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The University of Maine is located in the town of Orono, along the banks of the Stillwater River. Designated Maine's land-grant university and sea-grant college, it is the state's main research and graduate institution, offering educational, research, and public-service programs.
UMaine offers a wide range of degree programs from the baccalaureate level through the doctorate, supports research, provides advanced training, and educates the next generation of teachers and researchers.
The institution was founded in 1868 as the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, under the provisions of the Morrill Act approved by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The school became co-educational in 1872. In 1897, the college was renamed the University of Maine.
A separate graduate school was founded in 1923. Other colleges launched included the School of Education in 1930 and the School of Business Administration in 1958.
The University of Maine offers 88 bachelor's, 64 master's, and 25 doctoral programs. It boasts a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, physical sciences, natural resources, teacher education, wood science, marine science, education, nutrition science, business, and human resources.
The university features one of the nation's oldest and most-prestigious Honors College programs. UMaine is home to the Maine Business School, the largest business school in the state.
The Fogler Library's collection is the largest in the state and is ranked among the top in the country.
University of Maine - History
The University of Maine Art Collection was established in 1946 under the leadership of Vincent Hartgen. As the initial faculty member of the Department of Art and curator of the Art Collection, Hartgen’s goal was to provide the people of Maine with significant opportunities to experience and learn about the visual arts and their diverse histories and cultural meanings.
In the early 1980s the University Art Collection became the University of Maine Museum of Art. Through the cooperative effort and vision of the City of Bangor and the University of Maine, the museum relocated in December 2002 to downtown Bangor where it has taken on a new role as a regional fine arts center. The facility was designed by the Boston firm, Ann Beha Architects, an now occupies the first floor of Norumbega Hall, a historic downtown building that formerly housed a department store. The Bangor facility, while allowing the museum to showcase a greater proportion of its collection, also enhances the burgeoning arts scene of the region’s largest city.
The Museum of Art remains the only institution owned by the citizens of the State of Maine to house a permanent fine arts collection – one which has grown to a stature that makes it a nucleus in the state for historic and contemporary art. Consisting of more than 4,000 original works of art, the collection is particularly strong in American mid-20th century works on paper. Contemporary highlights of the collection include works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, and Edward Burtynsky. Additionally, the museum’s permanent collection celebrates the long heritage of Maine art and artists including works by artists such as Berenice Abbott, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, John Marin, Carl Sprinchorn, and Andrew Wyeth. In addition to making the University’s collection more accessible to the public, the downtown location enables the museum to expand its educational programs beyond the confines of the Orono campus.
The Museum of Art hosts an annual calendar of exhibitions featuring contemporary artists and ideas. Among the museum’s educational offerings are art camps for children, lectures, special events, family programming, educational classes, and workshops for adults.
University of Maine - History
Sharing the building space with other academic departments was the norm in the early years of the campus library. In 1868 the campus had “the nucleus of a library” which was housed in a single room in Fernald Hall along with the chemical laboratory. Ezekiel Holmes, a proponent for Maine agriculture, and Abner Coburn, Governor and President of the Board of Trustees, were early benefactors.
By 1888, the library was moved to considerably larger quarters in Coburn Hall which had just been completed. The collection housed in two rooms then consisted of 4,000 volumes which for the first time were catalogued, classified and arranged to make them more readily available to the campus community. In 1890, Miss Harriet Converse Fernald became the first trained librarian at the college as the library headed into a “period of development” as it emerged from a “pioneer period”. The need for periodicals for the collection was recognized and by 1896 they numbered 97.
A course in Library Economy was introduced to the curriculum in 1894 and at this time the librarian recommended addressing the lack of literature books. From 1897 to 1905, the collection and usage by students and faculty grew significantly, requiring more space and more staff. Additional accommodations were found in Coburn when the university offices moved to Alumni Hall in 1900. By 1904, however, the continued growth required packing of seldom used materials and lack of shelving space was a critical issue. So it was in 1905 that the gift of $50,000 from Mr. Andrew Carnegie was well timed and led to building the first edifice whose primary purpose was to support library services at the college.
The Carnegie Chapter
Andrew Carnegie is widely known and appreciated for his contributions to the development of public libraries in the United States. Between 1893 and 1919 he and his corporation provided over $41 million to build 1,689 public libraries in the United States. By 1919, the year that the last grant was made, Carnegie had, in fact, built more than one half of all the public libraries in this country. What is less well known is that he also funded academic library buildings.
