UMM Awards 75 Degrees at 99th Commencement

Sustainability the focus of first waste-free ceremony

MACHIAS, ME – From the keynote address by environmental educator Don Hudson to students wearing gowns made of 100% recycled material, Saturday’s 99th commencement of the University of Maine at Machias was fitting for an Environmental Liberal Arts institution. The event was the University’s first “waste-free” ceremony, meaning everything was recycled or composted.

UMM President Cynthia Huggins presided over the ceremony at which 73 bachelor degrees and two associate degrees were conferred. Three students – Nathaniel Jillette of Lewiston, Maine, Andrew Hayes of New Castle, Delaware, and Cody Jourdet of Friendship, Maine – were awarded both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree.

In her charge to the graduates, Huggins encouraged the class of 2010 to live for the moment and not lose sight of the simple things.

“Don’t get so wrapped up in building your future, that you miss the small joys found in the present,” she said. “Find what makes you joyful and run with it.”

Don HudsonDon Hudson, president of the Chewonki Foundation, delivered the commencement address and reflected on his life since his college graduation.

“…As I look back on my path through life and upon the full spectrum of my work – from the summer of 1966 to now, the impulse to reduce my footprint – my impact – on the planet was unavoidable,” he said.

In his recipe for living more gently on the planet, a list of six essential principles of sustainability, Hudson encouraged the graduates to live a sustainable life and acknowledged the work being done at UMM.

“Teaching and learning about sustainability is student-centered and hands-on,” he said. “You are working on that revolution right here in Machias.”

Hudson was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his visionary leadership and lifelong dedication to environmental education and sustainability.

The Distinguished Achievement Award was presented to William Cassidy, a 1975 graduate of UMM, who retired in December 2009 as president of Washington County Community College.

State Representative Howard McFadden, a 1967 graduate of Washington State Normal School (now UMM), was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his distinguished career in education and his tenure in the Maine State Legislature.

Class of 2010UMM’s ceremony included musical performances by several of the graduating seniors. Crystal Czaja, an English and book arts graduate, performed “I want to Hold Your Hand” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Michelle Amato, a secondary education graduate, and Clifton Moser, a business and entrepreneurial studies graduate, performed Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Shallee Page, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was presented the Arthur S. and Frances A. Buswell Academic Enhancement Award, which is presented annually to a member of the faculty to help provide for equipment, field trips, library materials, or other items that directly benefit students in a class. The award is named after former University President Arthur Buswell, who guided the University from 1971 to 1981.

The UMM Ukulele Club, under the direction of music professor Gene Nichols, closed the ceremony by performing Dale Evans’ “Happy Trails”, a tribute to former University President John Joseph.

Click here to view photos from UMM's 99th commencement ceremony.

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