University of Maine

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The University of Maine
University of Maine seal.png
Motto Dirigo (Latin)
Motto in English
Established 1865
Type Public flagship
Land grant
Endowment $252.3 million[1]
President Susan J. Hunter
Academic staff
Students 11,247 (Fall 2013) [2]
Undergraduates 9,182 (Fall 2013) [2]
Location Orono, Maine, U.S.
Campus Rural
Colors Dark Blue, Light Blue, and White[3]
Athletics NCAA Division IAmerica East
Nickname Black Bears
Mascot Bananas the Bear
Affiliations University of Maine System

University of Maine Logo.svg

University of Maine Historic District
Location Munson, Sebec, and Schoodic Rds., Orono, Maine
Area 660 acres (267.1 ha)
Built 1868
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Other, Greek Revival
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 78000194[4]
Added to NRHP July 12, 1978

The University of Maine (UMaine)[5] is a public research university located in Orono, Maine, United States. The university was established in 1865 as a land grant college and is referred to as the flagship university of the University of Maine System.[5][6] Having an enrollment of over 11,000 students, UMaine is the largest university in the state and is the only institution in Maine classified as a research university (RU/H) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[7] The University of Maine's athletic teams are nicknamed the Black Bears, and sport blue and white uniforms.


Brick Hall (1871), later renamed Oak Hall, burned in 1936

UMaine was founded in 1862 as a function of the Morrill Act, signed by President Lincoln. Established in 1865 and originally named the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the Maine College opened on September 21, 1868, changing its name to the University of Maine in 1897.[8]

By 1871, curricula had been organized in Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and electives. The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station was founded as a division of the university in 1887. Gradually the university developed the Colleges of Life Sciences and Agriculture (later to include the School of Forest Resources and the School of Human Development), Engineering and Science, and Arts and Sciences. In 1912 the Maine Cooperative Extension, which offers field educational programs for both adults and youths, was initiated. The School of Education was established in 1930 and received college status in 1958. The School of Business Administration was formed in 1958 and was granted college status in 1965. Women have been admitted into all curricula since 1872. The first master's degree was conferred in 1881; the first doctor's degree in 1960. Since 1923 there has been a separate graduate school.[9]

Stevens Hall

Near the end of the 19th century, the curriculum was expanded to place greater emphasis on liberal arts. As a function of this shift in focus new faculty hired during the early 20th century included Caroline Colvin, chair of the history department, and the first woman in the nation to head a major university department.[10]

In 1906, The Senior Skull Honor Society was founded to "publicly recognize, formally reward, and continually promote outstanding leadership and scholarship, and exemplary citizenship within the University of Maine community."[11]

On April 16, 1925, 80 women met in Balentine Hall — faculty, alumnae, and undergraduate representatives — to plan a pledging of members to a new honorary organization. This organization was called "The All Maine Women" because only those women closely connected with the University of Maine were elected as members. On April 22, 1925, the new members were inducted into the honor society.[12]

When the University of Maine System was incorporated, the school was renamed by the legislature over the objections of the faculty to the University of Maine at Orono (or UMO). This was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986.[13]

Organization and administration[edit]

UMaine is the flagship of the University of Maine System.[5][6][14][15][16] The president of the university is Susan J. Hunter,.[17] The senior administration governs cooperatively with the Chancellor of the University of Maine system, James H. Page and the sixteen members of the University of Maine Board of Trustees (of which fifteen are appointed by the Governor of Maine and one is the current Maine State Commissioner of Education). The Board of Trustees has full legal responsibility and authority for the university system. It appoints the Chancellor and each university President, approves the establishment and elimination of academic programs, confers tenure on faculty members, and sets tuition rates/operating budgets.[18]

UMaine is also one of a handful of colleges in the United States whose Student Government is incorporated.[19] Student Government was formed in 1978 and incorporated in 1987. They are classified as a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation.[20] It consists of a legislative branch, which passes resolutions, and an executive branch, which helps organize on-campus entertainment and guest speakers, works with new and existing student organizations, and performs other duties. Other organizations fall under the umbrella of Student Government Inc., including representative boards, community associations, and many other student groups. The Maine Campus, the student newspaper, is also incorporated and does not operate under or receive money from student government.