The University of Maine’s library building was one of 108 U.S. academic libraries built with funding from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation. As was the case with public libraries, by1910 Carnegie had funded the construction of over one half of the total number of the college libraries ever built in the U.S. Carnegie Hall on the University of Maine campus is one of Maine’s five academic and 18 public “Carnegie libraries.”
Present and Future
In 1963, the library became a regional depository site for government documents and a new addition was soon in order and completed in 1974 to accommodate a further 250,000 volumes. In 1995, the Library Annex was built on the south end of campus and half of the space committed to storage before the doors opened in early 1996. Climate control in this new facility enabled the University to compete successfully for the Cohen Archives which are housed there along with selected Special Collections materials, government documents, early Dewey classed monographs and pre-1936 periodicals.
Today, the library’s collections consist of over 3.6 million volumes and provides access to 615,000 e-books, 104,000 online serials, 380 online databases, and 154,000 media titles. With the rapidly changing needs of our faculty and students, the library continues to explore and offer a variety of technology and services geared toward the digital age.
School of Forest Resources
In 1902 the Maine legislature granted money for “public education in forestry.” The $2,500 they granted was managed by the forest commissioner of the state and was used to start a Department of Forestry at the University of Maine. The first year of the program Samuel Newton Spring, a fresh graduate of Yale University, became the first professor of Forestry at the University of Maine.
From 1910 to 1919 the department saw huge increases in enrollment until the first World War. Following the war, enrollments increased once again. Funding limited the growth of the department throughout this decade. In 1910 the Forestry Department moved to the newly constructed agriculture building (Winslow Hall). Professor John Briscoe led for the duration of this time period. The first summer camp was held in 1913 at Indian Township, Maine, and Xi Sigma Pi (Gamma Chapter) was established for honor students in Forestry on March 31, 1917.
During the 1920s, Professor John Briscoe continued to lead the department with increasing enrollments, especially with the return of veterans from the first World War. In 1923 the first winter camp was held at Indian Township, Maine. 1923 was also the year of the first publication of the yearbook – THE MAINE FORESTER. By 1927 the Forestry department became the 3rd largest on the campus of UMaine. In 1928, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the department, Professor Briscoe mailed a survey card to all 186 living alumni. A resounding 86% responded, with many writing letters of appreciation to him after soliciting their input and suggestions to make the department stronger. Finally, in 1929 the University took over funding and management of the department.
The 1930s brought many changes for the Forestry program. In 1931 the first permanent winter camp was established at Indian Township, ME. In 1933 Dwight Demeritt () returned to head the department after John Briscoe tragically drowned in the Stillwater River. The Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit was established with C.M. Aldous as leader in 1935. The wildlife conservation curriculum was established the following year in 1936.
In 1937 the Society of American Foresters accredited the Forestry Department for the first time, and in 1938 the first Master of Science degree was conferred (Wildlife Management). The University acquires land from the U.S. Government, that became the University Forest, through the Bankhead-Jones Act of 1939.
Again war decimated the forestry department during the 1940s, with enrollment dropping to near 0 during its height. But during this time research was done at a level that was not possible while professors were instructing classes. During the war time era Professor Demeritt was a virtual clearinghouse of information to and from alumni and current students involved in the war. Many wrote and asked for updates on fellow students, or just to see what was going on back in Orono. He told them of other forestry men he had heard from along with information such as how much it snowed the previous winter, what everyone at the department was doing, who had recently stopped by, etc.
By 1946 Professor Demeritt took a position with the Dead River Company and Robert Ashman replaced him as head of the department. This happened just before the onslaught of returning veterans drove enrollment to levels never before seen. In an effort to deal with all the incoming and returning students, winter camp was moved to summer. In 1949 the Forestry Department moved from very cramped quarters in to the newly constructed Plant Sciences Building (Deering Hall).
During the 1950s the Forestry program celebrated its 50th anniversary (1953). The first female graduate completed the wildlife program in 1956, and in 1958 Albert Nutting () was appointed Director of the School of Forestry.
The 1960s included some very important highlights for the Forestry Program. In 1961 McIntire-Stennis legislation was created (much of which was written on the UMaine campus) became law, providing funds from the US government for research in forestry. In 1968 a new building for the School of Forest Resources (Nutting Hall) was built.
