President’s Message to the Community: March 23

This is such an exciting time to be at the University of Maine.

This week we started the last half of the spring semester with great news — a pledge of the single largest capital gift in University of Maine history. The anonymous gift of $10 million from the family of an engineering graduate will help construct UMaine’s Engineering Education and Design Center. It also brings our Vision for Tomorrow campaign to over $148 million of the $200 million goal.

Next, we will be announcing the site for the center. And fundraising efforts will continue for the facility, proposed to be up to $80 million. Groundbreaking is anticipated in spring 2020; completion by fall 2022.

I want to congratulate the 21 faculty members who received tenure and/or promotion this month. Well deserved.

Congratulations also are in order for Frank Drummond, the 2018 Distinguished Maine Professor, and this year’s Presidential Award winners — Yong Chen, professor of fisheries population dynamics, the 2018 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; Senthil Vel, the Arthur O. Willey Professor of Mechanical Engineering, the 2018 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award; and Ivan Fernandez, professor of soil sciences and forest resources, the 2018 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award. Stories on all these winners will be on the UMaine news website in the coming week.

Congratulations, too, to the PEAC and CEAC outstanding employee award winners — Geremy Chubbuck and Jerome Herrick, respectively. The awards speak volumes about the outstanding work of our Facilities Management teams.

This month, the women’s basketball team captured the America East Championship for the first time since 2004. Women’s and men’s ice hockey were in their respective Hockey East quarterfinals, and student-athletes and coaches in all three sports were cited as best in their conferences. Spring sports are now in full swing, with baseball and softball recently wrapping up their annual spring trips and now beginning conference play.

As we countdown the days to Commencement, we will be announcing the valedictorian and salutatorian, our outstanding graduating students, the Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient. Watch the UMaine news website for the announcements.

I hope you’ll mark your calendars for the many must-see lectures and events in April, including the Student Symposium and Business Connect on April 17, and Celebrating Scholarship April 19 — all part of Maine Impact Week.

See you there.