Truthfully, there is no fraternal brotherhood quite like Omega Mu at the University of Maine. We are proud of our history, and we are proud of the impressive number of fraternal brothers who played on many University of Maine athletic teams. With conviction and commitment, our Omega Mu athlete brothers brought a great deal of joy and satisfaction to the university community, creating many wonderful memories since the first baseball team was established at Maine State College in the 1870's. The worked together for the success of each Maine team, and the overall civic good of the University of Maine. The sheer number of Omega Mu athlete brothers is an unqualified triumph for the University of Maine. They each gave their best efforts on each team, and what they achieved perfectly compliments what we fraternally believe: drive and determination. It is a heady athletic legacy. Accordingly, their accomplishments claim our fraternal attention and respect. For the eminence of their athletic success; and, above all, for being our Omega Mu brothers, we are proud. Therefore, in the linked soul and spirit of our long fraternal history, we gratefully remember and celebrate our QTV and Omega Mu brothers who participated on many varsity athletic teams at the University of Maine. Their sacrifice of time was worth the effort for them and the student body at the University of Maine who watched them play. They created many warm memories since the early 1870’s. For the eminence of their athletic success; and, above all, for being our Omega Mu brothers, we are all very proud.
Thoreau said it best: “What a difference, whether in all your walks, you meet only strangers, or in one house is one who knows you, and whom you know. To have a brother…How rare these things are.” How true that is, and we remain that way to this day. That is a heady fraternal legacy.
Omega Mu Athlete
James S. Chaplin,
Omega Mu Years
Ruth Cary, Alma Pratt, and Clara Hammond, housemothers
1968 Mud Bowl
Jim Chaplin, first on the right, second row
Jim Chaplin is in the very back, on the sidelines, wearing a white shirt
Jim Chaplin, back left, wearing glasses
Omega Mu Snow Sculpture
Jim Chaplin is wearing a white hat and carving the S on the wall.
Pine Tree Fiji
University of Maine Baseball
Jim Chaplin's era average his junior and senior years at the University of Maine
John L. Collins
Omega Mu, 1970
How kind of the Lambda Chi's to recall that snowball epic. Fijis did indeed initiate that running battle by attacking Phi Mu, which used to be across College Ave. After being caught off guard, the Phi Mu's needed to vent, so we joined forces to attack ATO - a slaughter, I might add. Some ATO's joined us and we proceeded up College Ave. picking off targets as we went. One memorable moment for me came as we paused to catch our breath across the street from Phi Eta and Jim Chaplin, pitching ace for the Black Bears baseball team was challenged to chuck one of his best at Stodder Hall, a dorm about 40 yards away. Jimmy packed a ball, wound up, and followed through with a beautiful stride. There was a hushed pause as the crowd watched the building, the only sound the falling snow. Then a large window on the third floor exploded. A cheer went up from the snowy warriors and the attack recommenced on the next house, probably Kappa Sig. A fine time was had by all - except for the guys (I think Stodder was a men's dorm then) who lived in that dorm room.
Phi Mu and Alpha Tau Omega
Stodder Hall and Kapp Sig
Paul D. Lessard
Omega Mu, 1974
I was in Bill Chaplin's pledge class and his roommate at the house one year. Consequently, I often ran into Jim Chaplin, his older brother, while at Maine because of Bill. They were both mild-mannered individuals. Jim still holds the Maine record for pitching the most consecutive shutout innings, if I am correct. He deserves to be in the University of Maine Hall of Fame, in my opinion, because of that record.
Bill Chaplin, '73
James D. McLean, Jr.
Omega Mu, 1972
Jim Chaplin comes from a family of Omega Mu FIJI's. His father, Joseph B. Chaplin, Jr., ’45, was an Omega Mu Fiji, and he was a contemporary of our great friend, the late Brother Frank Danforth. I had the pleasure of introducing Frank and Jim at the last Pig Dinner Jim was able to attend. Both were delighted to have the chance to talk. Frank was interested in learning about Jim's dad's post college career, and Jim was grateful for Frank sharing his remembrances of Jim's dad in college. It was a great moment. It was uniquely illustrative of the depth of the fraternal experience, the living continuity with our fraternal past and the good of the fraternal present. It is a lasting influence throughout life. As our brotherhood is steeped with Sires and Sons, the best-knit brotherhood at Maine, Jim’s Younger brother, Bill, ’73, was also an Omega Mu Fiji, and Jim was very protective of Bill. His mom was a Black Bear, and if memory serves me correctly, was also Miss Maine one year.
