Letters to the Editor

Ricker College reunion brings back flood of fond memories

To the Editor:

From Sept. 7-9, my wife and I had the pleasure of returning to Houlton for the Ricker College Reunion. We both attended Ricker and graduated in 1970. Neither one of us had been back to Houlton since. To say we had a wonderful time would be an understatement.

Upon our return we drove around Houlton and visited what once was the Ricker College campus. We both were very sad back in 1978 when we learned of the college’s closing. We now visited where West, Haskell and Ackley halls used to be, where the gym used to be, the new library that was built just before we graduated, Wording Hall, East Hall which was the girl’s dorm and of course the cafeteria which is now a church. Both of us were flooded with memories of building snow sculptures for Snowball weekend, concerts in the gym, dances, fraternity parties, the coffee shop, and attending classes. I also remember as a brother of Kappa Beta fraternity how we would do parties for the children of Houlton at Christmas.

During the weekend, my wife went on a bus tour that included a stop at the covered bridge and I played golf at the country club. I was able to see so many college friends and fraternity brothers such as Joe Feeney who at one time was the head of the Houlton school system, Robert “Rocky” Askrin who taught school and Murray Putnam a great friend. I also was glad to see Woody Dunphy the athletic director for Ricker College. We also stopped at the Historical Museum to see memorabilia from Ricker College.

There is no way to describe how very important the town of Houlton and Ricker College were to those of us who attended this tiny little college in this great community. There was a sense of family not only at the college, but within the Houlton community. Here I am, a guy from New York, coming to this community and college two miles from the Canadian border. When we got to Bangor, I looked at the road sign and viewed that it was still over 150 miles to Houlton. I then said to myself what have I done? What I had done was come to a community and a college that ultimately would have such a profound affect on my life and I am sure on the lives of so many students.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Houlton Community for once again extending the warmth and friendship to a bunch of Ricker College Alumni. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Karen Donato who was the force and our leader that made this wonderful reunion a reality.

In closing, this is not good-bye Houlton it’s …until we meet again!

Bob Lehmann
Class of 1970

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