It was pomp and circumstance at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham on Friday as the campus community turned out for the formal installation of President Glenn Cummings.

Cummings, the former speaker of the Maine House and a longtime USM faculty member, is the first official president of the campus since 2012, when Selma Botman stepped down.

He previously served as interim president at UMaine Augusta, and before that was president and executive director of Good Will-Hinckley and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, one of Maine’s first charter schools.

Cummings took office at USM on July 1, 2015, under unusual circumstances, replacing a president who broke his contract before starting the job. Before that, USM had two interim presidents, David Flanagan and Theodora Kalikow.

The string of leadership changes amid deep budget cuts destabilized the campus, and Cummings vowed a “quick rebuild” when he took office despite a looming $6 million deficit and fall enrollment in 2015 that was down 13 percent from the previous year.

Since then, USM has announced a slight increase in enrollment and a budget in the black, after years of having to borrow from the University of Maine System to close campus budget gaps. Cummings also announced a plan to provide off-campus USM housing in Portland and a long-term plan to build dorms on the Portland campus.

Cummings was born and raised in Bath and is a 12th-generation Mainer. He is married to Leslie Appelbaum, and they have two children.


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