Merrill, Del (2003)
As thousands of other returning World War II veterans, Del Merrill came home and enrolled in college. In 1946, Merrill, who had served for three years in the Marine Corps and participated in the historic battle of lwo Jima, began an association with Husson College that would take him from freshman to president.
During his first two years at Husson, Merrill captained the varsity baseball and basketball teams in the 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons. He led the baseball team in hitting, compiling an average of more then .500 in 1948.The same season he won the Gattrell Medal as the team leader in RBI.
A native of Ellsworth, Merrill’s first post-war educational experience at Husson earned him a diploma in business teacher education in 1948. After five years as an instructor and coach at Sullivan High School and Sumner Memorial High School in West Sullivan, Merrill continued his studies at Husson.
In 1954, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude. A year later, Merrill joined Husson’s administrative staff.
Director of athletics from 1956-1974, Merrill was promoted to administrative vice president in 1973,a position he held for five During this period, he completed study for a Master’s degree in education at the University of Maine (M.Ed.) cum laude in 1964. In 1968 he received a certificate of advanced graduate study with a major in administration summa cum laude form Maine. He was also elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
In 1978, Husson’s board of trustees elected Merrill as the college’s fourth president, a position he held until retirement in 1987. During his tenure, in 1985, Husson awarded him an honorary doctorate (DBA) in business administration.
It wasn’t all work for Merrill in the summer. He played for the Ellsworth Red Wings for three seasons; played and coached the Sullivan town team for two more in the Coastal League; and was 4a member of the Ellsworth AC’s for two seasons.
Merrill was chosen as an all-star every year, recorded two no-hitters and several one-hitters.
There is much more that might be said about this extraordinary life. But let one of his former baseball players Husson, Harry Greenfield, tell the story.
“Through Delly’s coaching, I was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and played for four years. Delly was my guidance in so many ways to achieve my desire of being a baseball professional. Del loved baseball and knew how to coach it. He has always been a competitive winner, on and off the field”
From Legacy Pages Portland Press Herald
Dr. Delmont N. Merrill, 84
ELLSWORTH -- Dr. Delmont N. Merrill, 84, President Emeritus, Husson University, died April 19, 2010 . Del's participation in organized sports spanned the era from 1939 until 1979. He was a star player, coach, director of athletics, a high school and collegiate basketball official and served as State Basketball Commissioner from 1975-1978.