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UMaine Reaction to Sen. Collins Appointment

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — University of Maine President Robert Kennedy says that today’s announcement of Sen. Susan Collins’ appointment to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations reflects her status as a leader in Congress and the respect that she has earned nationally.

“This is exciting news and I congratulate Sen. Collins on this appointment,” Kennedy says.  “Her support over the past 12 years has been instrumental in helping UMaine advance its R&D capacity and develop programs that drive economic development and create jobs. Given Maine’s historical role within the Appropriations Committee, as home to its first chair, it is most fitting that our state is once again represented within this important group.”

Sen. Lot M. Morrill of Maine was named chair when the committee was formed in 1867.  The original committee had only seven members.  Now, it is the Senate’s largest committee with 29 members.

“Sen. Collins has been a cornerstone of R&D support for Maine and the University of Maine,” says Prof. Habib Dagher, director of UMaine’s AEWC: Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “Because of her efforts, the university has secured tens of millions of dollars for critical R&D projects, supporting hundreds of graduate students and undergraduate students, and creating numerous spinoff businesses leading to good jobs all around Maine.”

Dagher points to several high-profile composites R&D projects made possible by Sen. Collins support: the development of a composite vessel for the U.S. Navy, in conjunction with Hodgdon Yachts; R&D work for the U.S. Army on composite ballistic tent panels that help protect soldiers serving in combat zones; and the creation of secure composite containers for the shipping industry.

“Sen. Collins’ interest in UMaine and its capacity to fulfill its broad-based mission extends to all aspects of the university,” Kennedy says.  “When she visits campus, Sen. Collins is always interested in learning about the broad range of activities involving students, faculty members and staff members. She has a real appreciation for the value of public higher education and we appreciate her ongoing support.”

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