For more than four decades, Richard Emerick has helped young people understand the world around them.
Initially they were University of Maine students enrolled in the
University's first introductory course in anthropology. Through the
years, children of all ages benefited from his commitment to creating an
He did it, he says, to reach them.
"The Hudson Museum is where more than 76,000 people come to visit each
year, including 3,500 school children and 900 UMaine students," Emerick
says. "The museum is the place where the people of Maine can see and
touch the wonder and the splendor of the human experience — things
people of the world have made, used, loved and held in awe, and proudly
left for us to gently care for and gratefully learn from."
Emerick spent his academic career at UMaine. What began as a classroom
display of his ethnographic collections from the Arctic, Oceania and the
American Southwest grew by 1964 to be an anthropology museum on the
third floor of South Stevens Hall. With construction of the Maine Center
for the Arts in 1986, the Hudson Museum became a reality.
Last year, in recognition of the vision and contributions of the
museum's founding director, the Hudson Museum Advisory Board established
the Richard Emerick Endowment Fund at the University of Maine
Foundation. The endowment fund has a $1 million goal, with $16,600
raised to date. It is the largest endowment established on behalf of the
"Such a fund is an important step in our growth as a professional
museum," says Hudson Museum Director Stephen Whittington. "Museums
everywhere have created endowments to support programs and exhibits, and
to allow more flexibility in public offerings. The ultimate goal is to
create a stable source of reliable income year after year."
Emerick retired from the University in 1991, ending a nearly 40-year
teaching career in the classroom, but not in the world around him.
UMaine Today Magazine
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