Location and layout[edit]

A tree-lined path through the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Gardens

Situated on Marsh Island, between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers, the University of Maine is the only Land Grant University in the nation located on an island.[21] Occupying the small town of Orono, population ~8,500,[22] the 660-acre (2.7 km2) campus[22] has a total enrollment (2012–2013) of 10,901 students.[23] The campus is equipped with thirty-seven academic buildings, thirty administrative buildings, eighteen residence halls, eighteen specific laboratory facilities, fourteen Greek life houses, ten sports facilities, five museums,[24] four dining facilities, two convenience stores, a student union, a cafe, a pub,[25] an 87,000-square-foot (8,100 m2) recreation and fitness center,[26] and a 200'x200' air supported athletic/recreational dome.[27]

The original campus plan was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City and the White House grounds in Washington, D.C.[28] Central to campus is the University of Maine Mall, an open grassy area between the Raymond H. Fogler Library and the Memorial Gym. The Mall is further bordered by one residence and five academic halls. The campus is essentially divided into three sections (northern, southern, and hilltop),[29] all of which are within close proximity to (or border directly on) the Mall. The northern section includes many of the athletic facilities, including the Alfond Arena(basketball, hockey), Morse Field at the Alfond Sports Stadium (football, track and field), Larry Mahaney Diamond (baseball), Kessock Field (softball), the Field Hockey Complex (field hockey), and the Mahaney athletic/recreational dome. Other buildings that occupy the northern section of campus include the Cutler Health Center, two administrative halls, three residence halls, and multiple academic halls. The southern section of campus includes the Memorial Student Union, the Maynard F. Jordan Observatory, Lengyel Gymnasium and Athletic Field, the Buchanan Alumni House, as well as multiple administrative, residence, and academic halls. The recently renovated Collins Center for the Arts is also located on the southern part of campus, and not only provides the Hutchins Concert Hall, a 1,435-seat venue for performing artists from around the world,[30] but also houses the Hudson Museum, known for its contemporary Native American art, as well as displays that are culturally specific to the indigenous people of Maine. The Hilltop section of campus is populated largely with residence halls but also includes the 7-acre (2.8 ha) Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Gardens,[31] as well as academic and recreational facilities.

Greek life[edit]

Greek life has existed at the University of Maine since 1874. The presence of Greeks still exists strongly today, with more than 950 students. More than 11% of University of Maine undergraduates are members of Greek letter organizations.[32]




UMaine is one of 16 colleges and universities listed in Princeton Review's "Green Honor Roll" (2011). Several of the nation's leading research universities, including Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Arizona State and the University of Washington are also on that prestigious list, as are Harvard and Northeastern. Recognizing schools for their commitment to sustainability, the Green Honor Roll lists only those 16 institutions that received the highest possible score on The Princeton Review green rating. The guide lauds UMaine for its recycling programs, green-certified buildings and free shuttle bus service. It also notes the fact that UMaine has a sustainability coordinator, a sustainability council, and "Eco Reps" in its residence halls.[33]

The University of Maine has a sustainability council composed of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, and employs a full-time sustainability coordinator. A green loan fund provides capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.[34] The university has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, and two residential-scale solar thermal systems are in place on Nutting Hall and Sebec House. The University of Maine composts food scraps from dining facilities, and York Dining Hall has gone trayless to reduce waste. For all new campus construction, LEED Silver standards are required.[35] The Blue Bike program refurbishes abandoned bikes and rents them to students free of charge, providing a means of alternative transportation on and around-campus.[36]


Academic overview[edit]

Autumn leaves shower a lawn in front of UMaine's Hannibal Hamlin Hall

The University of Maine offers 90 undergraduate major programs organized in five Colleges: the College of Business, Public Policy and Health; the College of Education and Human Development; the College of Engineering; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture. UMaine also is home to one of the nation's oldest honors programs, now called the Honors College.[37] The Honors College offers academically qualified students an opportunity for intensive, interdisciplinary study. Students are invited to become part of the Honors College during the admissions review process. UMaine also offers a wide array of graduate programs, including more than seventy master's degree programs and thirty doctorate programs.[38][39]

