facilities, evaluation, and leadership. The Health and Physical Education building was completed and provided more adequate space for both curricula and extra curricula activities. The same year the campus became involved in an evaluation. It conducted its first self-study as a part of its application for accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. On November 14, 1970, the college was awarded a three-year accreditation. This year also a change in leadership was initiated. Dr. Lincoln A. Sennett retired as president on October 1, 1970, but continued to serve as acting president until his successor was appointed on July 1, 1971. The 1970 Washingtonia honored him with these words:
Dr. Lincoln A. Sennett best exemplifies our theme. Gladly he learns and gladly he teaches . . . President Sennett’s time is spent carrying out a diversity of activities. However, his many professional activities do not divorce him from the less technical aspects of college life. He is a friend to all students and is frequently seen on campus among them. President Sennett has given much to this college. He has given it his time, effort, his knowledge, and his creativity. He has given it himself and his life.
Chosen to succeed Dr. Sennett was Dr. Arthur S. Buswell. He had served the University of Alaska since 1951. During his years at Alaska, he advanced from Assistant Professor of Horticulture to Professor, and also served as Director of Cooperative Extension Service. He became Dean of Statewide Services, and in 1968, Vice President for Public Service. Dr. Buswell assumed the leadership of UMM on July 1, 1971.
During the years 1970-73 the institution was in the initial stages of transition from a single-purpose to a multipurpose institution. Under the leadership of President Arthur S. Buswell, a Pilot Plan was produced in 1972 and a period of intensive planning for the development of the institution was begun. Regional and student needs were studied; priorities were established; existing resources were reallocated; and the development of a series of new academic programs was begun. It was felt that this development should take advantage of the geographic location of the college in a rich and varied natural environment; of the existing faculty expertise on campus; and of the existing physical facilities, in order to minimize cost and to promote orderly growth.
The first step in the transition of UMM from a single-purpose to a multipurpose institution was taken in June of 1971 when the Board of Trustees approved an A.S. Degree program in Business Technology with three “options”: Accounting, Marketing, Secretarial. The Accounting and Marketing options were immediately activated, but a lack of personnel and equipment caused the postponement of the of the secretarial option.
In September of 1972 the Trustees approved the offering of an A.A. Degree in Liberal Arts. The curricula for these associate degree programs were developed to support distinct and integrated programs. At the same time the design was such that successful students could continue without penalty into baccalaureate level programs. In June of 1973 a fourth option in the A.S. Degree program in Business Technology, Recreation Management, was approved and activated that fall. At the same time the Board of Trustees approved for the Machias campus a one-year diploma program in Business Technology, a secretarial program.
The Maine Cost and Management Survey, completed in July of 1973, recommended that UMM be cut to a two year school; as a result Governor Kenneth Curtis postponed the beginning of construction of the new science building at Machias.
Reacting to this report Dorothy Kelley, State Representative from Machias said:
We in the Machias area and all of the Down East region need the proposed new science building and the important four-year college . . . the Machias campus represents an important cog in the effort to not only upgrade the capabilities of producing a deeper and broader quality of education, but a more viable economy as well.15
Again the citizenry supported the Machias campus. The selectmen were prepared to give voters a chance to decide whether to ask the Superior Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus against Governor Curtis. Some two hundred students, as well as college and community officials, attended the September meeting of the Board of Trustees where the four-year college was reaffirmed and construction of the science building was approved.
“Togetherness gets things done,” was the declaration of Lincoln Stackpole, Machias Town Manager, upon his return from that meeting.16
When on October 10, 1973, the Governor’s Council approved the $900,000 bid of Nickerson and O’Day to construct the new building, Dr. James M. Aldrich, Dean of Academic Affairs, speaking for Dr. Arthur Buswell, echoed sentiments expressed by his predecessors during the earlier struggles:
We certainly appreciate the strong support of the community and because of it we feel even stronger ties exist between the University and the people of this county.17
At the ground breaking ceremony on October 24, 1973, Chancellor Donald McNeil declared:
The state had said there is going to be equal education opportunity, and Washington County is entitled to that. That’s what the University stands for and will continue to stand for . . 18
During 1973 the University of Maine at Machias conducted its second accreditation self-study, and in December of that year accreditation was renewed for a five year period.
