UMaine Graduate School celebrates 100 years of excellence

Community Letter from the Dean of the Graduate School

Picture of Kody Varahramyan

With great joy and excitement, I would like to invite you to join us for a year-long celebration of the centennial anniversary of the creation of the Graduate School at the University of Maine.  

The university has granted graduate degrees since 1881, when the first master’s degree was conferred to Walter Balentine in Agriculture, and a year later to the first female graduate student Percia Vinal White in Literature. Then in 1923, the Division of the Faculty of Graduate Studies was formally created as a distinct administrative unit at the university, with professor of classics Dr. George Davis Chase serving as the first dean. 

Since then, the Graduate School, in collaboration with academic and research units, alongside partnerships across the state, has been at the forefront of advancing graduate education in support of the workforce and economic development in Maine and beyond.

Today, with 154 opportunities for graduate study, consisting of 32 advanced certificates, 91 master’s, and 31 doctoral programs, the University of Maine provides the most extensive set of graduate degree programs in Maine, attracting students from all over the world.

The centennial year of the Graduate School provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a century of graduate education that has advanced both individuals and society, and to plan for the next 100 years of world-class graduate education that will have global impact and relevance to our local communities. 

Soon there will be more information to share with you on events and opportunities to commemorate this milestone year. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions, we welcome your input.


Kody Varahramyan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School