After a four-generation-long absence, an old, sawdust-stuffed friend has returned home to the University of Maine at Presque Isle thanks to a family with strong connections to the institution.
More than eight decades ago, when the institution was known as the Aroostook State Normal School, the school mascot was a bull and, during that time, a small number of one-foot-tall, hand-made, blue cloth bulls were created. However, they were all distributed and University officials assumed they’d been lost to history.
That is, until this summer. While attending this year’s Dutch Soccer Academy, Gregory Doane, from Barrington, NH, stopped by the Alumni Relations Office with one of the stuffed bulls in tow. Doane was able to deliver the bull to campus thanks to his grandmother, Edith Kimball (Doane) Lane, Class of 1965, who found this little treasure while at a garage sale in Houlton.
She recognized the bull instantly as her aunts Marjorie Kimball, Class of 1929, and Alberta Kimball, Class of 1943, had both graduated from Aroostook State Normal School. Gregory Doane’s father, John Doane, Class of 1985, and grandfather Myron Doane, Class of 1962, also graduated from the institution.
The returned bull has faded colors of blue and gold, along with the letters “ASNS” stitched into its front. ASNS opened on Sept. 15, 1903. Only 17 students attended then, and 12 graduated in 1905. The institution was known as ASNS until 1943.
The UMPI staff has since named the bull Gregory, in honor of the courier who returned him home. Gregory the bull will be kept on display at the Alumni Relations Office, and all alumni are all invited to stop by and say hello to him.
“We are delighted to have the bull returned to campus,” Keith Madore, Director of Alumni Relations, said. “This is just a wonderful testimonial to the rich history and connection our Alumni have with their alma mater.”