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The late Professor Caroline Gentile

Caroline GentileProfessor Caroline Gentile, a nationally known educator in the field of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has been teaching physical education at the University of Maine at Presque Isle for 54 years. Her dream was to build a physical education program that would serve the County, the State, and the regions beyond. Over the years, the program gained a reputation for excellence around New England and has remained in good standing throughout her tenure.

Professor Gentile's leadership role at UMPI is legendary. She has served on and chaired every University committee, and for twenty years chaired the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. She has also served on the Governor's Advisory Commission on HPER.

Caroline Gentile's greatest contribution to the welfare of women has been her outstanding abilities as a teacher and role model. A perfectionist, she demands the best from her students. Her ethics, integrity, discipline, motivation and professionalism are reflected in the success of many of her graduates, including Major General Mary Morgan of the U.S. Army; Bonnie Tyler, nominated in 1991 as Physical Education Teacher of the Year for the United States; and Sherry Abbott Deschaine, who retired in 1998 as Professor Emerita of Physical Education at Bates College. The achievements of these women and many others have been passed on to the next generation as an enduring legacy of the many exemplary qualities of their mentor --- Caroline Gentile.

In November, Miss Gentile received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. During the banquet, the presenter asked if those present who had had Miss Gentile for a teacher would stand up. In a crowded Samoset dining hall, half of the people in the room rose to their feet.

Her concern for women's issues is evidenced by her active participation in the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs since 1947, in the American Association of University Women, and in Delta Kappa Gamma. She is a community advocate for women and was a gubernatorial appointee to the Maine Commission for Women. In 1999 Professor Gentile was selected by the "Maine Sunday Telegram" to serve on a committee to identify the top 20 Maine athletes of the century. The person selected as the top Maine athlete of the century was a woman-Joan Benoit Samuelson. It seems fitting that Caroline Gentile will be inducted into the Maine Womens Hall of Fame along with Joan.

Miss Gentile received a B.S. degree from Sargent College in 1946, an M.A. from New York University in 1949, and did further graduate work at the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1996.

2000 Photograph

Inducted March 2000