USM graduation

PORTLAND – Victoria Rowell, who grew up in foster care in Portland and went on to dance professionally and act in TV and films, will be the speaker at the University of Southern Maine’s 126th commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, in the Cumberland County Civic Center

Rowell will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters for her commitment to social justice with respect to foster children and youth.

Bob Ludwig, of Gateway Mastering and DVD, Portland, audio mastering engineer in the music recording industry, will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his contributions to his field.

In recognition of significant professional achievement and a strong commitment to public service, distinguished achievement awards will be presented to Madeleine G. Corson and Wallace H. Nutting, General, U.S. Army (Ret.).

The class of 1956, in honor of their 50th reunion, will have 27 representatives joining the procession of graduates marching in the ceremony.

Writers’ conference

BOOTHBAY HARBOR – The fourth writers’ conference and workshop in honor of Rachel Carson will be held at the Spruce Point Inn from June 13 to 16. The theme will be “Wilderness/Wildness” and will feature the work of Henry David Thoreau. Writers, educators and the interested public are invited.

The keynote address will be delivered by Lawrence Buell, author of “Literary Transcendentalism,” “New England Literary Culture” and other books.

The program will include several other speakers, a slide presentation and photography workshop by Will Richard; an exhibit of Howard Frech pen and ink sketches by Rachel Carson scholar, John Juriga; writing workshops led by David Franke and Steven J. Holmes; a poetry presentation by Jeffrey Thomson; and a reading by members of the Western Massachusetts Mountain Writers.

In addition, there will be guided activities. For details and registration information, visit

Stop hunger

AUGUSTA – The first annual Walk to Stop Hunger was held April 29 at the UMA Fitness Trails, attracting approximately 150 walkers and raising more than $14,000 to benefit ending hunger programs across Kennebec County.

The walk was sponsored by Maine State Credit Union and the University of Maine at Augusta. More than 40 local organizations and individuals donated time, products or services to support the event.

The money raised will be distributed to hunger organizations in Kennebec County through the Maine Credit Union Campaign for Ending Hunger network. Each walker donated a non-perishable food item in lieu of a registration fee, which will be distributed to food pantries in the Augusta area.

Retirees to meet

AUGUSTA – The Maine Association of Retirees annual meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24, at the Augusta Civic Center. Registration, coffee and music all start at 8 a.m. The annual meeting will run from 9 a.m. and will include lunch. Call 800-535-6555 to register. Entry fee is $2.

Seeking families

RICHMOND – ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is seeking local host families for boys and girls from countries around the world. The students, ages 15 to 18, will come for the high school year or semester.

They will arrive from their home country shortly before school begins and return at the end of the school year or semester. Each student speaks good English, is fully insured, brings his or her own personal spending money and expects to bear his or her share of household responsibilities, as well as being included in normal family activities and lifestyles.

Families may select the youngster of their choice from extensive student applications, family photos and biographical essays.

To become a host family or find out more about ASSE and its program, call New England Coordinator Joyce McKenney at 737-4666 or 1-800-677-2773.

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