In the Spotlight: June 19 Campus Connections

Alumni Spotlight
Wallace Keene, Class of ‘55

When Wallace “Wally” Keene graduated from what is now SMCC in 1955, the school had four academic programs and fewer than 200 students.

Keene grew up in the small Maine town of Hebron and came to Maine Vocational Technical Institute straight out of high school in 1953 for the school’s Radio-TV program. He used his education here as a springboard to a long and productive career as a telecommunications engineer, working for the likes of LM Ericsson, ITT Corp. and Siemens before retiring in 2000.

Now 82, he lives in Boca Raton, Fla., with his wife.

While at MVTI, Keene lived on campus, worked in the cafeteria and served on the Student Council, the yearbook staff, the Dormitory Council and the Judiciary Council.

“I wouldn’t have had the career I had if it hadn’t been for the school. I wouldn’t have been as productive as I was, having the opportunity to work for companies like ITT and Siemens.”

If you graduated during SMCC’s early years or know somebody who has, drop us a line at

Alumni Spotlight
Ogy Nikolic, Bosnia to SMCC

Ogy Nikolic was just weeks away from returning home to his native Bosnia after spending his senior year at Thornton Academy as an international student when he got the word: a local Rotary Club had awarded him a scholarship to pay for his first year at SMCC. The scholarship changed his life.

Rather than returning to Bosnia, Nikolic earned an electronics technology degree at SMCC in 2001 and later earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine at Orono. He is now the majority owner of OGO Sense, an internet marketing and app development company with offices in both Portland and Bosnia.

While at SMCC, Nikolic lived on campus, was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, volunteered for different groups and worked for the security department. He also earned a prestigious George J. Mitchell Peace Scholarship, allowing him to study in Ireland for a semester.

Nikolic moved back to Bosnia in 2008, where he started OGO Sense. But he came back to Maine last November to open a second office for his company, which has about a dozen employees and clients across the U.S. and Europe.

Nikolic said SMCC was instrumental in his career development.

And he has some words of advice to students:

“Don’t be afraid of failure. People who don’t fail don’t try hard enough or they play it too safe. And try to enjoy every moment of whatever you’re doing.”