For all of those Riverdale junkies, mystery fanatics and elite conspiracy theorists out there, have no fear for I have the inside scoop on UMPI’s very own secret society. Have you ever wondered who’s behind the scenes at the University of Maine in Presque Isle? Who holds all the secrets and mysteries of your beloved college? Well, today’s your lucky day! Before I can get into the details of this Secret Society, we have to look back to the past so that we can look forward to where this mystery organization is today.
The college was founded in 1903 and back then was referred to as the Aroostook State Normal School. From the 1890s to the early 1900s, the residents of Presque Isle were working toward creating the post-secondary school. Over the years, the university has changed its name four times. In 1952 it was called the Aroostook State Teachers College. In 1965, it was the Aroostook State College. In 1968, it was named the Aroostook State College of the University of Maine. And last, in 1971, it was renamed what we proudly call it today: the University of Maine at Presque Isle. But, something that not many know about is that the college’s very own secret society were members of that same community that pushed for the college’s creation, founding the college and controlling things behind the scenes. How could they do this and why?
Let’s take a step back and look into the mysterious Secret Society. The Secret Society came together a few years before the college was founded. In 1895 some local citizens decided that they needed to take matters into their own hands for creating a secondary school in Aroostook County. The records are slim and the names are almost all lost, but we still have some secondhand accounts of what happened during the first few years of the Secret Society’s creation.
“My great grandpappy used to tell me stories about how he and his fellow Secret Society members made IBIS. He was always all serious like when talking about those days. Never really got into the finer details while still sharing the real fun stories,” retired dog walker, Annabel Cranberry, said.
“ I never really understood why they named it IBIS until they invented Google translate. Some even say that the college’s mascot was named after them. They were always a secret bunch of people. I guess that’s kind of in the name description if you know what I mean.”