News & Events

New York Times best-selling author to serve as next LDLS speaker

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will present New York Times best-selling author Kate Braestrup as the first speaker in its 2021-2022 Libra Distinguished Lecture Series on Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center. During her talk, Practice and Play in the Maine Woods, Braestrup will pass on lessons learned from game wardens about preparing for, and enjoying, time in the wild and beautiful lands of Maine. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

In an effort to best ensure the health and safety of campus and community members, campus visitors must be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result within the past 72 hours to enter campus buildings, and face coverings are required while indoors on campus. Exceptions can be made to this requirement with appropriate approval from campus administration.

Kate Braestrup serves as the Chaplain for the Maine Warden Service and is the author of several books, including her New York Times best-selling memoir Here If You Need Me, about her journey in the wake of her husband’s death, pursuing his dream to become a minister, and finding her calling as a chaplain to search-and-rescue workers. She has written three other books—Marriage, and Other Acts of Charity, Beginner’s Grace, and Anchor & Flares.

The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Braestrup spent her childhood in Algiers, New York City, Paris, Bangkok, Washington, D.C., and Sabillasville, Maryland, and was educated at the Parsons School of Design/The New School and Georgetown University. Her first husband, Trooper James Andrew “Drew” Griffith, was killed in a car accident while on duty in 1996. Braestrup was left a widowed mother of four children between the ages of 3 and 9.

Following through on her husband’s plans to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, Braestrup found her own vocation. She entered the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1997, and was ordained in 2004. Since 2001, she has served as chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, joining the wardens as they search the wild lands and fresh waters of Maine for those who have lost their way, and offering comfort to those who wait for the ones they love to be rescued, or for their bodies to be recovered. Braestrup has since remarried to artist Simon van der Ven and the two have a total of six children.

The University’s Libra Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 1999. Each year, the LDLS Committee sponsors four to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. While the emphasis tends to be on featuring visiting academics, it is not exclusively so. The speakers typically spend two days at the University meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.

UMPI welcomes the campus and community to hear Braestrup speak on Sept. 24. For more information about Kate Braestrup, visit her website at www.katebraestrup.com. For more information about this event, contact Lisa Smith at 207-768- 9525 or email lisa.m.smith@maine.edu.