Farm Credit of Maine will be recognized by the University of Maine at Presque Isle on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. for their generous donation of $5,000 to support the University's Solarium in Folsom Hall. The event will take place in the solarium, which is located on the third floor of Folsom Hall.
For many years, Folsom Hall has been home to the campus' solarium. Farm Credit of Maine provided funding to update the solarium following the recent Folsom Hall renovation project.
The solarium update was one of several campus projects supported by the University's 2010 Annual Fund Campaign. "The University is very grateful to Farm Credit of Maine for supporting this project which was proposed by university science professors Dr. Robert Pinette and Dr. Jason Johnston," said Keith Madore, Director of the University's Development Office. "It is very rewarding to celebrate its completion with Farm Credit of Maine, the campus, and community."
"We believe that the renovation of the UMPI Solarium will assist in the future development of the University's biology and ecology curriculum, allowing students an even greater opportunity to prepare for careers in agriculture and related sciences," said Raymond Nowak, President of Farm Credit.
The solarium in Folsom Hall supports the University's biology and ecology classes by providing a location for growing and drying plants, seeds and fungi, as well as a small area for the meteorology classes to work. In addition, student clubs and organizations may use the space for activities related to plant growth.
Both Dr. Johnston and Dr. Pinette expressed gratitude for Farm Credit's support of this campus project which directly impacts UMPI students and their overall educational experience.
"Since the space was updated, I've incorporated a two-part lab using the solarium in my ecology class," noted Johnston. "Students will set up their own experiments to examine the impact of soil quality, nutrients, and other factors on plant growth. This hands-on approach gives students a strong sense of the scientific method as well as the logistics of completing scientific experiments."
Pinette added, "The solarium is important to the campus in several ways. It is the only indoor space on campus where we can grow plants, maintain an inventory of living materials for the laboratory and provide an array of different plant families for demonstration purposes. Furthermore, the solarium provides green space on campus for everyone to enjoy regardless of the season."
The public is invited to attend this event on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 1 pm. Activities will include remarks, an opportunity to tour the updated solarium, and refreshments. For more information about the recognition or the updated solarium contact Keith Madore, Director of Alumni Relations & Development Office at 207-768-9568.