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UMPI celebrates Homecoming 2011

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is hosting another jam-packed Homecoming celebration from Friday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 25, offering everything from a reunion concert by Too Far North and a new triathlon race to socials, athletic events, alumni games and the annual Hall of Fame dinner. Alums are slated to return to campus from across the country and as far away as Australia for this year’s Homecoming weekend.

Festivities kick off on Friday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. with the annual State of the University Address by UMPI President Don Zillman in the Campus Center. New this year, the annual Alumni Awards will be presented during this event – the Educator of the Year Award will be given to Leeann (Morrow) Ward, Class of 2004, and the Distinguished Alumni Award will go to Dr. Bernard Grenway, Class of 1995.

From 3-5:30 p.m., Cary Medical Center will host a Healthy You “Alumni Olympics” event in Gentile Hall, which will include a variety of fun games and challenges, as well as free health screenings, health education information, healthy snacks and door prizes. From 4-5:30 p.m., the University Credit Union will celebrate its first anniversary at UMPI with an Open House event in the Campus Center. The event will include giveaways, demonstrations on the latest banking technology, and refreshments.

At 5:30 p.m., the annual Women’s Soccer Spaghetti Supper will take place in the Campus Center. The fundraiser, sponsored in part by ARAMARK Dining Services, will cost $5 for adults and $3 for children. Later that evening, at 7 p.m. in Wieden Gymnasium, the Criminal Justice program and local law enforcement officials will present an event new to Homecoming – the CJ Students vs. Local Law Enforcement Basketball Game. Admission is $4 for adults, free for students and children. The night will cap off with the annual Alumni Social at Frankie’s Lounge at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, where there will be giveaways and refreshments.

The fun continues on Saturday, Sept. 24, with a new event – a Triathlon Race that begins at Riverside Park at 9 a.m. Each participant must complete at least one leg of the race, which includes running, biking and kayaking. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., art enthusiasts can view the art exhibit Landscape – Love & Longing by Jennifer Pazienza, which will be on display in the Campus Center’s Reed Fine Art Gallery. At 10 a.m., the Presque Isle Historical Society will offer a free guided walking tour of Historic Downtown Presque Isle that will depart from the Vera Estey House at 16 Third Street, weather permitting. Also at 10 a.m., the Alumni Baseball Game will be held at the Presque Isle High School baseball field and the Women’s Alumni Volleyball Game will take place in Wieden Gym.

A new event – the Alumni Brunch, Reunion Classes and BSW presentation – will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the President’s House. During the brunch, the classes of 2001 (10 years), 1986 (25 years), and 1961 (50 years) will be honored, and UMPI Social Work students will give a presentation about their recent trip to Tanzania for a service learning project. The day includes many more events, such as: the annual Potato Barrel games at the Park Family Field – the Women’s Soccer Game vs. UMFK at Noon, and the Men’s Soccer Game vs. UMFK at 2 p.m. – and the Alumni and Families “Swim and Gym” from 2-5 p.m. in Gentile Hall.

That evening, the annual Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner will be held in the Campus Center at 5:30 p.m. Three alumni will be inducted in the UMPI Athletics Hall of Fame during the event: Evan Graves ’03, Gail Fitzmaurice ’85, and Chris Smith ’83 and ’88. Cost for the dinner is $15 per person.

The weekend’s main event takes place Saturday night at 9 p.m. at The Connection, located at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center, when the classic rock and roll band Too Far North takes the stage. Several members of the band, which performed between 1994 and 2008 throughout Maine, are UMPI alums. There will be a $5 cover at the door and proper ID is required.

The last day of Homecoming serves as an Alumni Sport Day. Alumni will have the opportunity to compete against students in soccer and cross country events during the morning and early afternoon. The Alumni Athlete Hot Dog Roast will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Park Family Field.

For more information about Homecoming 2011, contact Keith Madore at 768-9568.