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April Mulherin
Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: (207) 778-7081
Cell: (207) 491-0064
TDD: (207) 778-7000
april.mulherin@maine.edu

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University of Maine at Farmington Announces Leading Environmentalist Bill McKibben as 2011 Commencement Speaker

Portrait of Bill McKibben, author and activist. FARMINGTON, ME (April 25, 2011)–University of Maine at Farmington will celebrate its 2011 commencement at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at an outdoor ceremony behind the UMF Olsen Student Center on the UMF campus.

Theodora J. Kalikow, UMF president, and Allen Berger, vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees to this year’s graduates, including the first graduates of UMF’s Master of Science in Education – Educational Leadership degree program.

Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist, author, and educator will deliver the UMF Commencement address. McKibben, recognized by the Boston Globe as “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist,” has written extensively about climate change and founded 350.org, a grassroots movement dedicated to help people across the globe become aware of the severe consequences of global warming to all of Earth’s inhabitants.

“As one of Princeton Review’s recently named ‘green colleges,’ UMF is thrilled to have Bill McKibben bring his passion for the environment to our new graduates,” said Kalikow. “Throughout his career, he has led by example and has committed his time and talent to a cause he cares deeply about—a wonderful inspiration for our students as they take the skills and knowledge from their experience at UMF and go forward with the next steps in their lives.”

McKibben is currently a Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, where he also directs the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. Most recently, McKibben was the keynote speaker at Power Shift, a gathering to foster leadership among the next generation of clean energy activists that attracted 5,000 young people.

The University will award honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters to McKibben and Robert Shetterly, artist, illustrator and activist. Shetterly is known for his editorial drawings for the Maine Times newspaper, prolific book illustrations and his narrative painting series, including “Americans Who Tell The Truth,” which has toured the country for more than seven years.

Jeffrey Lees, graduating senior with a double major in psychology and political science, from Vassalboro, will give the student address. Lees is an honors scholar and was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta and Psi Chi, two academic honor societies. He worked as a Gear Up tutor at Dirigo and Jay high schools and served as president of UMF Student Senate and the Table Gaming Club. Marjorie Murray Medd, member of the UMS Board of Trustees, will deliver greetings to the graduates from the University of Maine System.

Additional Event Details

The outdoor ceremony is free and open to the public. However, in case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the UMF Fitness & Recreation Center. Admission to the indoor ceremony will be limited to those who have already received “Fitness and Recreation Center” tickets. Guests of graduates are also welcome to watch the ceremony live over closed-circuit television in classrooms in the UMF Education Center and in Lincoln Auditorium and C23, located in the UMF Roberts Learning Center. The UMF Commencement ceremony will be broadcast live on Mount Blue TV community access Channel 11, whether the ceremony is held indoors or outdoors. DVDs of the ceremony will be available in early summer for a small fee from the University’s Ferro Alumni Center, which can be contacted at 207-778-7090.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find photo at http://inside.umf.maine.edu/files/2011/04/RP101-062.jpg

Photo Credit: Submitted photo