Maine Memo — Welcome to the start of spring semester 2023

Dear University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias community members,

Welcome back for the start of spring semester 2023. And a hearty Maine hello to the newest community members joining us, including transfer students, and faculty and staff. I hope you had a good winter break that included time for renewal and connecting with those you care about most.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be together three years after the start of the pandemic. Through the public health challenges, we have learned more than ever about the importance of our individual actions and mindfulness to support community well-being and the greater good. That sense of responsibility for our health and that of others has and will continue to serve us well this spring semester.

I’m always rejuvenated this time of year not just by the start of the semester, but also by the important national holiday we celebrate. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time of reflection and celebration — at UMaine in the form of the annual breakfast (this year, postponed due to today’s weather), co-sponsored by the Greater Bangor Area Branch NAACP and the University of Maine Division of Student Life. It is a touchstone for Dr. King’s words of hope and promise that mark his legacy.

The observance is an opportunity to renew our commitment to inclusion, equity and social justice, and recognize good work in community building and all that we must do to honor and realize Dr. King’s vision. We have individual responsibility in our thoughts and actions, words and deeds, not just on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but every day. And we know that we are stronger together as we go about this work to ensure a safe, caring and inclusive community.

I appreciate the leadership, talents and aspirations we all contribute to our university communities to make them the best places to learn and work. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Joan Ferrini-Mundy