UMFK alumni group honors Ben Paradis

FORT KENT, Maine The University of Maine at Fort Kent Alumni Association honored Bernard “Ben” Paradis at the Alumni and Friends Rendezvous in Nadeau Hall on Sept. 16.

The association honored Paradis with the 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award. Some of his classmates from the Class of 1967 were in attendance to honor him, as well as celebrate their 50-year reunion.

Paradis graduated from Fort Kent State College, now UMFK, in 1967 with a bachelor of science in secondary education.  That same year, he married the love of his life, Nancy.  Three years later he earned a master’s degree in physics from Cornell University.

Educator, family man, coach, businessman, volunteer and community leader sums up Paradis’s life. Most would say, when you see him, he is busy at something, and is dedicated to success in everything he does.

Most of his teaching career was spent in SAD 27 and at UMFK, where he continues to teach part-time. As for coaching, which has been his dedication and passion for more than 38 years, Paradis rounded out his career being involved when the Fort Kent Ski Team earned multiple state championships and Aroostook County Ski League titles.  

Paradis has served as past president of the Northern Aroostook Teachers Association, Maine Education Association Board of Directors, Lonesome Pine Trails director, UMFK Foundation Board Treasurer, 10th Mountain Biathlon Club and ski center board member.  He was selected for Fort Kent’s “Citizen of the Year” award in 1998, inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2010, and was honored with the UMFK Distinguished Service Award in 2011.   

Paradis has further distinguished himself by volunteering in many professional and civic organizations. He continues to be an advocate for Valley youth.

Paradis is a local entrepreneur in several business opportunities, most recently taking over the operations of the Century Theater, as well as the remodeling process.

Ben and Nancy have five grown sons and seven grandchildren. The couple reside in Cross Lake.

In addition to the Outstanding Alumni Award given, the James “Pop” Hoyt award was presented to Emery “Legs” Labbe, of Fort Kent, the oldest, yet youngest-at-heart alumnus in attendance at the rendezvous. He also is a member of the class of 1967.

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