Unity College (Maine)
- For other Unity Colleges, please see Unity College (disambiguation).
|Motto||America’s Environmental College|
|Established||September 7, 1965|
|President||Dr. Stephen Mulkey|
|Vice-president||Dr. Melik Khoury|
|Provost||Dr. Michael Evans|
|Campus||Rural, 240 acres (0.97 km2)|
|Colors||Green and White|
Unity College is a private, liberal arts college in Unity, Waldo County, Maine. It is located 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Bangor, Maine and 25 miles (40 km) from the Maine coast. The college offers an undergraduate education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources throughout the academic program. In 2007 the school was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Colleges. In 2010 it was named to the Princeton Review list of the eighteen leading "green" colleges, having received the highest possible rating. In 2010, Unity College was named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching also selected Unity College for its 2010 Community Engagement Classification. The college has a long-lived reputation for providing recruits to federal and state conservation agencies, and, more recently, for placing students in graduate school for environmental science research.
The college was founded in 1965 as the Unity Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a faculty of 15 and a student body of 39. The founders, a group of local business people, were looking for ways to counter economic decline in the adjacent town of Unity. Two years later it changed its name to Unity College and in 1969 awarded degrees to its first graduating class of 24. The school has continued to grow and has today one of the broadest environmental and natural resources programs in the United States.
The academic program comprises a broad environmental curriculum with 16 different majors and 6 minors. All of the degrees offered focus in environmental or natural resource studies. The college has a reputation for hands-on and outdoor study, and for providing students a gateway to outdoor careers. Alumni go on to careers in environmental policy, renewable energy management, biological research, state park & wildlife refuge management, natural sciences education, and wilderness recreation organization. Placements to graduate schools, particularly in environmental science research, policy, and law, have increased considerably in the last decade. Faculty credit this success to small class sizes and the very high likelihood that students will have participated in research teams, led by faculty, conducting various research projects, many of which are for the state or federal government. Current examples include examination of the effects of rockweed harvesting on the nearby Maine coast, a study of the spread of the hemlock wooly aldelgid, a major parasite on this important forest tree, a study of Maine lake sediments to help trace the Younger Dryas, and anemometric studies in support of community wind power development in the state of Maine.
The majors of study are: Adventure Based Environmental Education; Adventure Therapy; Art and Environment; Biology; Captive Wildlife Care and Education; Conservation Law Enforcement; Earth and Environmental Science; Environmental Policy, Law, and Society; Marine Biology; Parks and Forest Resources; Secondary Education; Sustainable Agriculture; Sustainable Energy Management; Wildlife Biology; and Wildlife and Fisheries Management.
The minor areas of study are: Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Botany; Ecology; Environmental Interpretation and Education; Psychology; and Zoology.
The college is a leader in the movement towards sustainability. The campus produces exceptionally low climate emissions of around 4,300 pounds per student per year, achieved through a program of energy audits and retrofits to buildings. All recent and new buildings are or will be low or zero carbon. The first of these is the so-called Unity House, designed and built by Bensonwood architects and timber frame builders of New Hampshire. All students take a required course in sustainability in their junior year, including several weeks on climate change. The college recently began to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability Design and Technology, and, in conjunction with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener's Association, a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, Food and Sustainability, both begun Fall 2008.
The campus is located on 240 acres (0.97 km2) overlooking Unity and nearby Unity Pond. The original section of the campus consisted of a farm with several of the farm buildings serving as residence halls, classrooms and administrative offices. The original farmhouse now is home to the College Development, Public Safety, and Sustainability offices. Agriculture has returned to the campus through the Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability degree program, a partnership with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener's Association, and the extensive gardens run by the "Veggies for All" program, which provided 15,000 pounds of food to the Unity Area Food Pantry in 2010.
There are eight residence options on campus. The Eastview, Westview, and Wood Halls are designated for freshmen. Upperclassmen have the option of living in The Cottages, Terrahaus, Maplewood, Cianchette Hall, UnityOne (known as "Nudorm Hall" by many students), or off campus. The residential community is vibrant and close knit resulting in over 70% of the student body living on-campus.
The Dorothy W. Quimby Library houses a collection of over 50,000 volumes to more than 400 scholarly and general-interest periodicals. The collection has been assembled primarily to support the college's curriculum, but additionally it serves as the public library for area towns; its holdings include a large collection of general fiction and children's books.
Gifted to the College in 2007, Unity also owns and operates the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts and the Bert & Coral Clifford Field of Dreams. The Unity College Center for the Performing Arts is located at 42 Depot Street in downtown Unity and boasts a year round performance schedule that brings outstanding music and theater to mid-Maine. The Field of Dreams is located on the shores of nearby Unity Pond and consists of baseball, softball, and soccer fields used by both the college and local recreational leagues. The Field also has a one-mile walking trail, playground and picnic facilities. Both the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts and the Bert & Coral Clifford Field of Dreams were recognized in 2010 as destinations in the state of Maine by the Bangor Daily News.
Unity College strives to create a campus where college facilities can also serve as learning laboratories. The College completed Unity House, a net-zero home serving as the president's residence in 2009 and TerraHaus in 2011, the first net-zero carbon college dormitory in the USA to meet the strict.
Unity College (mascot the "Rams") competes in the Yankee Small College Conference (YSCC) which is a division II member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association(USCAA). The men's varsity sports are: Basketball, Cross-Country, and Soccer. The women's varsity sports are: Basketball, Cross-Country, Soccer and Volleyball. Additionally Unity College has a number of club sports (Woodsmen, ice hockey, Indoor Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee) and intramural sports.
The Unity College men's and women's cross-country teams both won the 1996 National Small College Athletic Association's National Championship meet at Michigan Christian College in Rochester Hills, Michigan. These were Unity College's first-ever women's and men's national championship teams. The 1992 women's cross country team won the NAIA Division 5 New England Championship meet at Johnson State College, Vermont.