FORT KENT, Maine — Town meets gown on the weekend of Sept. 18-20 when the University of Maine at Fort Kent teams up with the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce for the annual campus Homecoming and local Scarecrow Festival.
Together, the two events offer four days of communitywide activities and reunions for the UMFK Classes of 1959, 1969, 1984, 1999 and 2004. The university will honor William B. Wark, Class of 1964, as this year’s outstanding alumnus, as well as this year’s Outstanding Young Alumnus and the Outstanding Future Alumna.
A native of Caribou, Wark was presidential appointee to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board in 2006.
The independent federal agency is charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents and makes recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA, industry organizations and labor groups.
Wark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from UMFK and went on to earn his master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University.
From 1970 to 1984 he worked with the Department of Justice on a White House staff dealing with national emergency mobilization preparedness.
Wark also worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy with two years with the Naval Investigative Service and a tour in Vietnam.
Wark was selected for the UMFK honor by the university’s alumni association.
Honored this year as the 2009 UMFK Outstanding Young Alumnus is the Class of 1994’s Andrew Stickings who has won national awards for his innovative use of film and production in high school teaching.
This year’s outstanding future alumna is UMFK senior environmental studies major Heather DeCotes.
All three will be honored at the university’s alumni banquet beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, in Nowland Hall.
The weekend kicks off with the Scarecrow Festival’s nod to beauty pageants, the Mr. Potato Head Pageant, on Thursday night, Sept. 17, in UMFK’s Fox Auditorium.
UMFK welcomes alumni and community members with a Bengal barbecue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday complete with a pep rally.
Throughout the weekend area businesses and vendors will set up booths along Main Street featuring homemade goods and food.
The annual Homecoming and Scarecrow Festival parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the courthouse on Market Street and ends at the university.
Live music, a 5K road race, a photography exhibit in the campus library and a street festival will take place over the weekend.
Complete information and schedules are available from the UMFK alumni office at 834-7557 and from the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce at 834-5354.