Joseph B. Chaplin, '45
Frank W. Danforth, Jr., '46
Jim Chaplin was not a self-indulgent person at all. On the contrary, Jim had a quiet, determined charisma. He was sensitive, supportive, quiet, non-judgmental, other-centered, idealistic and possessed of great internal strength. In short, he was tenaciously principled, and those durable principles gave Jim a sense of purpose throughout his life, fraternally, athletically, and vocationally. Those aforementioned qualities are the very best of fraternal qualities, and our brotherhood was enriched and strengthened by his generous fraternal spirit and his commitment to the shared sense of purpose in living in house. But also, at the same emotional level, Jim understood commitment and solidarity of effort as a player on the University of Maine baseball team. Jim’s commitment to the success of the University of Maine’s baseball was decisive and total, and his accomplishments as a Black Bear pitcher speak for themselves. Jim’s accomplishments as a baseball player jump out, but what is less obvious is where baseball, and other things fell on his priorities list. Jim was always more concerned with the meaning of what he did than the benefits he derived from what he did. Jim was good enough to be drafted by the Yankees and had the possibility of a very lucrative career ahead of him.
After a short time with the Yankees organization, Jim followed his clear-hearted priorities and left the Yankees for a job with the State of Maine in a child protective services position. This was Jim’s deep vocation, his calling, and he worked diligently in this capacity for most of his career. Also, he coached various baseball teams in the Lewiston-Auburn area, and he inducted into the Lewiston-Auburn Athletic Hall of Fame 2009.
Lewiston-Auburn Athletic Hall of Fame
Jim showed great courage and resilience in battling congestive heart failure for many years, and I remember visiting Jim in Auburn the day before a Pig Dinner. I cannot remember the year, but if it helps, it was the year when we had a huge Nor'Easter that pretty well shut down Maine the night of the dinner. Tom Richardson, Fred Gallela and I were driving up to Orono from the Portland area and stopped to spend the afternoon with him. Jim was fighting hard. He needed a new heart desperately, and no compatible donor had been identified. We got the good news at Pig Dinner that a donor had been found, and Jim was helicoptered to Brigham and Woman's immediately. If the flight had been 20 minutes later, the chopper could not have flown. Jim and all of us were very fortunate.
Fred Gallela and Tom Richardson
I remember Jim with great fondness. Pure and simple, Jim Chaplin was a remarkable man, a good man, who was gracious and persistent throughout his life. He lived a good life guided by his principles, and he touched many lives in our Omega Mu brotherhood, the many baseball teams he played on and coached, and the countless numbers of children whose lives he helped. He did it all wholeheartedly, with great human warmth, feeling, patience, and hope. And, most importantly, Jim really loved his wife and son. I believe that Jim understood “we” and “responsibility” better than most people. He exhibited poise, good judgement, and thoughtful purpose in everything he did in life, and it is that depth and authenticity of character that I will always remember and cherish about Jim, and it was an honor that Jim was my fraternal big brother, and an usher at my wedding.
Robert C. Mennealy
Omega Mu, 1971
Jim lived a meaningful life, always proud of being an Auburn hometown boy. A chance meeting began a love story for Jim and Diane Chaplin. They married in 1980, on a lovely summer day, one of his happiest, Jim said. He was born to Joseph and Virginia Tufts Chaplin Jr. Jim played basketball and was a lanky right-handed baseball pitcher, graduating from Edward Little High School in 1967. He attended University of Maine, where he posted one of the most notable pitching seasons in Black Bear history. Jim’s 1.02 ERA in 1970 is a University of Maine Baseball record that stands to this day. Jim graduated from UMO in 1971 with a major in political science. He continued to combine his love of baseball, with his dedication to share the sport, with young athletes. In honor of his outstanding baseball career, Jim was inducted into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Jim spent his entire professional life working to improve the well-being of Maine’s children. His career with the Department of Human Services spanned 27 years. Jim earned his Master’s Degree from Boston College in 1988 which allowed him to become the Director of the Division of Childcare Licensing. Upon retirement from State government, Jim worked for 7 years at the Spurwink School, coordinating accreditation and licensing.
“What if the space be long and wide,
That parts us from our brother’s side
A soul-joined chain unites our band,
And memory links us hand in hand.”
(Phi Gamma Delta fraternity song)
Chip Chapman, ’82