Scholarship established at UMPI in Dr. Kenneth Petress’ name

Posted Aug. 08, 2011, at 4:02 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle Foundation has received a $30,000 gift for two scholarships to be established in Dr. Kenneth Petress’ name.

Petress, who died on May 21, 2010, was a professor emeritus of communication with the University. The gift was presented this summer by Dr. Richard Asam, professor emeritus of communication, a longtime colleague and executor of Petress’ estate.

Petress served as a professor of communication at UMPI from 1988 to 2002. During his time at the university, he served in many capacities, including as coordinator of the communication, literature and science departments. He dedicated his life to learning and teaching others.

“We are so pleased to be able to continue the educational legacy Dr. Petress established during his many years at the university,” UMPI President Don Zillman said in a prepared statement.

The Dr. Kenneth Petress Memorial Scholarship will be available to full-time, upper-class students in good academic standing who are majoring in English and the humanities. Preference will be given to students studying in the field of professional communication.

The Kenneth Petress Scholarship for Non-Traditional Students will support nontraditional students age 25 or older who are uncertain about the college degree experience but would like the opportunity to try a college course. The scholarship will cover the cost of a course at the University, including tuition and fees.

For more information or to contribute to the fund, please contact UMPI’s Office of Development at 768-9568.

Petress was born on Nov. 1, 1939, in Chicago, the son of Charles and Margaret (French) Petress. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1977. He earned a master’s degree in communication in 1979 from Northern Illinois University and received his doctorate from Louisiana State University in 1988.

Petress taught as an instructor in the computer science department at Bryant & Stratton College, 1965-1968, as well as CBS Holt schools, 1969-1971. He also served as supervisor of the computer science department at Northern Illinois University and conducted several workshops and seminars, including in the People’s Republic of China on many occasions.

He finished his career as a professor in the English and fine arts department at UMPI.

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