Nearly 43 years ago, in June 1971, at what was then known as the Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute on Fort Road in South Portland (now known as Southern Maine Community College), I graduated with a two-year diploma in industrial electricity.

The graduating class of 1971 was the first to hold the ceremonies in the brand-new Hutchinson Union Gym.

We even installed and wired the ventilation units in the shower rooms as a project with our instructor, Romulus Graves, one of the original crew of dedicated instructors at SMVTI following World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Mr. Graves and the faculty then were forever thrashing every year for more funds from the state, but the University of Maine System always came first. The shoe has shifted, and now the university system is finding out what it’s like.

I have hopes that the university system will work out its difficulties, but the news of the financial director’s pay increase (“UMaine System administrator received $40,000 raise,” April 17) brings the point home – we need to wake up in our state!

Dennis Marrotte

Westbrook