UMaine Machias Community Message — October 5

Machias students, faculty and staff,

Tomorrow will be a beautiful day for our campus picnic. I am looking forward to welcoming new students to our community, and the chance to connect with returning students, faculty and staff.

COVID-19 remains a concern, but our science-based practices and our commitment to vaccination have returned us to a much more normal experience for classroom learning and campus-based activities. We have all had to do our part, and I thank you for all you do to protect yourself and each other.

Tomorrow is also an opportunity to look ahead to next fall and a time when our Machias campus is clearly identifiable as a regional campus of the University of Maine.

This change initiative began more than five years ago with the passage of a resolution by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees directing that the University of Maine at Machias transition to a regional campus of UMaine. We are making progress, but we have yet to realize the full potential and opportunities of having a small, coastal campus with its own unique personality as part of Maine’s research and land grant university.

Last spring we created a regional campus task force with work groups of stakeholders from our Orono and Machias communities. The recommendations of the task force will be on my desk soon and we will engage fully on the suggestions this academic year.

One recommendation that had to move forward with this fall’s cycle for recruiting new students was the establishment of a new visual identity that makes it clear to prospective students and their families that our Machias campus is a vital part of the University of Maine. We are sharing this identity and a surprise free gift with community members at tomorrow’s picnic.

UMaine recruiters are in high schools throughout Maine and across the country right now, using the new identity and the reach, resources and standing of Maine’s most recognizable university to build awareness and invite students to consider applying for admission to UMaine and its regional campus in Machias. At this very early stage in the admissions process Machias inquiries for the fall of 2022 are up 56% compared to this time last year.

We will reach hundreds of thousands of students and families to share the story of the close-knit, first-name-basis learning opportunities available to them at the coastal campus of Maine’s flagship university. The Machias experience will not be for everyone, but we know it is beloved by those who find their people and place at the first college campus in the country to see the sun every morning.

I look forward to our conversations tomorrow and the work we do this year to bring new students, ideas and opportunities to our Machias campus and the Down East region.

Joan Ferrini-Mundy