What we now know as USM was created in 1971 with the combination of the University of Maine in Portland (UMP) and Gorham State College of the University of Maine (GSC), into the University of Portland-Gorham (UMPG). Lewiston-Auburn College was created in 1988, as part of USM. GSC in turn has its roots in Western State Normal School that opened on that location in 1879, and grew into the College. UMP was created by the combination of Portland Junior College, which occupied the current site, and Portland University, which included a law and business school.
Presidents, Principals, Provosts, and Deans
W.J. Corthell was the first principal of the Western State Normal School in Gorham, founded in 1878. William Corthell was born in Addison, Maine on July 11, 1827. He received his bachelor’s degree from Colby College in 1857. He was also awarded an honorary L.L.D. from Colby in 1893. He spent his tenure as principal fighting for the state to recognize the need for post-high school level education for teachers. He was still active until he died in Calais, November 1, 1908, at the age of 81, after a fall. Corthell Hall was named in his honor in 1926.
Dr. Walter E. Russell, preacher and educator, was born in Fayette, Maine, August 6, 1869, and died in 1948. He was Principal of Gorham Normal School from 1906 to 1940. He graduated from Maine Wesleyan Seminary and attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He taught in New Britain, Connecticut for a year before coming to Gorham. Noting a lack of qualified high school and lower schoolteachers in Maine, during the 1930s he put an emphasis on building up a source of qualified teachers for the state.
Francis L. Bailey was born in Wyman, Michigan in 1894. He graduated from Central (Michigan) Normal School in 1915. He served in WWI, and then continued his education receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1931. Dr. Bailey kept Gorham Normal School running through WWII, becoming an active recruiter. During the war there were only five male students and the industrial arts and athletic programs were suspended. Francis Bailey died in 1981 at the age of 86.
Kenneth T. H. Brooks received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and master’s and doctoral degrees from Boston University. He served as President of Gorham State Teacher’s College, and then continued as President of Gorham State College and Gorham State College of the University of Maine. He stepped down when Gorham merged with the University of Maine at Portland. He wrote See The Green and White Advancing: A History of Gorham Normal School, Teachers College, and State College 1878-1970, which was published in 1995. Kenneth Brooks died December 4, 1995.
Neither Portland Junior College nor Portland University ever had a President. The head of the school was referred to as a Dean. From 1957-1970, the Portland campus was part of the University of Maine. Information on the Presidents during that time is available at the their website: http://umaine.edu/president/umaine-presidents/
Everett Lord was born in 1871. He took a one-year teaching course out of high school and four years later found himself Superintendent of Schools for the town. He then returned to school earning both an A.B. and a M.A. from Boston University. He served as Assistant Commissioner of Education in Puerto Rico and the Secretary to the National Child Labor Committee before returning to BU. At BU he helped to found the College of Business Administration where he served as the first Dean. In 1933, together with Luther Bonney he helped start Portland University Extension Courses that would later develop into Portland Junior College (PJC), wanting to expand the business school into Maine. He left his post to return to BU where he worked until 1941. Everett Lord died in 1965.
Luther Bonney was born in Tuner, Maine in 1885. He graduated from Bates College in 1906, and taught high school for 14 years. In 1933, he helped start Portland University Extension Courses that would later develop into Portland Junior College (PJC); Bonney held the position of Dean from 1938 to 1957. In 1957, PJC became the University of Maine in Portland, Bonney retained his position as Dean through the transition. He retired in 1958, as Dean Emeritus. He was known for his passion for making college accessible to everyone, his passion and dedication showed greatly during WWII. During the war enrollment dropped to under 20 students, so it was shut down, but Bonney kept the students up-to-date with newsletters, and was able to reopen in a new location in 1947.
During World War II, Richard H. Armstrong served as Chief Attorney in the New England division of the Office of Price Administration, after the war he formed with the law firm Wheeler, Armstrong, and Pomeroy. With the charter of the old Peabody Law School, Armstrong was able with help from his colleagues to start up the Portland University Law School, which he ran. It was taken over by the University of Maine in 1961.
John M. Blake was born in West Somerville, Massachusetts in 1919. He graduated from Boston University in 1941, and from Harvard in 1943 with a master's. He went on to serve in WWII retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Blake became Dean in 1953 when the College of Business Administration was formed at Portland University. In 1954 he became Dean of the University. Blake would continue in higher education in Maine, starting the Continuing Education Division of the University of Maine, as well as serving as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Orono. He retired in 1979, and passed away in 2009.
William L. Irvine was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, he received an A.B. in Business Administration from the University of Maine in 1942, after which he entered the Army for wartime service. In 1947, he completed his master’s in education also at the University of Maine, and then received his doctorate in education administration from Cornell University. He served as Principal of several high schools in Maine, New York and Connecticut before becoming dean. After his tenure at the University of Maine in Portland he served as first Regional Education Officer for Africa for the U.S. Department of State from 1964-1966, he also served as president of the University of Vermont, and Wheelock College. His time at UMP saw the construction of Payson Smith Hall, the first permanent building built for education on the campus.
William L. Whitting graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s; he also received a master of education from Bates College and a master of arts from Northwestern University. During the time Mr. Whitting served as the administrative head of the Portland campus, Portland University merged with University of Maine Portland bringing with it the Law and Business schools. Luther Bonney Hall was also constructed during his term. Whiting remained on campus as Associate Dean under Dean Fink, and continued to teach Speech after he stepped down from his administrative roll.
David R. Fink became dean in 1965, and was then promoted to provost in 1968. During his time at the University the gymnasium and the Science Building were constructed, adding Southworth Planetarium and the computer center to campus, and the building that would become the student center was purchased. In 1969, he was promoted once again. This time to a position on the Chancellor's staff.
