UMF Kicks Off Year-long 150th Anniversary Celebration with Charter Day Commemoration, Oct. 9

Maine Governor Paul LePage to Speak at Festivities

FARMINGTON, ME (September 30, 2013)—
The University of Maine at Farmington kicks-off its year-long 150th Anniversary Celebration with a Charter Day commemoration on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. The day long festivities are free and open to the public and are in observance of the 1863 signing of the University’s charter by the Maine Legislature—making UMF the first public institution of higher education in Maine.

“We are so excited to invite the public to join us for this remarkable celebration of UMF and the path it’s forged for public higher education in Maine,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. “UMF has served as a model of academic excellence, student success and strong town-gown relations for 150 years. It is such an honor to be sharing this moment in our history with the campus, the community and the State of Maine.”

The day’s events will begin with a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting at Rollo Pond in Abbott Park on the UMF campus.  Foster will speak on the valuable partnership between UMF and Farmington while unveiling a student community service project that recently revitalized the widely-used campus and community space.

At 11:35 a.m., the church bells of Farmington’s “Old South” First Congregational Church and Henderson Memorial Baptist Church will call students, faculty, staff and community members to the 11:45 a.m. Charter Day ceremony. There, Foster will be joined by local and state dignitaries on the front steps of historic Merrill Hall. Craig Larrabee, UMF class of 1992 and CEO of Jobs for Maine’s Graduates will serve as master of ceremonies.

150 years-to-the-day since the original charter was signed, the commemorative event will feature remarks by a number of honorable dignitaries including, Paul LePage, Maine governor; Carlene Tremblay, state office representative for U.S. Senator Collins; Tom Saviello, Maine senator; Ryan Low, UMF class of 1997 and UMS executive director of governmental and external affairs; Paul Mills, Farmington attorney and local historian and Gerald Cayer, UMF class of 1985 and executive vice president of the Franklin Community Health Network.

Immediately following the ceremony, the public is invited to a campus and community picnic lunch at the Emery Community Arts Center. Later that afternoon, the UMF class of 2014 will commemorate the 150th Anniversary with the burying of a time capsule on the lawn of Merrill Hall—the site of the original Farmington State Normal School.

A reception filled with vibrant art and performances will begin that evening at 5 p.m. at the UMF Art Gallery and the Emery Community Arts Center. “About Then,” the UMF Art Gallery exhibit, portrays the 150-year history of UMF through photographs, artifacts, video, sound and performance. It is curated by Sarah Maline, UMF associate professor of art.

“About Now,” in the Emery Community Arts Center, features works by UMF alumni, students and projects by current classes in a variety of mediums. Curated by Kate Randall, UMF associate professor of art, this exhibit presents diverse interpretations of the show’s three themes, exploring such subjects as relationships in the UMF community, the progress of women’s equality in the world and rural poverty.

Appetizers and beverages will be served.

For more information on UMF’s 150th Anniversary Celebration and event details, please visit UMF’s Sesquicentennial website at

UMF’s Sesquicentennial Celebration is supported in part by the generous donations of area businesses and organizations including Franklin Savings Bank, at the Doctorate Level; Sunday River, at the Master’s Level; and Hight Chevrolet Buick GMC, Kyes Insurance, Shiretown Insurance Agency, University Credit Union and Unity Foundation at the Bachelor’s Level.

More About the History of the University of Maine at Farmington

The school was first established as the Western State Normal School by the Maine State Legislature on October 9, 1863. It officially opened on August 24, 1864, and was dedicated to educating future teachers. In 1889, it became the Farmington State Normal School and built its long-standing reputation on the vision and determination of its leaders and the scholarship and citizenship of its students.

The school would go on to grow and change, weather two world-wars, expand the degrees it offered and undergo several name changes. In 1971, it became the University of Maine at Farmington, a school that today continues its 150-year tradition of providing a quality public liberal arts education in the arts and sciences, teacher education, pre-professional programs and helping all students to be successful.

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Media contact: Shelby Childs, UMF assistant to the president, at or 207-778-7256

EDITOR’S NOTE: Photo can be found at
Photo Credit: UMF photo