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UMPI, Maine Technology Institute take part in signing ceremony for $96,800 Maine Technology Asset Fund grant

With the stroke of a pen, the University of Maine at Presque Isle officially became the recipient of a $96,800 Maine Technology Asset Fund grant from the Maine Technology Institute. The grant will help to fund construction of a state-of-the-art GIS and GPS laboratory on campus that will be used for both classroom instruction and for community training and services.

Maine Technology Institute President Betsy Biemann and UMPI President Don Zillman signed the grant contract during a short Thursday afternoon ceremony on the University campus.

“The University of Maine at Presque Isle is excited to receive these funds from the Maine Technology Institute, which will help us to establish this educational and training-oriented facility and meet the growing need for GIS and GPS services in our region,” President Zillman said. “The goal of a facility like this is to further community development and economic growth, and the University is proud to be taking this step forward for northern Maine.”

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OAPI leads Carleton Project on outdoor climbing adventure

The University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Carleton Project teamed up recently to take alternative high school students on an outdoor climbing adventure.

On Tuesday, July 14, the Carleton Project and officials from the University’s Outdoor Adventure Program International [OAPI] traveled to Clifton, Maine, for an outdoor climb at Eagle Cliff. The trip was both a way for Carleton Project students to get outside and enjoy some physical activity and also learn some important lessons about teamwork and decision making.

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University announces 2009 graduates

Three hundred and forty-five students graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle during the 2008-2009 academic year. On Saturday, May 16, at 10:30 a.m. during the 2009 Commencement Exercises, the University’s 100th Commencement, President Donald Zillman conferred degrees upon 149 students who participated in the ceremony held in Wieden Gymnasium.

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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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