By Abbey Randall, Secretary
Excitement and chatter lined Lincoln Street as students, faculty, staff, community members and friends from afar awaited the arrival of President Foster at the 14th Presidential Inauguration at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF).
“It [Presidential Inauguration] is a rare event in the life of a university,” said President Foster. “So many visitors and guest were present and we showed ourselves off in a really positive way.”
President Foster joined UMF last year and has shown great interest in the university as well as the greater Franklin community. President Foster has been present at many student events as well as played a big role in the celebration of UMF’s 150th Anniversary.
“She has really listened and she made a real effort to take that first year to get around, learn about things and really listen,” said Robert Pederson, Director of Center for Student Development. “She really immersed herself in the culture of UMF.”
Students stood outside the Fitness and Recreation Center with signs of congratulations and even large posters with President Foster’s face printed on them, to show support for UMF’s fourteenth president.
“As I was walking down the street I thought; is that me? Is that a picture of me on those signs? I thought in a way that it gave me a feeling of great warmth,” said President Foster. “They must trust me enough to know that I would think that was great and I did think it was great, I thought it was tremendous.”
UMF was able to officially welcome President Foster into their community and showed great support at the Presidential Inauguration with remarks from Dr. James Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System, Natalie Dumont, representing the student body, Dr. Steven Quackenbush, representing the faculty of UMF, Robert Pederson, representing the professional staff, as well as many others connected to the UMF community.
“It is a big deal for UMF to have a new president, I mean she is only our fourteenth president in 150 years and that is a pretty big accomplishment for a public university,” said Natalie Dumont, a senior at UMF.
Chancellor James Page conducted the installation of President Foster presenting her with the presidential metals. Following the installation, President Foster spoke about the future of UMF, with remarks of challenges the university will face as well as the change that comes with the passing of time.
“Drawing upon the past to look to the future, being a big theme of the year,” said President Foster. “What we look for when we look into the future is that we expect to change.”
President Foster shows her passion for the university by always putting the students first and taking time to listen to the needs of the entire campus community.
“Keeping the student front and center, in mind and being most important, is what is best about us,” said President Foster.
Following the ceremony was a reception for the guests at the Emery Community Arts Center to celebrate this rare occasion that many students and community members do not experience in their lifetime.
For more information, photographs, and a full script of President Foster’s remarks at the presidential inauguration visit http://inauguration.umf.maine.edu