UMaine commencement ceremonies and celebration May 6–8

The University of Maine 2022 commencement ceremonies and celebrations for this year’s graduates and members of the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be held May 6–8 in Alfond Sports Arena.

The Graduate School commencement will recognize a record number of candidates for advanced degrees on May 6. Sixty doctoral candidates will be hooded, including 24 from the classes of 2020 and 2021. From the last two graduating classes, 96 alumni are returning to participate in the Graduate School commencement, bringing the total number to 417 for the 4 p.m. event on Friday.

May 7, upward of 1,680 undergraduates in the class of 2022 are expected to participate in the 220th commencement ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with a total of nearly 10,000 expected to attend. The Saturday ceremonies are ticketed events.

The morning ceremony on Saturday is for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Development, Maine Business School and the Division of Lifelong Learning. The afternoon ceremony is for students in the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

An estimated 240 alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will attend a commencement celebration at 9:30 a.m. on May 8. 

All the events will be livestreamed and available on the commencement website. Tips for attending are online.

The commencement speakers are: alumna Shontay Delalue, senior vice president and senior diversity officer at Dartmouth College, May 6; Nadia Rosenthal, scientific director and professor, The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, May 7; and alumna Ukeme Awakessien Jeter, a partner at Taft, a national law firm, May 8. A news release about them is online.

Saturday, UMaine will award an honorary degree to JoAnn Fritsche, UMaine’s first director of equal opportunity and also director of the Women’s Development Program, whose vision and leadership transformed the university’s curricula to be more inclusive, and led to the creation of a women’s studies program. Fritsche, who lives in University Place, Washington, is a longtime educator and advocate for persons with disabilities and their families.

Political science major Dominique DiSpirito of Woonsocket, Rhode Island is the 2022 University of Maine valedictorian and the Outstanding Graduating Student in the Honors College, and Maxwell Burtis of Brunswick, Maine, a mechanical engineering major and an Honors College student, is this year’s salutatorian. 

This year’s other Outstanding Graduating Students also are expected to attend their respective ceremonies.

The 2022 Distinguished Maine Professor is Daniel Sandweiss, a professor in the Anthropology Department and the Climate Change Institute. He also is a cooperating professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and the School of Policy and International Affairs.

UMaine’s 2022 Presidential Award winners are Karl Kreutz, director and professor of the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, received the Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; Xudong Zheng, associate professor of mechanical engineering, received the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and Kelley Strout, associate professor and director of the School of Nursing, and interim associate dean of health science in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, received the Presidential Public Engagement Achievement Award.

The Pinning Ceremony for 55 students in the School of Nursing begins at 6 p.m. May 5 in the Collins Center for the Arts.

May 6, 16 cadets will be commissioned in an Army ROTC Department at 11:30 a.m. in Devino Auditorium, Donald P. Corbett Business Building. Two Naval ROTC midshipmen will be commissioned at 6 p.m., May 7 at Buchanan Alumni House.

Contact: Margaret Nagle,