Edward S. Godfrey III was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Albany, New York. He graduated from Harvard College in 1934 and Columbia University Law School in 1939. After law school he went into practice, which was interrupted by wartime service in the Army where he served in General MacArthur's headquarters in Manila. In 1948, he started teaching law at the Albany Law School, where he stayed until 1962 when he became the founding dean of the reformed University of Maine School of Law, which at the time was part of the University of Maine in Portland. He served as dean until 1973. He also served as dean of the Portland campus for the fall semester in 1970. Governor Longley appointed him to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine in August of 1976, where he served until his retirement in 1983. After his retirement, he continued to teach part time at the Law School.
William J. MacLeod received his bachelor’s in Greek, and master's in Psychology, and a doctorate in Philosophy. He studied at the American Institute of Classical Studies in Greece and was part of a team who went to the Middle East to study their cultural resources, and was the Assistant Director of Counseling at Boston University. He came to UMP as the head of the Humanities Division in 1969. In 1970, he was asked by the chancellor to become acting president. During his tenure, he was tasked to create an organizational structure of the newly merged University.
Louis J.P. Calisti was the first president of the University of Maine Portland-Gorham. Dr. Calisti received a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard. He taught and was the Dean of the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine before coming to UMPG. Dr. Calisti continued his work in public health throughout his career, even serving as a senior consultant to the government of Kuwait to help them develop and implement a dental health care system. Louis Calisti died in August 2001.
Walter P. Fridinger was born in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, he graduated with a bachelor’s of science from Lebanon Valley College in 1938. Prior to his work at the University, Mr. Fridinger worked as a field executive for the Boy Scouts of America and joined the army, from which he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1966. In 1961, he begain his 20 years at USM teaching Business Adminstration at the then University of Maine Portland. He would go on to hold the title of center director of continuing education, director of public service, vice president for finance and administration and, interim president, throughout his tenure. Mr. Fridinger died in June 2000.
Dr. N. Edd Miller, a Houston, Texas native, came to the University of Maine Portland-Gorham from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he had been president. He received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from University of Texas in Austin, and his doctorate from the University of Michigan. Dr. Miller took on the challenge of creating one university out of the two campuses. During his tenure the University flourished as, he expanded the programs in education, nursing and business, adding specializations in social welfare and the arts.
Born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Dr. Allen worked for the Univeristy of Maine System for 25 years, most of them as a professor at the University of Maine. He received a bachelor’s from Wheaton College in 1952, after which he served in the Koeran War. After rerturning, he earned his master's from the University of Maine and doctorate from Rice University in Zoology. Dr. Allen died in March of 2014.
Robert L. Woodbury earned his bachelor’s from Amherst College in 1960, and a doctorate in American Studies from Yale University, in 1966. Robert Woodbury helped to establish the Muskie Institute of Public Affairs. Dr. Woodbury left USM to serve as the chancellor of the University of Maine System from 1986 to 1993. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor in 1994. Robert Woodbury died September 12, 2009.
Patricia R. Plante is a native of Waterville, Maine. She holds a bachelor’s from St. Joseph’s College, master’s from St. Michael’s College, a Ph.D. from Boston University and completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Paris. She was the first female president of the University of Southern Maine. She is an avid Red Socks fan, and compared the job of university president to that of a team manager. During her tenure, the Lewiston-Auburn campus was added and enrollment reached 10,000 for the first time.
Richard L. Pattenaude is a native of Seattle, Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from San Jose State University in California and a doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado. Pattenaude served as president of USM for 16 years, before becoming Chancellor of the University of Maine System. During Pattenaude's tenure he upgraded the facilities on the Portland and Gorham campuses and expanded the curriculum including adding the Common Core.
Joseph S. Wood holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, a master's from the University of Vermont and a doctorate in geography from Pennsylvania State University. He served as provost for 7 years before becoming interim President. He currently is Provost at the University of Baltimore in Maryland.
Selma Botman, originally from Chelsea, Massachusetts, came to USM from City University of New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brandeis University, an MPhil from Oxford University, and a master's and doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. During her tenure she worked to increase USM’s exposure to the world at large by bringing more international students to campus.
Dr. Kalikow is a native of Swampscott, Massachusetts. She earned her doctorate in philosophy from Boston University in 1974, Sc.M. in Philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 and her bachelor’s in chemistry from Wellesley College in 1962. She also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of New England in 2012. She served as President of the University of Maine at Farmington for 18 years, retiring in 2012, at which time she was asked to take over as President of USM. During her tenure, Theo Kalikow worked as an advocate to bring more community and civic engagement to USM.
Mr. Flanagan was born and raised in Maine. He earned his juris doctorate from Boston College Law School in 1973, MA from King's College, University of London, and his BA from Harvard College. He was a member of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees from 1986-1995 serving as chairman in 1991-1992. Flanagan has also served on the boards of Thomas College and the American University in Bulgaria. He worked as a partner at Pierce Atwood and was CEO of Central Maine Power Company. His tenure brought major changes and cuts during a tumultuous period in USM history.
Dr. Cummings obtained his Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. He previously earned a Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University. In addition to his diverse academic experience, Dr. Cummings represented Portland in the Maine House of Representatives for eight years, where he served as Chair of the state’s Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, eventually being elected by his peers as Majority Leader and ultimately as Speaker of the House. He also served in President Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, where he helped manage a $1.9 billion annual budget that focused on improving access to adult education and literacy training, career and technical education, and community colleges.