UMaine Machias to hold its 111th commencement May 6 

Students, family, faculty and staff will gather in the Performing Arts Center at the University of Maine at Machias on May 6 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the 111th commencement. Upward of 100 graduates from August and December 2021, as well as May 2022 will take part in this year’s ceremony.  

Yani Nganzobo and Nicholas Sanborn are the 2022 University of Maine Machias valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Nganzobo will graduate with a degree in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship with a certificate in HR management. She was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Sanborn, a native of Standish, is graduating with a degree in recreation and tourism management, with a focus on conservation law enforcement and natural resources. 

Three other outstanding graduates will be recognized during commencement. Lindsay Berube of Brookline, New Hampshire and Trevor Riggins of Milbridge, Maine will receive this year’s Senior Watch Awards. Grace Turse from Haddon Township, New Jersey and will be awarded Ivy Oration.  

Jacob van de Sande, a land protection project manager for Maine Coast Heritage Trust, will deliver the commencement address. Since 2014, van de Sande of East Machias has been a Maine Coast Heritage Trust land protection project manager. Prior to joining Maine Coast Heritage Trust, he worked for the Downeast Salmon Federation for 14 years as hatchery manager, and outreach and education coordinator, focused on salmon and sea-run fish conservation and restoration in Washington County. 

Van de Sande has a master’s degree in fisheries from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He is completing his second term on the UMaine Machias Board of Visitors, including two years as chair from 2019–21.

Music will include a student performance by Nganzobo and Jemima Lelu, and professor Gene Nichols will lead the university’s traditional rendition of “Happy Trails.”

A parade of graduates down Main Street will follow. The parade route will begin at the Crandlemire Support Building on campus and end in the parking lot across from Pat’s Pizza. 

Contact: Jacqueline Leonard,