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UMPI, area businesses and organizations team up to offer Second Annual “Music in the Park” Series

Riverside Park in Downtown Presque Isle will once again be filled with music on Sunday afternoons this summer as the Second Annual “Music in the Park” Series returns from July 19 to August 9.

The free concert series, which attracted average crowd sizes of about 200 people per show last year, will include four consecutive shows this summer. Each Sunday afternoon performance will feature an opening act and a main act.

This year’s big-name acts are slated to include David Mallett, premier Maine singer-songwriter; Shamou, a Persian drummer and percussionist; Pat Pepin, a saxophonist, blues singer and band leader; and The Travis Cyr Project, a trio of folk musicians from Aroostook County and the Portland area. The concerts this year will run from 1-4 p.m. Food vendors will be on site offering snacks and drinks and people are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets with them to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon at the park.

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Cathie Pelletier to give reading at The Vault in Houlton

Acclaimed writer Cathie Pelletier will offer her first reading in southern Aroostook County with an appearance on Monday, June 1 at The Vault restaurant in Houlton. The event will include a reception and meet-the-author time starting at 6 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. The reading will start at 7 p.m. Pelletier will offer a short reading and then participate in a question and answer session. She will also sign books after the session.

“I want this to be a very informal couple of hours, more like a visit than an actual reading,” Pelletier said. “It’s my chance to meet new people and learn a bit of the history of Houlton.”

Pelletier, a native of Allagash, is an award-winning writer who has written nine novels and had two of them turned into movies. She wrote her first novel, The Funeral Makers, in 1986. That novel was followed by Once Upon a Time on the Banks, The Weight of Winter, The Bubble Reputation, A Marriage Made at Woodstock, and Beaming Sonny Home.

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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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