University of Maine at Fort Kent
|President||Wilson G. Hess|
|Location||Fort Kent, Maine, USA
|Campus||Rural, 54 acres (22 ha)|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
Located in Fort Kent in the Saint John Valley (Vallée St. Jean) region of northern Maine, the university is part of the seven-member University of Maine System. It currently has an enrollment of 1,072 students. The Saint John Valley region is close to the border with New Brunswick and Quebec. The area is a center of French American culture, and the majority of adults in the region are bilingual in French and English.
On February 21, 1878, Governor Selden Connor signed an act establishing a teachers' school in the northern border region of the state (then known as the Madawaska territory) in an effort to Americanize the French settlers of the area. This became known as the Madawaska Training School. The institution held its first classes on September 30, 1878.
In 1955 the name was changed to Fort Kent Normal School to more accurately reflect its location. The name would change three more times, beginning in 1961 to become Fort Kent State Teachers College and then Fort Kent State College. The institution adopted its current name in 1970.
UMFK has for many years been host to an annual Fiddlers Jamboree where it is often standing-room-only as hundreds of people gather to hear more than 40 fiddlers, guitarists, banjo pickers, drummers and accordion players from both sides of the U.S./Canadian border. The event draws members of the New Brunswick Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame, and is an important complement to the Acadian Archives at UMFK.
The university offers academic programs in:
- Associate of Arts in General Studies
- Associate of Science in Forest Technology
- Associate of Science in Information Security
- Bachelor of Arts (majors in English and French)
- Bachelor of Science (majors in behavioral science, biology, business, computer applications, electronic commerce, elementary education, rural public safety administration, secondary education - bilingual education, secondary education - English/drama/language arts, secondary education - mathematics, and social science field)
- Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of University Studies
Jeffrey Dubis, an instructor at UMFK's applied forest management program, has designed an online Wood Identification Study Guide for Applied Forest Management Students, now in its second edition.
UMFK is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) in all sports except for alpine skiing, which is governed by the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association. The university was previously a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Sunrise Athletic Conference until the conference disbanded in 2011. The university has varsity teams in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. The university also has a number of intramural teams. The varsity men's soccer team won the USCAA National Championship in 2010 and was runner up at 2013 tournament, with the varsity women's soccer team winning consecutive USCAA National Championships in 2010, 2011 and again in 2013, and 2014. The UMFK women's soccer team also finished as the runner-up in the 2012 USCAA National Championship Tournament. The UMFK men's soccer team produced professional soccer player Matt Dunn, who plays for NYCFC.
In 2002, UMFK signed an agreement with the United States Biathlon Association allowing the USBA to nominate up to five biathletes for a UMFK scholarship program which allows them to attend the university at the Maine in-state tuition rate and gives them access to the university's training facilities. The agreement was also aimed at training possible Olympic contestants at the university.
UMFK also assists with the organization of Biathlon events hosted at the nearby 10th Mountain Ski Center such as the 2005, and upcoming 2009 IBU Biathlon World Cup, March 12-15, 2009, the only U.S. venue on the IBU’s 2008/09 schedule. The 2009 event is expected to host nearly 300 world-class athletes and coaches, draw hundreds of spectators to the Saint John Valley, and capture a worldwide television audience for the three-day competition.
Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race
UMFK promotes new learning experiences, such as when members of the UMFK men’s soccer team from Jamaica, Trinidad, and South Africa volunteered at the start of the Can-Am Crown International Sled Dog Race in March 2009. For many of the players, it was the first time they had ever seen snow, a sled dog, or a competitive distance race.
- "Quick Facts." University of Maine at Fort Kent. Retrieved on November 18, 2011.
- "French" University of Maine at Fort Kent.
- "Academic Programs." University of Maine at Fort Kent. Retrieved on November 18, 2011.
- "History of the University." University of Maine at Fort Kent.
- Bayly, Julia. “Hundreds flock to fiddle jamboree”, Bangor Daily News. February 22, 2009. Accessed 2009-03-07.
- Acadian Archives, UMFK. Accessed 2009-03-07.
- Jeffrey Dubis. "Wood Identification Study Guide for Forest Technology Students" (2d ed).
- Julia Bayly. "UMFK instructor's wood ID site goes global: Taking hits from Asia, Europe, online guide details woods through characteristics" (February 23, 2009) Bangor Daily News.
- Mahoney, Larry (June 17, 2011). "UMFK, UMPI, UMM leave NAIA for new association". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
- "Athletics." University of Maine at Fort Kent.
- "UMFK and U.S. Biathlon Association sign letter of understanding that will benefit student athletes" (press release) (December 11, 2002). University of Maine at Fort Kent.
- "Upcoming 'Festival at Fort Kent' and U.S. Olympic biathlon team trials topic of UMFK community breakfast." Press release, (November 15, 2005), UMFK. Accessed 2009-03-06.
- "UMFK Professor, Foundation Director, to lead trip to Italy for World Cup biathlon event." Press release, (January 11, 2008), UMFK. Accessed 2009-03-07.
- Bayly, Julia. “Can-Am sled dog race creates new fans among volunteers: UMFK athletes from tropical climes lend a hand.” Bangor Daily News. March 1, 2009. Accessed 2009-03-07.