From the community

COA Commemorates Former President Lou Rabineau

Posted April 02, 2013, at 11:41 a.m.

Dedicates Educational Studies Room to College’s Third President

BAR HARBOR, ME—College of the Atlantic is commemorating the college’s third president, Louis Rabineau, EdD, with the dedication of The Lou Rabineau Educational Studies Center on Friday, April 5. An avid educator who had previously served as Chancellor of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education, Rabineau served as president of COA from 1984 to 1993.

Says Darron Collins, COA’s current president, and a student while Rabineau was head of COA, “Lou led us through some very difficult early growing pains. He was a tremendous person and a remarkable leader. He was also a great educator, and a firm believer in the power of education. We are dedicating our new educational studies center to Lou as an inspiration to the COA and island communities to follow his passion for learning and his continual striving toward excellence.”

The college was only 12 years old when Rabineau came. It had just experienced a difficult presidential transition along with a fire that demolished what had been COA’s main building. Enrollment had plummeted. Rabineau’s intellectual curiosity, humor, and openness, along with his astute ability to engage experts in a wide variety of fields, are credited with bringing a wide range of individuals to the college as board and faculty members, and as friends, literally saving the college. In the decade that Rabineau served as president, the college experienced a major increase in funds and a doubling of its enrollment.

After retiring from COA, he remained on Mount Desert Island with his wife Mona Rabineau, until they moved to a senior residence outside of Boston. He died in November, 2011, at the age of 87.

Rabineau had been a member of the New England Board of Higher Education and the Harvard Educational Review editorial board. He held a BA and MA from the University at Albany, and served as a code breaker in the United States Army in World War II, undergoing special wartime training in languages at Yale University. His unit liberated one of the concentration camps, and also fought the weeklong crucial battle to capture the Remagen railway bridge across the Rhine, allowing Allied forces to cross into Germany in March of 1945. After the war, he received his doctorate in education from Harvard University. In 1975, Rabineau received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Yeshiva University and in 1993, an honorary BA in human ecology from COA.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit www.coa.edu.

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