UMFK to laud leader in 2008 flood

Posted April 28, 2009, at 8:55 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent will honor the town manager who helped see the community through last year’s flooding disaster.

Don Guimond, who has served as Fort Kent’s town manager since December 1993, will be lauded at UMFK’s 127th commencement scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9, in the university’s Sports Center.

The guest speaker will be poet and teacher Lewis Turco, a champion of formalist poetry in the U.S.

The University of Maine System board of trustees will confer a Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Turco, while Guimond will be presented with UMFK’s 2009 Distinguished Service Award.

Guimond was at the helm during the flood of late April and early May 2008, and he remains instrumental in helping the town recover.

Guimond was born on his family’s farm in Fort Kent and graduated from Fort Kent Community High School in 1976. He received a bachelor’s in business administration from Husson University in 1980. He went on to graduate from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service Municipal Leadership program and earned a master’s in business administration from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt.

Before his current position, Guimond was Fort Kent’s planning and economic development coordinator.

Guimond has served on a number of committees and has received several accolades for his public service. The U.S. Small Business Administration announced last week that Guimond was selected to receive its 2009 Phoenix Award for outstanding contributions to disaster recovery by a public official.

Turco is emeritus professor of English and past director of the Program in Writing Arts at the State University of New York College at Oswego. The award-winning author has published 21 collections of poems and a book of literary criticism. His poetry, fiction, drama and essays have appeared in many literary magazines and more than 100 books.

Turco received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1959 and a master of arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1962.

After years of teaching at the university level, he retired from teaching and from operating an antiquarian bookshop in southern Maine.

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