Retired Journalist Jim Thompson to Speak at UMM Commencement
MACHIAS, Maine – The University of Maine at Machias has announced that Jim Thompson, a retired journalist and communications professional, will deliver the keynote address at UMM’s 102nd commencement ceremony, to be held Saturday, May 18. During the ceremony, Thompson will be presented with UMM’s Distinguished Service Award.
“We are honored to have Jim speak to our graduates,” said UMM President Cynthia Huggins. “In addition to his distinguished career, Jim has devoted so much time and energy to organizations in Washington County and beyond. We are extremely grateful for his unwavering support of UMM over the years.”
Thomspon began his extensive career in journalism and communications as owner and editor of the weekly Piscataquis Observer in Dover-Foxcroft. He also held senior editorial positions for daily newspapers in Brunswick, Maine, and Barre-Montpelier, Vermont.
Before moving to Calais in 2002, he served as executive director of the Maine Publicity Bureau, now the Maine Tourism Association, and as the director of public information for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Most recently, he was the executive director of the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Downeast Heritage Museum until his retirement in 2008.
Thompson has also served as president of the Maine and New England press associations, adjunct instructor in journalism at the University of Maine, and adjunct instructor of English at Washington County Community College.
He is currently active in a number of local and regional organizations including the UMM Board of Visitors, the St. Croix Estuary Project and Ganong Nature Park in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, the WCCC President’s Advisory Committee, Down East Community Hospital in Machias, and the Cross-Border Higher Education Partnership.
Thompson was the recipient of the 2011 Prix d’excellence, a merit award for volunteerism presented by the Province of New Brunswick, the Rocky Johnson Award for Community Service from the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the President’s Award from the Maine Public Relations Council.
He holds a B.A. in Social Sciences and History from California State University at Northridge and certificates in newspaper management, human factors engineering, and leadership and management training.
“UMM occupies a special place among Maine’s public universities,” Thompson said, “and it is a special honor to be a part of this year’s commencement ceremony.”
UMM’s commencement will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Frederic A. Reynolds Center. The ceremony will also be streamed live at www.machias.edu. For more information about commencement activities, contact Michael May at 255-1210.