President’s Message to the Community: Jan. 12

Welcome and welcome back. With the open of the spring ’17 semester, we have 200 new first-year and transfer students joining our community. We will welcome them at Spring Orientation this Sunday.

As I do every time I have an opportunity to welcome new undergraduates, I will encourage them to take full advantage of this student-centered research university by pursuing a purposeful academic life. I urge new students to be intellectually adventuresome by engaging in our multifaceted offerings, collaborating with world-class faculty mentors and accessing our top-notch facilities. Their success is our top priority, and I let them know that from day one.

As President, I am often on the road representing the university and talking about its mission that is border to border in this state. On Monday, I was in Houlton for a talk in the community; in December, my travels took me to meeting with constituents in Portland and Augusta.

Also in these past few weeks before the start of the semester, some of our most important constituents came to campus. We hosted legislators at our annual breakfast in December, and earlier this week, we welcomed nearly 100 newly elected and returning Maine legislators as part of the Maine Development Foundation Policy Leaders Academy tour.

These events are opportunities for lawmakers and community leaders to get a sense of the depth and breadth of the expertise available at the state’s only public research university. This year, the facility tours and discussions revolved around UMaine’s leadership role in the state’s forest-based economy, and our focus on helping Maine meet its engineering needs — now and in the future.

In my remarks, I reminded them of the qualities that characterize our statewide mission. We have passionate, creative, innovative, hard-working, talented faculty, students and staff dedicated to turning knowledge into solutions to address Maine’s needs. We have facilities that are statewide resources, not just for R&D and education, but also for hundreds of public events annually, including K–12 programs and STEM initiatives. We emphasize partnerships, collaborations and teamwork to better achieve — together — what might not be realized if acting independently.

It is important for these constituents and others to know that our university is committed to all UMaine students, and to Maine companies, communities and youth.

These are important leadership messages we all impart and emulate in our good work at UMaine.

As the semester gears up, I hope to see you at some of our upcoming campuswide events, including the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration on Monday, and the Scholar-Athlete Recognition Ceremony Jan. 30.

I wish you a successful semester ahead.