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Darrell Dorgan returns for talk at UMPI

Monday, 18 November 2013

Darrell Dorgan sm

An award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker is paying another visit to the University of Maine at Presque Isle in November to visit several classes, work with students and deliver a public presentation. Darrell Dorgan, who has served as the University's Journalist/Professional Communicator in Residence, will speak on energy and the North Dakota-Maine connections on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. This event is free and open to the public.

In his talk "Life in the Vast Lane; Two Miles Down," Dorgan will share his experiences about living in the midst of the world's largest oil discovery in 50 years, and the impact it's having on North Dakota and places like the State of Maine. For example, the train that exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July 2013 originated in North Dakota. So North Dakota's boom is very much a local, Maine issue. There's no unemployment in North Dakota, McDonald's pays $19 an hour, but rents and crime are rising. There's no place to live and "Life in the Vast Lane" is changing quickly and dramatically.

Dorgan has spent more than 25 years working in the journalism field. His most recent journalism related work was as a producer, anchor and writer for Prairie News Journal – an hour-long news program viewed in three states and two Canadian Provinces. Dorgan also continues to write and produce historical documentaries for television. Dorgan is the recipient of more than 50 awards for journalism excellence, including an Emmy nomination in 1992 and a National Associated Press award for Reporting Beyond Reproach. He served as a Distinguished Lecturer at UMPI – as well as its first Journalist in Residence – in 2008 and has a scholarship named after him at the University.

Dorgan recently retired after serving for more than a decade as the Executive Director of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. While there, he established a large base of support, raised more than $4 million to construct the 15,000 square-foot facility—it opened its doors in 2005, and promoted the institution to the world. As part of his work on the Hall of Fame, he spearheaded the effort to build a Western Heritage Center, which was named the Cowboy Museum of the Year in 2010.

Dorgan now works full time making documentary films. His most recent film on Teddy Roosevelt, A Cowboy's Ride to the White House, won awards and was shown nationally on PBS stations.

Most recently, Dorgan was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama as a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Dorgan is a Vietnam Veteran, a member of AMVETS and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans.

For more information about Dorgan's visit to the area, contact Dr. Jacqui Lowman at 768-9745.