Several baccalaureate programs were in various stages of development during the early 1970’s and the first of these, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, was given approval in March of 1974. The following month the Trustees approved a B.S. Program in Business Administration with majors in Accounting and Marketing. In June of 1976 approval was given for the awarding of a B.S. Degree in Recreation Management.
Enrollment continued to grow; the peak year of the 1970’s was 1975-76 with 761 students.
The one-year secretarial program, approved in 1973, was offered for two years, but a reevaluation disclosed that the program was not serving student needs properly and was quite expensive. Therefore, it was suspended in June of 1976. To replace this program, and thus to respond better to area needs, a two-year program in secretarial sciences culminating in an associate degree was offered beginning with the fall semester of 1978. This was the third “option” which was approved in 1971, but which had not to this point been activated.
In 1977-78 UMM conducted its third self-study and in October 1978 was awarded a five year renewal of accreditation. A baccalaureate program in Biological Technology was developed and approved by the Board of Trustees in 1979. A new baccalaureate degree program, Bachelor of Arts, was also developed and approved in 1979.
Early in the new decade, July 1980, the campus was awarded a Title III grant for October 1980-September 1981 to initiate a ten year plan and process for the institution.
The fall enrollment for 1980-81, six hundred twenty-six, indicated that the college was continuing its history of success.
In December 19, 1980 Dr. Arthur S. Buswell announced his plans to retire on June 30, 1981, but he had evidenced his support for the continual growth of the campus when he wrote.
The University of Maine at Machias has a bright future in service to the region in which it is located and to the State of Maine. While serving area needs it also provides the alternative to any Maine resident of an institution committed to the individual and to excellence in undergraduate programs.19
Winthrop Libby, a former President of the University of Maine at Orono, wrote of Dr. Buswell’s administration:
Buswell’s decade at UMM has been a period of growth and progress for the institution. U.M.M. has developed soundly under his leadership . . . Especially noteworthy and meaningful have been the program offerings in such areas as fine music, art and drama. These have lifted the sights and increased the appreciation of citizens for its civilization of our country and this has been good.20
When Dr. Buswell’s retirement became effective, Frederic A. Reynolds became acting President of UMM on July 1, 1981. Mr. Reynolds, a native of Machias and a graduate of the Machias campus, had served on the staff since 1954 when he became a supervising teacher for grades 7 and 8 in the Campus School. In 1956, he was named Assistant Professor of History and Coach, and in 1965 his professional role changed to Dean of Student Affairs, still maintaining his academic rank. His academic responsibility was further recognized when, in 1972, he was promoted to Associate Professor of History and his administrative responsibility was further recognized in 1979 when he was named Vice President for Student Affairs. From March 9 to June 30, 1981, he served as Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs.
During the spring semester 1981 a committee of faculty, students, and administrators under the direction and guidance of consultant David Edwards, outlined a Ten Year Master Plan for UMM. In September 1981 the faculty began a serious study of the feasibility of and the design of a core curriculum for all Bachelor Degree programs. That same year the Greenland Point Facility became available for UMM’s use.
CONTINUED GROWTH AND CHANGE 1982-1992
In August, 1982, UMM implemented a core curriculum for all students in Bachelor degree programs. The core included a cross disciplinary course, INT 200, which would be team taught by several faculty from different disciplines; the core required 34 hours of academic work.
During the Fall of 1982 a nation-wide search for a president was conducted. Frederic A. Reynolds, Acting UMM President, was named to that position and on February 8, 1983, became president. The Machias Board of Selectmen sent a congratulatory message to President Reynolds that represented the overwhelming sentiment of the town. The message read in part, “Now, this outstanding institution has been appropriately placed under the enlightened academic leadership of a native son of Machias who has demonstrated a lifelong appreciation of the promise of the young and to the value of education.”
In January, 1983, UMM continued close relationships with the community by opening the Health and Physical Education Building for regular public use.