The University of Maine is one of only a handful of institutions to offer a combined developmental/clinical Ph.D. to students accepted into their clinical psychology Ph.D. program,[40] as well as advanced degrees with distinct concentrations in developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral neuroscience.[41] The University of Maine has a strong commitment to developing the next generation of neuroscience researchers and educators, thus along with offering a Ph.D. in psychological science with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, they also offer a neuroscience concentration for Ph.D. students studying biomedical science.[42]

The University of Maine is consistently listed among the nation's top colleges by Princeton Review, the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" and Forbes.[33] It is the only institution in Maine ranked as a national university in the U.S. News and World Report annual rankings. U.S. News categorizes UMaine as an institution that offers "a full range of undergraduate majors, master's, and doctoral degrees."[43]

UMaine is one of only four institutions in Maine (along with Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby) accredited to award membership into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.[44]

The university is also the birthplace of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, recognizing high academic achievement across all disciplines.[45]

The Raymond H. Fogler Library is the largest in Maine[46] and serves as one of its intellectual hubs, attracting scholars, professors, and researchers from around the state.[47] A collection of rare and ancient manuscripts, as well as about two million government publications, augment the University's collection.[48] The Special Collections Unit includes the Stephen King (author and UMaine alumnus) papers, which attract researchers from across the globe.

UMaine hosts the Intensive English Institute, an English as a second language program designed to help students develop their English language skills for success in school, business, and social communication.[49]

With 211 faculty and 2,742 students (fall 2011), the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers Maine's most comprehensive liberal arts experience.

The University of Maine is also home to the Maine Business School, the largest business school in Maine. Paris-based international educational consulting organization Eduniversal has included the Maine Business School at the University of Maine among its selection of 1,000 of the world's best business schools, ranking it as an "excellent business school-nationally strong and/or with continental links."[50] In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Maine Business School among the nation's best business colleges [51]


The University of Maine receives overall accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the oldest regional accrediting association in the United States, as well as from many other professional societies, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Chemical Society, the American Dietetic Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Society of American Foresters, and the Society of Wood Science and Technology.[52]

The Oak Hall Dormitory

The University of Maine received the following classifications from The Carnegie Foundation:[53]

Classification Category Description
Basic RU/H Research University. High research activity.
Undergraduate Instructional Program Prof+A&S/HGC Professions + Arts & Sciences with high coexistence. Between 80 and 59 percent of awarded undergraduate degrees are in a professional field and at least half of the graduate programs coexist with undergraduate programs.
Graduate Instructional Program CompDoc/NMedVet Comprehensive doctoral (no medical/veterinary). Awards doctorates in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. Awards graduate or professional degrees in one or more professional fields. Does not award medical or veterinary doctoral degrees.
Enrollment Profile HU High undergraduate. More than 10 percent but less than 25 percent of students are graduate students.
Undergraduate Profile FT4/S/HTI Full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in. More than 79 percent of students at this 4-year or higher institution are full-time. Admitted students had an average ACT-equivalent scores between 17 and 22. More than 19 percent of students transfer into the institution.
Size and Setting M4/R Medium four-year, primarily residential. At least 3000 but fewer than 10000 FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents; total full-time students plus one-third total part-time students) attend this four-year institution. At least 25 percent of degree-seeking undergraduates live on campus and at least 50 percent but less than 80 percent attend full-time are classified as primarily residential.


