UMM Graduates 74 at 98th Commencement

MACHIAS, ME – More than 70 graduates received degrees at the 98th Commencement of the University of Maine at Machias, held Saturday afternoon at the Frederic A. Reynolds Center.

President Cynthia Huggins presided over the ceremony at which 5 students were presented with Associate in Science degrees, and 69 students received Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of College Studies degrees.

In her charge to the graduates, Huggins urged the class of 2009 to “seek a newer world.” Referencing the Elvis Presley song “True Love Travels on a Gravel Road,” exchanging the word “life” for “love” in its title, she told the graduates that “traveling on a gravel road suggests an adventure, something fun, going somewhere that most people don’t go.”

“Some of you will spend more time on gravel roads than others,” said Huggins. “The important thing is that you keep traveling, keep moving, keep growing and learning and exploring – just as you’ve been doing over the past few years here at UMM.”

The Honorable Mary Cathcart, Senior Policy Associate at the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, and former state senator, delivered the Commencement Address. In her address she provided advice to the graduates who will soon enter the workforce.

“Most of us have to reinvent ourselves many times over, learn new skills, try new jobs,” said Cathcart. “The key is to have an entrepreneurial spirit, work hard, and have the courage to walk through whatever doors open as you go through life.”

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Howard McFadden, a 1967 graduate of UMM, who is currently serving his third term in the Maine State House of Representatives. A U.S. Army veteran and member of the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, McFadden began his long career in education as a teacher, and served as principal of the Edmunds Consolidated School for more than 30 years.

UMM’s ceremony included musical performances by several of the graduating seniors. Anneliese Behrman, a recreation and tourism management graduate, opened the ceremony with the National Anthem. Noach Tangeras, a marine biology graduate, performed “Is It All For Love?,” an original piece. Michael Lachance, an environmental studies graduate, reflected on his experience at UMM through an original song he called “Untitled.”

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.

On Friday night at the University’s Senior Dinner, Susan Palmer, a 1972 graduate of UMM, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Palmer worked at her alma mater for 32 years serving as Assistant to the President and in public relations, art galleries and development. She currently serves as Development Officer at the University of Southern Maine.

To view photos from Commencement 2009, visit the UMM Facebook page here.

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