PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Success by both the graduating students and the campus as a whole was recognized during the 100th commencement at the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Saturday.
During this historic event for the school, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees were presented to Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, who addressed graduates, and Bruce Brown, a leading proponent of art education and contemporary art in the state.
In honor of the 100th commencement, the more than 200 graduates wore blue stoles bearing the centennial logo along with their traditional graduation regalia. The walkway from the Campus Center to Wieden Hall, the route the graduating class took for its processional, was lined with banners displaying the centennial logo.
A number of speakers praised the class for their hard work and offered congratulations.
President Don Zillman addressed the class before degrees were conferred and highlighted the accomplishments both the graduates and the university had made.
He reminded the students of all that had happened at UMPI during 2008 and 2009, a time period that he pegged as “quite a spectacular year.”
Zillman told the crowd that the graduates had seen Folsom Hall, the university’s main classroom building, go through an extensive renovation. The students also were part of a “1968 Retrospective,” a six-day event that showcased the politics, international events, arts, music, film and science of that time.
Just two days before commencement, students also saw the commissioning of UMPI’s new windmill. Presque Isle is the first university campus in the state, and one of only a handful in New England, to install a midsize wind turbine to generate power.
Michaud congratulated the graduates on their accomplishment and encouraged them to use what they had learned to help others and to contribute to society. He noted that a college education is an invaluable tool.
Once the graduates walked out of Wieden Hall with their degrees, each graduate received a commemorative mug featuring the centennial logo from the UMPI Alumni Association.