Dover-Foxcroft – Two prestigious awards were announced at Foxcroft Academy’s 2019 Alumni Banquet, the Dr. Mary Chandler Lowell Award, and the Tillson D. Thomas Award. This year’s worthy recipients are Dr. Wendy Love ’75 (Lowell Award) and Mrs. Doreen Emerson (Thomas Award).
The Dr. Mary Chandler Lowell award is named in honor of Dr. Lowell, who was an 1881 alumna of the Academy. Upon graduating from FA, Dr. Lowell earned the distinction of being one of the first women to earn the degrees of Doctor of Medicine, Bachelor of Law, and Doctor of Jurisprudence. Each year this award is given by the Academy’s alumni, who nominate and vote for an alum, who has distinguished him or herself professionally. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Dr. Wendy Love, Class of 1975.
While at FA, Dr. Love was a Rose Award recipient, a member of the National Honors Society, vice president of her class in 1975, was the academy’s Spear speaker in 1974 and received the Excellence in Public Speaking Award. She was also a member of the gymnastics team for four years and the music program as a pianist and member of the chorus. She also participated in the dramatic arts program under the direction of John Arnold.
Wendy completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maine with a B.S. in Biochemistry. While at UMaine, she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the valedictorian of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture in 1979 for which she received the Steinmetz Book Award and the Radke award for academic excellence in the Department of Biochemistry. Her honors thesis was based on the research of the protein microtubulin, which resulted in a scientific paper published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1981.
She attended Harvard Medical School and received an M.D. in 1984. During residency, she spent one year in research studying amino acid metabolism in cirrhosis and co-authored three papers on the subject that were published in the Archives of Surgery, Surgical Forum and Surgery. She then specialized in anesthesiology and completed her residency at the University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Care. After 5 years in private practice, Dr. Love returned to Fletcher Allen for a one-year fellowship in chronic pain management and co-authored a paper on regional anesthesia for acute pain management in the perioperative period which was published in Problems in Anesthesia in 2000. She then returned to private practice in anesthesiology and pain management in the midcoast area. For five years, she served as the Chief of Anesthesiology at Midcoast Hospital and currently is serving our nation’s veterans as an anesthesiologist at Togus VHA in Augusta.
Dr. Love served in the Army Reserve as a physician and administrative officer. While in the reserve, she participated in humanitarian medical missions to provide primary medical care to villagers in remote areas of Honduras and Bolivia. Her humanitarian work continued, and most recently she has been part of a team of medical professionals sponsored by the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund and Physicians for Peace providing orthopedic and restorative plastic surgical care to Palestinian children and adults in the West Bank. In 2007, she gave a lecture to 50 Palestinian physicians on the perioperative care of the diabetic patient at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. She has spoken about her experiences in this conflicted region as a medical missionary and activist for Palestinian justice in the Brunswick and Dover Foxcroft areas and hopes to return to the West Bank this year to continue this work.
Dr. Love considers herself a life long learner. In 2010 she went back to school and in 2012 completed an MFA in Fine Art at the Maine College of Art which culminated in an exhibition of her paintings and publication of her thesis “Hidden Immensity:The Integrated Body Revealed “ which combined the visual art of painting and collage making with medical science, quantum physics, natural history and shamanic spirituality to promulgate that our connection to the universe can be experienced through our bodies, especially during illness.
“My experience at FA provided a solid foundation for college and post-graduate studies because the education at FA was classical, steeped in the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. We were encouraged to explore where our hearts and minds lead us and I am a renaissance person today in part because of my experience at FA. Jim Steenstra’s tutelage encouraged me so that science became my passion and my college major, Constance MacPherson will always be remembered for her enthusiasm of literature’s classics, especially Shakespeare, Rusty Willette is credited for my continued interest in political thought and John Arnold for my experience in the arts. Their teaching and my life while a student at FA continues to influence me today.”
The Tillson D. Thomas Award recognizes a past faculty or staff member who has served the students of Foxcroft Academy with the highest degree of professionalism as nominated and voted upon by the Academy’s alumni. The award is named after former longtime Head of School, Tillson D. Thomas, who served at FA from 1947-1972. This year’s Tillson D. Thomas award winner is being presented posthumously to Mrs. Doreen Emerson, beloved consumer and family science teacher from 1984-2015.
Doreen graduated from Higgins Classical Institute in Charleston and continued her education at the University of Maine Farmington, graduating with honors in 1970. Her concentration of study was Home Economics and she used her degree to the absolute fullest. During college, she married her husband, Derwin, and they settled in Charleston to start their family.
Doreen secured a teaching position at Higgins Classical Institute after college graduation. She resurrected a Home economics program and taught there for five years until the school had to close as a secondary institution. In 1984, Doreen was hired at Foxcroft Academy and she remained here for 31 years, retiring in 2015. While at the Academy, in addition to classroom teaching, she trained in mediation and conflict resolution and established a Peer Mediation Program, one of the earliest in Maine, and still an active program today. Her belief was that talking through a difficult situation was better than potential violence. Many students worked through problems thanks to her leadership.
A few years before retirement Doreen created a business in Corinth, Maine named “In The Blink Of An Eye”. The name evolved from how fast young people grow, develop and move on. The business was a children’s consignment shop. Her mission and passion were to provide gently used clothes and toys for purchase at a price that was affordable by anyone in difficult financial times. She felt that children should be able to have appropriate clothes for school and church, no matter their financial situation.
Doreen absolutely lived for her children, Matt ’90 and Ben ’93, and her grandchildren. According to a friend she “always knew what to do and say.” Doreen became a mentor to her children and grandchildren beyond any expectations, offering advice when things got tough and listened, really listened to them, offering ideas and choices. She simply was a quiet, respectful woman who wished to leave only footprints on our earth.
In April of 2018, Mrs. Emerson passed away at the age of 70, leaving a legacy of cooperation and peace that is still felt in our halls today.