Six Foxcroft Academy alumni were inducted to the Academic Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in the FA gymnasium on the afternoon of Saturday, May 9. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the presentation of medallions to the Class of 2015’s Rose Award winners in order to link outstanding students of the present with those of the past.
The idea of starting both an Athletic and Academic Hall of Fame was conceived by Head of School Arnold Shorey in 2012, and 64 alumni have now been inducted. (Dean Smith ’86 belongs to each Hall, so he is counted twice.) The inaugural academic class of David Mallett ’69, Laurie Gagnon Lachance ’79, Smith, Chad Poland ’91, Stephen Witmer ’94, Andrew Witmer ’94, Heidi Ryder Bray ’94, and Stacy Stitham ’98 was inducted on May 19, 2012.
Nominations for the Academic Hall of Fame are generated by the Foxcroft Academy Alumni Office, which each year asks alumni, community members, parents, and faculty (past and present) to nominate alumni who demonstrated “success at Foxcroft Academy through academics and/or visual and performing arts, leading to notable accomplishments in a chosen career path.” FA’s selection committee then draws from a large pool of excellent candidates and carefully selects a new class each spring. Foxcroft Academy is proud to present the Class of 2015.
Dr. Frederick Hutchinson was born in Atkinson and was the first member of his family to attend college, aided by a $100 scholarship from the Dean of Agriculture at the University of Maine. He earned a BS and MS from UMO in agronomy, followed by a Ph.D. from Penn State in 1966. From 1953-1972 he was a faculty member in the plant and soil sciences and became a professor of soil science at UMO beginning in 1967; he then served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1972-75 before taking the position of VP of Research and Public Service at the college. From 1982-85 he served in the US State Department as the Executive Director of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, and in 1985 he became the Senior Vice President and Provost of Ohio State, where he remained until 1992. From 1992 until his retirement in 1997, he served as President of the University of Maine System and is credited with reversing a trend of sliding enrollments and being a leader in developing education outreach for students in rural areas, such as his hometown of Atkinson. His devotion to this outreach culminated with the creation of the Hutchinson Learning Center of UMO in Belfast, which was dedicated in 1999.
The people of Maine had a strong admiration for Fred’s candor and good common sense in his role as University president. He restored many people’s faith in the integrity of the UMaine administration. Fred considered his most important accomplishment to be the long-term planning and downsizing of the university system and felt when he retired that he left the college appropriately structured to enter the next century. The most enjoyable part of his job was the relationships he developed with students and student organizations.
Fred always wanted to give back to Foxcroft Academy, where he was president of the Class of 1948 and president of the Student Council, because he believed that was where he got his foundation. He served as a Trustee at FA from 1977-1982 and had a second term from 1997-2003. He agreed to chair Foxcroft’s first capital campaign in 1998, Securing the Tradition, which raised $2.25 million. He was named an Honorary Trustee of the Academy in 2003 and passed away in 2010 at the age of 79.
David Barker’s work with AT&T took him and his family to every corner of Maine. As Portland was a community to which they were posted frequently, his daughter Jane’s ambition was to attend Deering High School. She was thrilled to enroll there her freshman year, but at the end of the fall term her father was transferred, this time to his hometown, Dover-Foxcroft. Distressed at the move to Foxcroft Academy, Jane was nonetheless warmly received by the members of her new class. By the time her junior year rolled around and her father was transferred again, Jane was jubilant to be left behind with family friends to complete her high school years at FA.
Jane’s father and his brothers Ken and Hal all graduated from FA. They left legacies in scholarship and sports, which they continued at the University of Maine, the first generation in their family to attend college. Some of that impetus came from FA, as it did for Jane’s generation. The school’s small size meant that everyone was encouraged to pull their weight both in classes and school activities. While Jane might have succeeded academically at Deering, at FA she also participated in sports and drama while serving as yearbook editor and class secretary, developing self-confidence and life-long friendships. In an era when women were just beginning to work outside the home in professions in addition to teaching and secretarial work, Jane felt no hesitation about enrolling at UMaine. It was not uncommon for students graduating from FA at this time to go on to college, a fact that speaks to the strong influence the school had on students from this small rural community.