In the early eighties, John and Norma Marin gave $108,000 from the sale of John Marin, Sr., paintings to start the building of a Performing Arts Center at UMM. During 1982-83 work was done to remodel the old auditorium/gymnasium in Powers Hall. On October 1, 1983, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to open the new Performing Arts Center.
Other building changes during 1982-83 were extensive remodeling of office spaces in Powers Hall and designing of faculty offices in former dormitory space on the second floor of Kimball Hall. In November, 1983, a number of faculty members and a faculty secretary moved to Kimball Hall.
In 1983-84, acting on a proposal in the Ten Year Master Plan, UMM wrote and received a Title III Grant, requesting funds from the U.S. Department of Education for support in establishing a Learning Center and Basic Studies courses for those UMM students needing this assistance. On March 7, 1985, UMM received a grant of $64,750 from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust for development of a new rural education curriculum for elementary teachers.
In 1985-86, UMM began plans for implementing computer education; and in the same year began participation in the Writing Across the Curriculum Project. A Title III Grant in 1986-87 continued support for computer education. An Information Management Center was established in Fall 1986. Through 1986-89, with funds from the Title III Grant, an Institutional Research and Retention Office was developed and more work done on academic advising. In 1989 a full-time career development and cooperative education person and a director of counseling were employed.
UMM began the formation of partnerships with both public and private sectors. In 1970 the administration of the Campus School had been turned over to the town; in June 1986 the school closed. On October 31, 1986, the University gave a $30,000 check to Rose Gaffney School to help support this change. In February, 1987, UMM formed a partnership with Rose Gaffney School for teacher training. In November, 1988, UMM received a $150,000 donation of computer equipment and software from AT & T. This was UMM’s first partnership with a private sector company.
Early 1987 work was done on a conceptual plan for Merrill Library. In the fall of 1987 a 7.7 million dollar referendum passed that included plans for an addition to the Merrill Library. In April 1988 a new art gallery was opened in Powers Hall. In November 1988 a bond issue was passed which gave UMM money for a new physical plant building and for the completion of the Performing Arts Center. During 1988-89 an addition to Merrill Library was built; the facility was opened for use in November 1989.
During 1987-88, a B.A. Program in Behavioral Science was developed and in March, 1988, was approved. An Honors Program was approved in Spring of 1988; courses were taught in that program from Fall 1989 through Spring 1991. During this decade UMM enrollments continued to grow. In September, 1988, enrollment reached an all time high of 851.
In March, 1987, an outreach officer and staff assistant for special programs was assigned to the Calais area; Alice Forer was appointed to the position. Increased opportunities for those in the UMM area came in December, 1989, with the establishment of the Washington County Center for Educational Excellence, through which area students are provided a local opportunity to work on a UMO Masters in Education Program.
Further opportunity for area students came through Instructional Television. In 1990 UMM began to transmit classes. In 1990 the Calais Center expanded services in Calais, Eastport, and Woodland areas. The center is possible through an agreement with Washington County Technical College.
In l990, the Science Building was rennovated. A $200,000 grant from IBM provided computers, software and fundamental assistance in involving local teachers in computer use. The Project STILE – Supporting Technology In Learning Environment – was completed in December 1991.
A national and state recession caused a reduction of state funding in December 1990. The Learning Center support, some counseling center services, and the Honors Program were among the cuts. During 1991-92 the career development position was reduced to part-time. In 1992-93 the career development position and the counseling position were combined. Despite a decrease in funding UMM enrollment has held steady: Fall 1990, 1008; Fall 1991, 966; Fall 1992, 967. In 1990 and 1991 an Early Childhood Associate Program was developed and in December, 1991, it was approved.
During 1991 UMM, as part of a system effort, became involved in Project 2002, a framework to encourage faculty and staff on seven campuses to think creatively and flexibly about their future; the first goal of the project is to define the mission, determine programs and services central to the mission and focus allocation of resources in those areas.
President Frederic A. Reynolds submitted his resignation in November 1991 effective June 30, 1992. Dr. Robert Sloan served as interim president from July 1 to August 10, 1992. Dr. Paul E. Nordstrom was appointed to the position and on December 10, 1992, was inaugurated as president of UMM.
