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UMF President Kathryn A. Foster presides over her first UMF Commencement Ceremony

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FARMINGTON, Maine — With a celebratory air of excitement, University of Maine at Farmington held its 2013 Commencement Ceremony this morning, Saturday, May 18, with new UMF President Kathryn A. Foster presiding.

Foster, faculty, administrators and dignitaries led the graduates in a traditional procession to the festive sounds of bagpipes to open the ceremony. The University awarded approximately 456 diplomas for 2013, including both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this time-honored tradition at UMF,” said Foster in a press release. “This is not only a day to celebrate the outstanding work and academic achievements of our students over the course of their time at UMF, but also a time to look ahead to the opportunities that higher education make possible.”

William Wegman — pioneering video artist, conceptualist, photographer, painter and writer — delivered the keynote address to UMF graduates and their families, the UMF community and honored guests. Wegman is best known for the photographs and videos of his beloved Weimaraner dogs that have captured the appreciation and affection of a broad audience.

Since the late 1970s, Wegman’s photography has received international recognition and is in permanent collections in many museums. He has received numerous awards and grants from some of the most prestigious art institutions in the country, and his works have been exhibited at renowned museums and galleries around the world. In addition he has created film and video works and is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestselling “Puppies.”

The University awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to Wegman in recognition of his innovative and widely-acclaimed creative contributions to the artistic experience. Barbara W. Woodlee, recently-retired president of Kennebec Valley Community College and current chief academic officer for the Maine Community College System was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her enduring commitment to higher education in Maine.

Timothy Grivois, graduating senior from Norfolk, Mass., gave the student address reflecting on how he and all UMF graduates have succeeded because of each other. He observed that camaraderie and mutual support is at the heart of the UMF experience. Grivois plans on staying in Maine after graduation to teach high school. Tyler C. Hadyniak, student representative to the UMS Board of Trustees and junior at UMF, delivered greetings to the graduates from the University of Maine System.

Degrees were conferred by Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president, and Daniel P. Gunn, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

UMF enjoys a nearly 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student/faculty collaboration that helps prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.