At UMaine, Jane earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and enjoyed participation in college life. At Wellesley College she worked as a laboratory technician and earned a master’s degree. She obtained a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin before accepting a post-doctoral fellowship at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. There Jane studied programmed changes in red blood cell development, work she continued at The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Jane established her own research lab following appointment to the faculty at The Jackson Laboratory, where she primarily studied two things: red blood cell structure, which is altered in diseases such as sickle cell anemia, and disease treatment via bone marrow transplantation. While Jane’s work illuminated topics in basic biology and was confined to alleviating diseases in mice, treatments for related human diseases are based on work from her lab and others.
Obtaining grant funding for research is both a science and an art. Jane remained continuously funded through her 35-year career. She served as Director of Research at The Jackson Laboratory during a time of extremely tight money at granting organizations. One of her major duties was to advise scientists struggling to obtain funding in how to write a grant. Occasionally, they were not pleased to hear her suggestions. However, Jane is proud to say that by the time she left that post, all 30+ scientists were funded–and, as was pointed out to her, all were still speaking to her as well!
Jane was blessed with wonderful students whose successes she is pleased to note. Doing studies related to projects they conducted with Jane, they work at multiple institutions including The NIH, The Jackson Laboratory, and Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, they serve as reviewers to award grants for research, as editors of numerous scientific journals (many of which they published in with Jane), and as mentors for the next generation of scientists.
Dr. Wendy Love was a Rose Award recipient, a member of the National Honor society, the Academy’s Spear speaker in 1974, vice president of her class in 1975, and a recipient of the Excellence in Public Speaking Award. She was also a member of the gymnastics team and the music program (piano and chorus) for four years and participated in the dramatic arts program under the direction of John Arnold.
Dr. Love completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maine (Orono) with a B.S. in Biochemistry. While at UMO, she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and was 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 research of the protein microtubulin, which resulted in a scientific paper published in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1981.
Dr. Love 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-authoring three papers on the subject that were published in medical journals. She then specialized in anesthesiology and completed her residency at the University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Heath Care. After five 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. 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.
A life-long learner, Dr. Love went back to school in 2010 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.
How did your time at FA contribute to your success later in life?
My experience at FA provided a solid foundation for college and postgraduate 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.
Dr. Jon Arnold participated in a host of activities while at FA, including musical theater, drama, outdoor and indoor track, cross country, student council, math team, Latin club (where he served as co-consul), National Honor Society, Scott Hi-Q, and the State Science Fair, where his experiments on chewing gum and cryonics won first and third place prizes, respectively. He received a Rose Award, a Bausch & Lomb Award, and was salutatorian. He also worked at the now defunct “AMB Video and Signs” and may have rented you films of questionable artistic merit, perhaps even something from the infamous “blue cabinet.”
After graduating, Jon attended the University of Maine, marrying his senior prom date, Raven Vail ’00, in 2000 and working a full-time job at Circuit City in Bangor to support his new family. At Circuit City he was counted among the top salespeople in the entire company and received an award for sales excellence in 2001. He likewise earned a number of academic awards at the University of Maine, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and from which he graduated summa cum laude with separate bachelor’s degrees in History and Latin in 2001. Following this, he left his job at Circuit City to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. Here he studied and eventually taught Roman and Medieval History, completing his doctorate with distinction in 2008. He then joined the Department of History at the University of Tulsa, where he earned tenure in 2014 and currently serves as Associate Professor of History and Director of Classics.
At the University of Tulsa, Jon teaches courses in Greek, Roman, and Medieval history, as well as Film Studies and Latin. He received an award for teaching excellence in 2013 and a nomination for another teaching award in 2015 (which, fingers crossed, he may still win!). His research, which has benefited from a number of competitive grants, focuses primarily on the Fall of Rome, barbarian kingdoms, and the Latin literature of Late Antiquity. He has given numerous public lectures and papers, and his publications include more than forty articles of varying length and a book published by Cambridge University Press in 2014, entitled Theoderic and the Roman Imperial Restoration. He also has two additional book projects under contract, as well as another article.
Finally, after 14 years of marriage to his lovely wife and best friend, Raven, he became the father of one Renée Charlotte Arnold last August–without a doubt his proudest achievement to date. Publishing a book was cool; being a dad is the coolest.
How did your time at FA contribute to your success later in life?
As a professional teacher and scholar, I am extremely grateful for the quality of instruction and mentoring that I received at Foxcroft Academy, a true alma mater (nourishing mother) that opened many doors for me. Rusty Willette awakened a love of history; Patty Mullis taught me Latin; Dawn MacPherson-Allen encouraged me as a writer and a performer; George Rolleston taught me discipline and endurance, both in the classroom and on the track; many others–too many to list–showed me how to be a caring, engaging, and effective teacher, leading by their fine examples.