The Fall 2013 admissions data are as follows:[54]

Student Classification Applications Acceptances Enrollment
New First Year Students 9,336 7,789 2,166
New Transfer Students 1,137 774 454
Graduate Students 1,649 706 472

Student body distribution/enrollment distribution[edit]

The 2013–2014 student body consists of:[54]

  • 8,619 Undergraduate students
  • 563 Non-degree Undergraduate students
  • 1,536 Graduate students
  • 529 Non-degree Graduate students
  • 8,987 Full-time students
  • 2,260 Part-time students
  • 8,722 In-State students
  • 2,525 Out-of-State students
  • 5,772 Female students
  • 5,475 Male students
  • 140 Asian students
  • 192 Black students
  • 149 Native American students
  • 211 Hispanic students
  • 8,706 White students
  • 1,107 Unspecified ethnicity students
  • 48 U.S. states and territories and 65 foreign countries are represented in the 2013–2014 University of Maine student body.


The 2014–2015 tuition data are as follows:[55][56]

Tuition (Based on Credit Hours per Academic Year) In-State Out-of-State
Undergraduate (30 credits) $8,370 $26,250
Graduate (18 credits) $7,524 $23,112

The 2013–2014 fees are as follows:

Fee Undergraduate Graduate
Activity Fee[57] $45/semester $40/semester
Fee 1-5 Credit Hours 6-11 Credit Hours 12-15 Credit Hours 16+ Credit Hours
Unified Fee[58] $125/semester $381/semester $934/semester $958/semester
Fee Fewer Than 6 Credit Hours 6 or More Credit Hours
Recreation Center Fee[57] $74/semester $121/semester


UMaine is one of the National Science Foundation's top 100 public universities for research. In FY10, UMaine exceeded $100 million in external expenditures for research — 86% of which was federal funding. Leading sectors of the university in generating external support are advanced materials, marine sciences, climate change, environmental studies, forestry, precision manufacturing, and aquaculture. Undergraduate research is a priority at UMaine, and in 2008, the Center for Undergraduate Research was established to connect students with faculty projects that suit their interests.

Notable research by college includes:

College of Engineering

  • High Performance Computing
  • NASA EPSCoR Wireless Shape Monitoring of Inflatable Structures (as of November 2010, UMaine hosts NASA's only mock-up of the Lunar Inflatable Habitat)
  • Modular Advanced Composite Hull (MACH) forms for Hybrid Ship Structures
  • Structural Integrity Assurance of Aerospace Vehicles for the Maine Space Grant Consortium
  • Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS) with the U.S. Natick Army Soldier RD&E Center
  • Bridge-in-a-Backpack
  • Blast-Resistant Wood Structures with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers R&D Center

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • One of the world's largest collections of chromosomal images that will be used to compare normal and abnormal cells to indicate the onset of tumors
  • "Thwarted Voices", recovered music of composers silenced by the Third Reich
  • Development of rodent models of intermediate behaviors associated with the complex phenotypes of alcoholism/drug addiction
  • Moral and ethical issues surrounding medicine and medical research
  • Infant sleep neurophysiology and behavior studied to analyze the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol, opiates, and other drugs on the developing brain
  • Archaeological field research in Machias Bay with the local Passamaquoddy to analyze subsistence changes along the coastal regions of Maine at the time of European contact
  • Computing and information science, especially high-performance computing, databases, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, ice sheet modeling, and spatial information/GIS

Maine Business School

  • "What Is Wrong with this Picture? A Problem with Comparative Return Plots on Finance Websites and a Bias Against Income-Generating Assets"
  • Organization research: how sports teams (baseball, football, ice hockey) enable knowledge sharing, creativity, and team learning
  • Knowledge Transfer Alliance, connecting UMaine professors in business, economics, and engineering to Maine businesses to help improve their efficiency and effectiveness
  • "Sustainability, Complexity and Learning: Insights from Complex Systems Approaches"

Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture

  • White pine thinning regimes for improved wood quality
  • The ecology of the Canada lynx in Maine's northern forests
  • Cellular and molecular processes that allow plants to respond to low-temperature stress
  • Bear Brook Watershed Project – climate change, air quality regulation, surface water quality, and forest sustainability
  • Use of cellulose nanofibrils in thermoplastic composites
  • Economic impacts and spending patterns of cruise ship passengers visiting cities
  • Consortium of 11 state universities working to develop a program for promoting healthful eating and improving the quality of life of young adults
  • Satellite ocean color imagery to study ecological processes, such as what species of phytoplankton dominate, and biogeochemical processes, including how fast carbon is fixed by phytoplankton into organic material

