“Charlie respected each person’s humanity and each person’s sense of self,” Gallagher said. “For him, the essence of the educational journey was empowerment of the student to follow their path. That never stopped, whether it was an undergraduate or a faculty person, it was a common journey toward understanding.”
Slavin received an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton University in 1976, his master’s in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1980 and his Ph.D. in 1984. In his time at UMaine, Slavin touched “thousands” of students, according to state Rep. Emily Cain, D-Orono.
“I’ve always said Charlie was my first friend at the University of Maine,” Cain, who is an Honors College graduate, said.
With a passion for books and Bernese Mountain Dogs, Cain said Slavin’s love for each individual was one of his greatest traits.
“A defining characteristic of Charlie was that he was always proud on graduation day he could shake the hand and know the name of every honors graduate that came across the stage,” Cain said. “He had a way of seeing the best in everyone and the potential in everyone. He’d go out of his way to help students, colleagues and staff members to reach their fullest potential in everything he was apart of.”
While Slavin had many successes in his career at UMaine, it’s his work with the Honors College that will be at the forefront.
“He was so driven everyday for his vision of the honors college and what it could be,” Cain said. “The fact that it has grown over the past 11 years from a program of less than 300 to a college of more than 800 students. The impact he’s had on a lifetime of students that have come through the honors college can’t be measured.”
Slavin is survived by his wife Nancy Hall, an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, and his children. A private gather will be held soon, according to the Bangor Daily News, and a community-wide celebration of Slavin’s life will be held in the Fall semester at the University of Maine on a date to be determined.
Those who wish to donate to the Charlie Slavin UMaine Fund can to to www.umainefoundation.org.