The theme of the inaugural program was “A Spirit of Community.” Board Chair Patricia Collins explained, “We are part of a continuum of shared circumstance, of common self-regard, of caring for one another. `Community’ to us is not so much an ideal to aim at as it is a daily reality of being able to rely on each other. Indeed, we have to…. This is why this University (UMM) and our other seven campuses are so important–in such a place a campus means more. They are dunes of opportunity for our children, reservoirs of hope for those once left behind, treasuries of learning and laughter, hubs of intellectual liveliness, the very heart of our communities.”
In his inaugural address Dr. Paul Nordstrom outlined his vision for the campus.
I see a small but growing, diverse University that prides itself for excellence in undergraduate education – a quality education that occurs both in and out of the formal classroom, that is readily available to regional residents and is sought by both residents and non-residents, that has academic programs that take advantage of the University’s unique location and its natural resources, an education that provides a strong core and general studies foundation for all students and prepares graduates that possess those qualities I noted earlier -from excellent communicator to global citizens.
I see a University that prides itself for excellence in service to the country, region, state and nation. Service that emphasizes partnerships and economic development and is committed to international linkages.
Finally, I see a University that prides itself in its appearance as a University–its classrooms, offices, laboratories, residence halls–its total physical plant conveys to those that see it a feeling of excellence – the same type of excellence found in our undergraduate education and our service to others.
President Nordstrom’s closing remarks emphasized the importance of UMM’s tie to the greater community.
As we begin to implement our vision, it is imperative that this University be sustained and strengthened by its single greatest resource–the people of the total University community–a University community whose boundaries far exceed the physical boundaries of the immediate campus–a University community working together, individually and collectively, to make our University all that it can be. If that happens, we will demonstrate to all that we are: a University on the move, a University to believe in, a University to be proud of.
Throughout its history the University of Maine at Machias has set its goal to be of service to its students and to the community at large; the fellowship enjoyed among its supporters on campus and off has contributed to the survival and the growth of the institution; and the idealism has guided the continued development of the programs and the people involved. As we look to the future, we are mindful of our great traditions; they shall be upheld even as we confront the complexities of rapid change.
1“WSNS Has Interesting Story”, The Union-Republican, Machias, Maine, February 13, 1936.
2Effie Talbot, “Early History of WSNS”, Washington State Normal School, Anniversary Supplement to The Union-Republican, Machias, Maine, June 5, 1930.
3“WSNS Has Interesting Story”.
4Town of Machias Records, 1870-1913, Vol. 4, p. 488.
5“WSNS Has Interesting Story”.
6Town of Machias Records, 1870-1913, Vol. 4, p. 516.
8Earle D. Merrill, “Dr. William Powers Heads Faculty List, “WSNS Alumni Publication in Observance of the School’s 40th Anniversary” (1950), p. 4.
9“A Brief Historical Sketch: Washington State Normal School Anniversary Supplement to the Union-Republican, Machias, Maine, June 5, 1930.
10Town of Machias Records, 1931-38, Vol. 6, pg. 274.
11“Normal School Fire in ’36”, Bangor Daily News, February 11, 1976.
12“New Powers Hall Monument to Champions of Education”, The Union-Republican, Machias, Maine, June 11, 1936.
13“Service, Fellowship, Idealism”, WSNS Alumni Publication in Observance of the School’s 40th Anniversary, 1950.
14William Williamson, “‘Twas Hot Night in Machias for UM Chancellor”, Maine Sunday Telegram, December 7, 1969.
15“UMM Student Group to Oppose Cost Study”, Bangor Daily News, September 25, 1973.
16“Contractor Ready to Start Work on Machias Campus”, Bangor Daily News, September 25, 1973.
17“UMM Science Building Wins OK By Council”, Machias Valley News, October 23, 1973.
18“McNeil Reaffirms UMM Policy Stand”, Bangor Daily News, October 23, 1973.
19Arthur S. Buswell, in response to request of Reaccreditation Steering Committee, March 20, 1979.
20Winthrop Libby, “Thoughts While Shaving: Public Education to Lose A True Talent”, The Ellsworth American, March 5, 1981.