Dr. Matthew Ruby, a Rose Award recipient, was the salutatorian for the Foxcroft Academy class of 2001. While at FA, Matt was an active member of Latin Club, Gaming Club, and the National Honor Society. In addition to his studies, he served as a Monson delegate to Dirigo Boys’ State and was a volunteer webmaster for Womancare/Aegis, for which he received a Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence Award in 1999.
Matt attended Colby College, pursuing a BA in Psychology and German Language and Literature. While at Colby, he spent a semester studying abroad in Tübingen, Germany; held leadership positions in the German Club and the campus interfaith group, and served as a peer mentor and resident advisor. After graduating summa cum laude in 2005, Matt returned to Germany for a year as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Ludwigshafen am Rhein before moving to the University of British Columbia to pursue graduate work in Social Psychology. While at UBC, he worked as a mentor for undergraduate researchers and teaching fellows, and he had the privilege of volunteering with local organizations dedicated to preserving and sharing the cultural and spiritual practices of local aboriginal peoples. Matt completed his Ph.D. in 2012, spent a year conducting research at the Universität Hamburg, and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
As a postdoctoral research fellow at UPenn, in addition to mentoring students and teaching courses in cultural and food psychology, Matt primarily conducts psychological research. Much of Matt’s research examines how people in different cultures think and make decisions about food. In particular, Matt examines how people decide which animals are acceptable to eat and which are not (including how people justify these decisions), how a growing number of people reconcile their enjoyment of meat with concerns about animal and environmental welfare, and how omnivores and vegetarians perceive and interact with one another. He also has keen interest in the psychology of emotional and physical well-being, investigating how culture shapes the pursuit of different affective states, why people have difficulty engaging in exercise, how children think about (and practice) healthy eating, and how food serves as a source of meaning in people’s lives.
How did your time at FA contribute to your success later in life?
My time at FA left a permanent and very positive mark on me, which I credit to a number of excellent teachers. Although there are too many to name, I am especially grateful to Dawn MacPherson-Allen for driving home the importance of critical thinking and constantly pushing us to challenge ourselves, to Patty Mullis and David Dean for instilling a lifelong love of languages and learning from other cultures, and to Rusty Willette for exemplifying how a mix of humor, enthusiasm, and a bit of sass encourages deep and reflective learning. Alongside all of this, it was palpable how much all of them really cared about us and our futures. I look back on my time studying at FA with great gratitude, and I strive to pass on this blend of curiosity, caring, and critical thinking to my own students.
Harita Reddy remembers her time at FA as a good balance of academics, extracurricular activities, and personal growth. She enjoyed playing field hockey every year, especially her senior year when she was captain and received the Coaches Award. She was also able to participate in other leadership activities, representing FA at HOBY, Model UN, National Youth Leadership Forum, and Philips Exeter Academy. She traveled abroad to Greece and Costa Rica with the International and Spanish Clubs. She was most proud and honored to be her class’s valedictorian and to be the first alumni to graduate from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Wharton was academically very rigorous, and Harita was inspired to be surrounded by ambitious peers all striving to be the best. Since graduating from college, she has been working the past seven years in LA at Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare system, in various administrative positions. Most recently she has been managing the departments of Ophthalmology, Allergy, and Dermatology and has found it rewarding to partner with doctors and staff to improve healthcare quality and make it more affordable for her community. During this time she also earned an Executive Masters in Public Health at UCLA, where she was awarded best business plan and inducted into the Honor Society for Healthcare Professionals.
How did your time at FA contribute to your success later in life?
I love living in LA with my family and being able to enjoy warm weather every day. I certainly miss the beauty of Dover-Foxcroft and the rest of Maine. I am grateful to the teachers and students at FA who taught me important life lessons that have helped my career advancement. I learned the importance of communication and teamwork, both at work and at home. The best ideas and work come from teams and it’s important to have a diversity of opinions to grow and change. I also learned the importance of staying active, whether that’s going for a run, hike, or playing tag with my nephews and niece.
Photo at top of page is 2015 Rose Award winners with 2015 Academic Hall of Fame inductees. Hall of Fame inductees present were (L-R in front row) Dr. Wendy Love, Dr. Jane Barker, and Dr. Matthew Ruby.