BANGOR, Maine — The longtime president of Husson University was inducted Saturday night into its Alumni Hall of Fame two months before he is scheduled to step down after more than 20 years.
William Beardsley was one of three people honored at the annual alumni dinner. Betsy MacGregor Webb, superintendent of the Bangor School District, and Brenda Joslyn, department head nurse for CancerCare at Eastern Maine Medical Center, also were honored.
“It’s hard to believe that we had 1,000 new students this fall and total enrollment of 3,500,” said Beardsley, 66, of Bangor. “It’s amazing that there are only two private institutions in New England that are larger — Dartmouth College and the Southern New Hampshire University.”
When Beardsley arrived in 1986, there were 700 undergraduates living on the Bangor campus, he said.
The president also noted that 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Husson’s move from downtown Bangor to the 200-acre former dairy farm bordered by Husson Avenue and Griffin Road.
“We would not be where we are today without you,” Beardsley told alumni. “We are an echo of all the things that you’ve accomplished since leaving here.”
Webb, 48, of Bangor told the crowd that she literally grew up on the Husson campus. She was 7 years old in 1968 when her father, Bruce MacGregor, moved the family from Massachusetts to Maine to take a job coaching basketball at the then-college.
“It’s impossible to define the separation between Husson and my family life because those roots are intertwined,” she said. “Warren Caruso, who was a student of my father’s, is now my boss as a member of the Bangor School Committee.”
Webb said that she had not planned to go into education, but eventually she followed the example set by her father and mother, who also was a teacher.
“I find joy every day in helping students,” she said.
Webb earned her undergraduate degree from Husson in 1983, her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Southern Maine and her doctor of education degree last year from the University of Maine.
As a high school student, Joslyn, 41, of Newburgh wanted to be a civil engineer, working with concrete and building bridges, instead of a nurse.
She earned her nursing degree in 1990 and a Master of Science in business from Husson in 2004. She has spent her entire career at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Last year, Joslyn was appointed department head nurse for CancerCare, which is constructing a new facility in Brewer.
“Now she’s knee deep in concrete, building bridges between staff and patients,” her former teacher Teresa Steele, now dean of the School of Health at Husson, said in presenting the Hall of Fame award to Joslyn.
“I want to thank Husson for giving me the tools to be a successful nurse and teaching me to be a leader,” the nurse said. “I want to use this award as a launching pad to continue to serve the community to the best of my abilities.”