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University of Maine at Presque Isle hosts 100th Commencement

Three hundred and forty-five students graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Saturday, May 16, during the 2009 Commencement Exercises – the University’s 100th Commencement ceremony. President Donald Zillman conferred degrees for the 2008-2009 academic year upon 149 students who participated in the ceremony held in Wieden Gymnasium.

Congressman Michael H. Michaud addressed the graduates as the commencement speaker. During the historic event, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degrees were presented to Congressman Michaud and Bruce Brown, a leading proponent of art education and contemporary art in the State of Maine.

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University hosts environmentally-friendly wind turbine commissioning ceremony

State and local dignitaries joined the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Thursday, May 14 in celebrating the official commissioning of the campus’s 600 kW wind turbine – the very first midsize wind turbine to be installed on a University campus in the State of Maine.

The midday event included a short presentation on how the University’s wind turbine will transform wind into electricity and how that electricity will be delivered to the campus buildings it will power, as well as a Native American drumming song at the turbine site, and a ribbon cutting featuring the release of environmentally-friendly balloons.

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University officials announce Gentile Hall Legacy Gift

Officials with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and its Foundation Board announced on Friday that through gifts and the estate of the late Caroline D. Gentile, the University’s longest serving faculty member, UMPI has received a legacy gift of more than $1 million – making it the largest gift that has been given to an educational institution in the County’s history.

Gentile, known to many as Miss Gentile, dedicated herself in many ways to the institution over the course of her 56-year teaching career and gave more than $500,000 several years ago to help build the wellness center that now bears her name. Including the legacy gift that she bequeathed to the campus, her gift to the University totals approximately $1.1 million.

UMPI President Don Zillman and Larry Shaw, President of the University’s Foundation Board, announced the details of the legacy gift during a morning press conference held in the Caroline D. Gentile Health and Physical Education Building.

“We take immense pleasure in announcing this legacy gift and what it means to the institution,” President Don Zillman said. “The remarkable aspect of this gift is that – in addition to the human legacy that Caroline Gentile left over 58 years of teaching, mentoring and program building of Physical Education and Recreation throughout the state – she has also left this remarkable financial legacy.”

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UMPI Professor named Social Worker of the Year

A University of Maine at Presque Isle professor has received a top honor for those in the Social Work field in the State of Maine.

Jean Cashman, Associate Professor of Social Work at UMPI, was named the 2008 Social Worker of the Year by the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers during the organization’s spring conference held at the Samoset Resort in Rockland in April. This is the second time Cashman has received the award. She previously was given the award in 2001.

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“Spring Strings” Concert to be held in Wieden Auditorium

Live classical music returns to the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Wieden stage with a special recital concert by the students of Dr. Anatole Wieck, Professor of Upper Strings at the University of Maine in Orono, at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 15.

Dr. Wieck’s students will perform their year-end recital, and Dr. Wieck himself will play two pieces during this very special collaboration between the two UMaine campuses.

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Official Wind Turbine Commissioning Ceremony to be held May 14

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will host a special ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 14 in the Campus Center to officially commission its 600 kW wind turbine – the very first midsize wind turbine to be installed on a University campus in the State of Maine. The public is invited to attend this special event.

The University’s Wind Turbine Commissioning Ceremony will be held just two days before the University hosts its 100th Commencement Exercises and just two years after University officials announced their intentions to move forward on installing a wind turbine on campus.

The commissioning event will include remarks by local and state officials and a short presentation to explain how the University’s wind turbine will transform wind into electricity and how that electricity will get from the turbine to the campus buildings it will power. The event will then move outside to the wind turbine site where a formal commissioning ceremony will be held.

“This has been such an exciting time for us at the University of Maine at Presque Isle as we have watched the turbine assembly and counted down the days until our wind turbine starts spinning,” President Don Zillman said. “We are extremely proud to be stepping forward as a statewide leader in the utilization of wind as a renewable energy resource with this project and look forward to attaining our major goals of reducing our carbon footprint, lowering our energy bill, and serving our educational and community roles as a public university. We welcome everyone to come and be a part of this historic turbine commissioning event.”

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GIS Championship event to be held at UMPI

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will hold a regional GIS championship – one component of a statewide GIS program sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation – on Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Campus Center.

The Northern Maine GIS Championship, a poster competition for middle and high school students in northern Maine, involves students developing and submitting posters on a project they have done using computer mapping software and hardware. The event also will include GIS and GPS activities open to anyone interested in learning more about geospatial technology.

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Young Professionals Institute marks second year of success

The University of Maine at Presque Isle and Momentum Aroostook wrapped up their second Young Professionals Institute on April 22 with a Mock Board Meeting, Business Reception and Etiquette Dinner in the Campus Center. The program marked its second year of success in providing the area’s young professionals with a one-of-a-kind leadership development opportunity.

This year’s Young Professionals Institute brought together a dozen professionals from across Aroostook County to further develop their skills in public speaking, professional writing, social networking, and interaction with the media. Over the course of eight weeks starting in early March, the group learned through role-playing scenarios and hands-on activities how to write eye-catching proposals, deliver successful oral presentations, use best practices in written communication, and get involved in their communities. The Institute was facilitated by President Don Zillman, Professor Clare Exner, Matt McHatten of MMG Insurance, members of Momentum Aroostook, several local business and community leaders, and graduates of the first Young Professionals Institute.

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