College of Education and Human Development

  • Literacy i3 (Investing in Innovation) grant
  • Using the State Longitudinal Data System to examine the impact of student mobility on the changing educational services needs throughout Maine and to evaluate the state professional development activities targeting special education teachers and staff
  • The Developmental Epidemiology and Biobehavioral Informatics group continues to work with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to provide state-of-the art informatics that support enhancing the state's capacity to identify at-risk children and ensure they receive services, and has partnered with the Maine Developmental Disabilites Council on the Maine Autism Spectrum Disorders Development Project to assess
  • the prevalence and nature of autism in Maine
  • Aunts and uncles and their relationship with nieces and nephews
  • Contexts, causes, and consequences of women faculty's advancement, recruitment, and retention at UMaine
  • Hazing on college campuses
  • Kinesiology: Aerobic capacity in 17 schools across Maine; and, in partnership with Logan Chiropractic University, research on sophisticated gait measurements with implications for athletes with concussions



Maine Black Bears logo
Main article: Maine Black Bears

The University of Maine participates in the NCAA's Division I level,[60] and is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association for football,[61] Hockey East for ice hockey,[62] and the America East Conference for all other sports.[63] The school has won two national championships, both in men's ice hockey. In 1993, they defeated Lake Superior State University 5-4 behind a third period hat trick by Jim Montgomery. In 1999, they defeated rival University of New Hampshire 3-2 in overtime on a goal by Marcus Gustafsson.[64]

In 1965, the football team competed in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida against East Carolina. They were beaten in the game 31-0,[65] but remain the only team from Maine to compete in a bowl contest.

The baseball team has participated in seven College World Series, six of them under coach John Winkin between 1976 and 1986, and one under Jack Butterfield in 1964. The Black Bears achieved two third-place finishes in 1964 and 1982.

Although the official fight song of UMaine is "For Maine", the school song is the more-known, "Stein Song". Written by Lincoln Colcord (words) and E. A. Fenstad (music), the tune rose to fame when Rudy Vallée arranged the current version. Vallee attended Maine from 1921–1922 before transferring to Yale, and his popularity helped make the song a national favorite. To this day, the "Stein Song" remains the only college fight song to ever reach number one on the pop charts, achieving this distinction in 1930.[66] According to College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology, by Studwell and Schueneman, the "Stein Song" is one of the very best fight songs of all time.[67]

In addition to varsity athletics, the university offers many club sports through its Campus Recreation department. Sport clubs represent UMaine by competing against teams and clubs from other universities and colleges. National governing bodies for each club provide competition guidelines and league structure.

Sport clubs are student led and student administered. Each has a budget that is run through Campus Recreation, which in part funds nearly all clubs. Clubs are eligible for funding through Campus Recreation after they have been active for at least one year and have a membership minimum of ten members. Current club sports include alpine skiing, baseball, crew, cricket, cycling, fast pitch softball, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, nordic skiing, roller hockey, rugby, shotokan karate, soccer, table tennis, tackle football, ultimate, and volleyball.[68]

The Men's club lacrosse team received the Jeff Tweedie award through the University for outstanding team standing and club leadership for the Spring season of 2012. They play in the Pioneer Conference Lacrosse League of the MCLA.

Notable alumni[edit]

Arts, literature, humanities, and entertainment[edit]


Business, construction, and service[edit]

Science and engineering[edit]


Ambulance Service[edit]

One of the University of Maine's ambulances.

The University of Maine operates the "University Volunteer Ambulance Corps," an Ambulance service licensed by the State of Maine. The service is operated by students and staff of the University. UVAC's ambulances are available to respond to emergencies on campus and also provide mutual aid to surrounding towns and agencies. The service ensures a licensed Emergency Medical Technician is sent on every call. The service has two ambulances both equipped to provide Paramedic Level care. UVAC responds to approximately 500 calls per school year.[71]


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External links[edit]