Several colleges in Maine held commencement ceremonies on Saturday. Southern Maine Community College graduated its largest class in the school’s 67-year history during ceremonies at the South Portland campus athletic fields. A total of 1,074 students from 17 states and eight countries were expected to receive their degrees. The Class of 2013 also included 33 students who are the first graduates of SMCC’s midcoast campus in Brunswick, which opened in 2011.
Attorney F. Lee Bailey delivered the commencement address, with SMCC President Ron Cantor presiding over the ceremonies.
“Commencement is a special day for us all, a day of rewards for much hard work on the part of our students, faculty and staff,” said Cantor in a statement.
The graduating students received 1,090 degrees, with an average GPA of 3.17. There were 162 graduates who participated in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Husson University in South Portland held its annual commencement exercises at Woodfords Corner Congregational Church in Portland. The school awarded 104 degrees in the Colleges of Business and Health and Education.
Charles E. Miller, retiring CEO of the Bernstein Shur law firm in Portland, delivered the commencement address. Miller was presented with the Chesley Husson Award for his career achievements in the legal profession, and service to his community.
Students received undergraduate degrees in accounting, business administration, computer information systems and criminal justice. MBAs were awarded in the College of Business and masters degrees in nursing and counseling were awarded from the College of Health and Education.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND
The University of New England held its 2013 commencement on the Biddeford campus with Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, as the commencement speaker.
The school also honored Maine’s Poet Laureate Wesley McNair with an honorary degree.
The university awarded an estimated 1,531 degrees representing the colleges of arts and sciences, health professions, osteopathic medicine and pharmacy.
The UNE College of Pharmacy’s inaugural graduating class included 26 students from Maine.
Each college recognized its own student achievements at pinning and hooding ceremonies during the week.
Unity College held its 44th commencement exercises in the school’s Tozier Gymnasium, awarding 124 bachelor of science, two bachelor of arts, and two associate of science degrees.
Commencement speaker Dr. James Gustave Speth, an internationally known environmental educator, writer and scholar, received an honorary doctor of sustainability science degree. Actress and educator Kaiulani Lee received an honorary doctor of arts and humanities degree.
KENNEBEC VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The men and women who graduated from Kennebec Valley Community College were urged to make the most of their opportunities through hard work, integrity and discipline.
“Being above average is simple, but it isn’t easy,” said Lawrence Wold, president of TD Bank Maine, during his keynote address. “Everyone here today is totally capable of being honest, fair, dependable, hardworking, thoughtful and disciplined. They require effort early and often and when others aren’t making the effort.”
More than 500 students earned associate degrees or certificates of achievement during the Fairfield school’s 43rd annual commencement at the Augusta Civic Center.
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AT FARMINGTON
Before heading out into the world after completing their schooling, graduates of the University of Maine at Farmington were given one last lesson in division by senior class commencement speaker Timothy Grivois.
Grivois, of Norfolk, Mass., graduating summa cum laude, urged the graduates to let go of imaginary lines that needlessly divide people and keep them from joining together to support each other.
The 456 students graduating from UMF had a full crowd of supporters at the commencement ceremony. Parents, family and friends packed the Olsen Student Center parking lot and spread out onto the adjacent lawn and hill to watch the ceremony and celebrate their loved ones’ academic accomplishments.