The 1970s were another historic decade in the long history of the Forestry program. In 1970 the PhD program in Forest Resources was approved. 1972 saw Dr. Fred Knight () named Director of Forest Resources after A.D. Nutting retired in 1971. 1974 was the final year of forestry field activity on Indian Township, ME by the University of Maine. The Cooperative Forestry Research Unit (CFRU) was established in 1975. In 1976 the final summer camp was held at Princeton. The 75th anniversary of the Forestry Program was celebrated in 1978 with a large gathering of dignitaries.
The 1980s saw the School of Forest Resources become the College of Forest Resources with Gregory Brown named as the first Dean. In 1985 the Master of Forestry degree was introduced, and by 1986 Dr. Fred Knight () became the dean of the college.
More major changes occurred in the Forestry program during the 1990s. In 1991 Dr. Bruce Wiersma () replaced Dr. Knight as dean of the College of Forest Resources. Also in 1991 the last 2-year Forest Management Technicians class graduated. In 1993 the College was renamed and combined to form the College of Natural Resources, Forestry, and Agriculture.
The year 2003 marked the 100th anniversary of the Forestry program. This milestone was kicked off with a celebration in October, as well as with the revitalization of the Maine Forester yearbook. Also numerous upgrades were made to Nutting Hall including a redesign of the courtyard to include a great bronze sculpture (Cub Scouts) created by Forest Hart.
Communication and Journalism
Information on this page was adapted from Elizabeth Rowe’s (1952) master’s thesis, A History of Speech Education at the University of Maine 1868-1940 .
The Morrill Act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln to permit the establishing of land-grant colleges, was accepted by the Maine Legislature in 1863. Because the Civil War was still ravaging the United States, no immediate action was taken to actually found a college which would meet the terms of the Morrill Act.
At first, consideration was given to schemes for enlarging existing Bowdoin College or Colby College.
These ideas were discarded and a tract of land in Orono was deeded to the state. On that site were set up the first classrooms or the state university, and on September 21, 1868, twelve men passed the examinations for entrance to the Maine State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.
When Maine State College opened its doors in 1868, emphasis was on agricultural and engineering subjects. How different is the University of Maine today with its College of Business, Public Policy, and Health, College of Education and Human Development, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture, and Graduate Study.
Before the Departments of Speech Communication and Journalism and Mass Communication merged in 1994 to become the Department of Communication and Journalism, the two disciplines at the University of Maine underwent many changes. We have attempted to capture the look and feel of Department of Communication and Journalism as it experienced these changes over the years. Feel free to take a stroll down memory lane or to learn more about how the Department became what it is today.
1868-1897: Curricular speech work started at Maine in 1868 as a part of the course in Rhetoric. By the close of 1897, there were two course in Rhetoric and one in Declamations available through the English Department. Both President Allen and Professor Estabrooke were emphasizing the need for more instruction in this field.
1897-1920: In a period of 23 years, Public Speaking courses at the University of Maine made great strides. In 1897, only three courses were available in the Department of English, but in 1919, 12 courses were available in the Department of Public Speaking. It was in 1902 that the first course designated as “Public Speaking” was held, and four years later the first instructor in Public Speaking was on the staff of the English Department. The Fall of 1915 had seen the opening of a Department of Public Speaking, and after a lapse of one year during the war, the department re-opened with more courses than before. In 1919-1920, there were 1,213 students attending the University of Maine, approximately four times as many as in 1897.
1920-1935: Professor Mark Bailey arrived at the University of Maine in 1920. He taught eight courses including dramatic reading and play production. The Department of Public Speaking was divided into two divisions: Speaking Courses and Courses in Expression. Courses offered dealing with Journalism remained under the Department of English. Journalism courses included History of Journalism, Newspaper Ethics and Principles and Journalistic Composition.
1935-1950: Courses normally found under the Department of English were temporarily omitted from 1942-1946. The Department of Speech Established was established in 1939. Courses offered dealing with Journalism fell under the Department of English Literature and Composition. Professor Coggeshall taught five courses. By 1948, the Department of Journalism was established and Professor Jordan taught all courses offered. The Department of Speech offered both a speech and a theatre major. The Department offered courses in public speaking, theatre, radio, speech corrections, interpretation, and general speech.
Internships – Real-World Experience
At UMF you can find out, first-hand, what it’s like to work in the History field while you learn valuable career skills and develop a strong network of professional contacts.
