A Maine Day thank you: May 4

On this, the day after Maine Day, I want to thank the University of Maine community for a truly memorable day. As many of you know, I’ve been a part of this community for 30 years, and yesterday’s Maine Day was one of the best, truly epitomizing the spirit of the UMaine tradition that President Arthur Hauck had in mind when he established this day of service in 1935.

He would have been proud. I’m even prouder.

I wish we could give a shoutout to everyone by name who made this year’s Maine Day exceptional. That’s not possible, due in no small part to the countless number of volunteers and participants who pitched in without ever signing up for the many activities occurring throughout the day.

The Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, and Campus Activities and Student Engagement had more than 1,500 faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members sign up to undertake more than 70 volunteer projects on campus, and in the University Forest and in downtown Orono. These collaborative leadership efforts have real value and are much appreciated.

In the Memorial Gym, the Honors College and the Bodwell Center led the Hungry 100K: Maine Day Meal Pack-out, which I’m told set a record for the most meals packed by a single campus during one event in the Northeast region. More than 250 volunteers helped the team surpass its goal by packing 107,500 meals — about 4.5 tons of food — that has been sent to food banks and shelters throughout Maine.

Also as part of Maine Day, at least 10 student organizations held philanthropic events, making a difference by raising awareness and thousands of dollars of much-needed funding. Truly inspirational.

So many people made Maine Day a success and our campus is stronger and more unified because of it. Thank you to all.

For all the other events that made for a memorable Maine Day this year, from the Maine Day Concert and the Maine Day parade, as well as the University of Maine Foundation’s second annual Maine Day of Giving: Thank you.

It is an honor to be President of such an amazing university.