Here’s a short list of where our History students have recently interned:
- Washburn-Norlands Living History Center
- Farmington Historical Society
- Maine State Archives
Many History students also participate in history-related, student-run organizations such as The History Club and Phi Alpha Theta (a National Honor Society devoted to promoting the study of History).
Office of Admissions
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938-1994
TYY (via Maine Relay Service) dial 711
- Medieval Europe
- American Presidents
- US Women's History
- History of Children in America
- Cold War America
The University of Maine at Farmington is a liberal arts college and every student — in every major — will take courses in the Arts, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
Serving families and communities pursuing passions connecting with like-minded people
Effective Tuesday, September 1, 2020:
University of Maine Cooperative Extension buildings are currently open to the public on a limited basis following UMaine guidance and protocols. Please check this site for updates or feel free to call the office for updated information and specific guidance in regards to visiting a UMaine Extension facility.
For contact information for your local county UMaine Extension office, visit the County Offices page.
This collection includes several books, pamphlets and documents related to Maine History that are now in the public domain that have been digitized by Raymond H. Fogler Library. Several early town histories have also been included in this series. In some cases, a link to full text access has been provided rather than a downloadable file, particularly if the electronic version was originally made available by an institution other than Fogler Library.
In addition, the series includes contemporary papers and articles related to the state's history written by University of Maine faculty, staff, alumni/ae, students and Friends of Fogler Library.
For more information about these materials or about submitting to the collection, please contact the Special Collections Department, 5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 04469-5729
College of Engineering
The University of Maine’s engineering alumni have played key roles in designing and building America’s infrastructure, ranging from the Hoover Dam and the Colorado Aqueduct to the software that makes cellular phone technology possible. Maine engineers are inventors responsible for technological advances that shape our daily lives – how we communicate, work, raise our children, build and heat our homes, entertain our neighbors, and travel.
The men and women of Maine Engineering have created and led companies of all sizes, with a client base that extends around the globe.
The engineering profession has a dramatic impact on the quality of life which we enjoy. Engineers have the capability to improve the human condition worldwide. From addressing the causes and consequences of global climate change, to the creation of alternative biofuels, UMaine research innovations and engineering applications will continue to shape the way we live. – Richard Fox ‘68, President, CDM International, Inc.
A look back at our history shows over 150 years of engineering excellence.
The University of Maine was established as the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts under the provisions of the Morrill Act, approved by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. In 1897 the original name changed to the University of Maine. The institution opened Sept. 21, 1868 with 13 students admitted that fall.
By 1871, curricula had been organized in Agriculture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and electives. From these courses of study there gradually 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. 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 Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station was founded as a division of the University in 1887. In 1912 the Maine Cooperative Extension, which offers field educational programs for both adults and youths, was initiated. 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. The Summer Session as a separate entity dates from 1902. The Winter Session began in the 1997-98 academic year. A Continuing Education Division offers evening and Saturday courses from the several curricula. Non-credit courses of general adult interest are also made available from the University of Maine.
In 1980 the federal government designated the University of Maine as a Sea Grant College under a program conducted with the University of New Hampshire. In 2004, UMaine received that designation for its own program, according to the provisions of the National Sea Grant College Program Act.
History of UMA Distance Education
A Pioneer in Distance Education
UMA has been a pioneer in providing higher education to students at a distance, from the very first courses broadcast via ITV to today’s highly interactive online courses.
For many, it is hard to remember a time when information could not be accessed, literally, in the palm of your hand. A time before smartphones and PCs, when Facebook and Instagram were not part of a world wide web connected citizenry. Thirty years ago, UMA, with University of Maine System support, was on the cusp of this technological movement with a goal of reshaping access to higher education across the state of Maine and beyond.George Connick (center) gets personal tour of ITV control room in Augusta from Director Fred Hurst and technician, 1989.
The University of Maine System has gone high-tech to bring college to every corner of the 33,000-square-mile state…There are similar programs in other parts of the country, but none is as extensive or covers a state as thoroughly as Maine’s.
What were the first ITV courses at UMA like?
Temporarily, there was a public broadcast channel where students could tune in and watch a course from home. These broadcasts did not have the same interactive capabilities that were available when watching from an ITV location.
In the early years of ITV, students were able to tune in to their courses at their local center or receive site at the scheduled time. Staff at each location were responsible for recording a copy of the class on a VHS tape. This required vigilance to know when to take out a full tape, replace it with a fresh one, and hit “record” once more.
In special cases, students could reserve a time to come in and watch a recorded class if they were unable to attend the live session. Students could not borrow a tape to bring home and watch, because there were often multiple students who needed to access this single VHS tape. Attendance records were kept meticulously by staff members, who would write down the student’s name, date, and exactly how long they spent watching the recorded video.
Academic Logistics was a hub of materials going back and forth. Each off-campus center and site appointed an individual to be responsible for distributing, proctoring, and collecting exams and returning them to the appropriate faculty member. When students would submit assignments, a staff member at each location would collect the assignments, stamp them with the time and date of submission, and place them into pre-paid USPS distribution envelopes. Faculty members would grade the assignments and mail them back to the students’ locations in the same manner. Over all, this process could take at least a week.
What was created in 1989 was the first statewide comprehensive distance-learning network in the United States. Educators came from all over the country to learn first-hand what we were doing.
— George Connick
What do distance courses at UMA look like today?
UMA is again leading the way with its innovate use of web-based interactive classrooms, which improve upon the original ITV design. Web conferencing enables real-time collaboration between professors and students on web-enabled devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, etc.).
Students enrolled in online courses at UMA today can expect various methods of engaging with their instructors and fellow students through the use of technology. Whether tuning in from the state of Maine, elsewhere in the United States, or internationally, the various technology UMA utilizes allows all distance students to interact, engage, learn and apply their learning in unique ways.
From pre-recorded lectures which allow students to work on their time, to live interactive video lectures and synchronous chat and video sessions, students can tailor their learning experience and engage at various levels with their instructors, classmates, and content. Our online classes work to meet the needs of our students and their varied approaches to learning.
Some classes meet weekly at a local UMA Center or site, while others hold class completely online through videoconferencing software. Many faculty members allow students who are not be able to attend at the scheduled time to participate by watching the lectures automatically recorded from class, and collaborate with classmates in BlackBoard to complete and share work. Faculty can provide feedback directly on submitted papers without ever having to print them. Audio feedback can even be attached for students to download and listen to, and quizzes and some tests may be graded instantly!
Academic Logistics still supports and coordinates proctored exams for students around Maine and the US, and submits work instantaneously to faculty for evaluation. Students have easy access to their academic advisors and can book calendar appointments online. Overall, UMA optimizes the use of various technology to meet students where they are.UMA Provost Joseph Szakas
UMA allows you to obtain quality degrees, in a flexible format regardless of location. Distance education allows the students to find balance with competing demands on time, while being able to achieve their educational goals. It was true in 1989 and it is still true today, we bring our classrooms to the students where they are.
— UMA Provost Joe Szakas
What opportunities might the future of distance learning bring to UMA?
The past 30 years have demonstrated the vital role that technology can play in delivering education outside a traditional classroom. As technology improves, so does the level of engagement between professors and students, as well as the ease of access. The potential of new technologies, such as a makerspace and a collaboratory, as well as virtual reality have yet to be examined fully and may have the promise to transform, again, the distance education experience.
What the future of distance education holds remains to be seen. However, UMA will continue to pursue cutting-edge technologies and seek opportunities to provide high quality education and student support in fulfilling its mission of making higher education accessible to those in Maine and beyond.UMA President Rebecca Wyke
UMA continues to be an institution transforming the lives of students of every age and background across the State of Maine. As the technology evolves, UMA will also evolve to provide the highest quality distance education possible.
— UMA President Rebecca Wyke
University of New England History
The University of New England has a rich and varied history, reflecting the determination, creativity, and resourcefulness of its leaders, and of the history of Maine and New England.
It is a wonderful story beginning with Franciscan monks on the banks of the Saco River in 1939 who formed the College Seraphique, a high school and junior college to educate boys of Quebecois decent. In 1952, the institution became a four-year liberal arts college called St. Francis College. As the College struggled financially in the late ‘70’s, necessity and opportunity met in the form of the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College of Osteopathic Medicine was opened on the campus of St. Francis and the two became the University of New England in 1978.
In 1996, there became another opportunity for growth for UNE. Westbrook College, founded in 1831 as Westbrook Seminary, located in Portland, was experiencing similar financial and enrollment difficulties as St. Francis had in the ’70s. Westbrook College merged with UNE, bringing with it a long history and dedicated alumni body.
The story of UNE continues with every graduating class. With three distinctive campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine, and Tangier, Morocco, and five unique colleges — the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Westbrook College of Health Professions, College of Dental Medicine, and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies — the next chapter will certainly be an interesting one.