FARMINGTON — A few thousand people endured two rain showers on Saturday morning during the University of Maine at Farmington’s outdoor commencement ceremony.

Following a rousing rendition of the national anthem by UMF students Amanda L. Harvey and Marc T. Bisson, UMF President Kathryn A. Foster gave a welcoming speech.

“Class of 2013, this celebration in your honor signals the beginning, the commencement of your personal, professional and academic futures,” Foster said. “The degree that you receive today is an achievement that no one can take away from you.”

Foster said that of the 456 graduates, 21 earned master’s degrees; 52 percent earned Bachelor of Science degrees, 42 percent earned Bachelor of Arts degrees and 6 percent earned either a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of General Studies degree.

Twenty-nine graduated with two majors.

“One-hundred-and-eleven of you — roughly a quarter of the class — will graduate with a minor, 10 of you with two minors, and a remarkable two of you — you know who you are — with three minors,” Foster said.

Additionally, four graduates earned not only two majors. but also two baccalaureate degrees.

Foster said that roughly four in five graduates came from a Maine hometown.

Of the class, 15 early-childhood educators from across Maine are the first graduates in UMF’s new hybrid online Master of Science in Education Early Childhood degree program.

The UMF program was created in 2011 to give educators working in the field access to a quality graduate educational opportunity while still offering them the flexibility that an online program can provide. Seventy percent of the UMF program is offered online.

Senior class speaker Timothy J. Grivois of Norfolk, Mass., used anecdotes from his life to underscore the value of the accomplishments of the many over the recognition of the few.

“I stand here proud today, not because of anything that I have done,” Grivois said, “but for what we have done and for what we can and will do.”

He said that several weeks ago, he student-taught a class at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. He said he had just finished grading a test when one of his students approached him and asked what she earned on it.

“I informed her that she got the highest grade in the class and that she should be proud,” Grivois said. “She was quick to deflect the credit, citing classmates as having helped her study and providing her with valuable test-taking strategies.

“And then she said something that blew me away: ‘Mr. Grivois, I really don’t think it’s about me. I want all of us to do well, so that we know nobody did it alone.'”

Grivois said he will stay in Maine after graduation to teach high school.

Foster and Daniel P. Gunn, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, conferred honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters to Barbara W. Woodlee and William Wegman.

Woodlee recently retired as president of Kennebec Valley Community College after 30 years. Wegman is a pioneering video artist, conceptualist, photographer, painter and writer best-known for the photographs and videos of his beloved Weimaraner dogs.

Both offered advice to the graduates. Wegman, the keynote speaker, expounded on his education from high school through college.

He said he was known by his relatives as “Billy the artist,” but what he really wanted to do was play hockey and go fishing.

Wegman said he visited Rangeley in the late 1970s and fell in love with it.

“It is indeed a muse,” he said. “It is my favorite place to work. Maine is where I got the nerve to start painting again. And now, I paint and play hockey, which is what I wanted to do before I went to college.

“What got me back to hockey and paintings may seem a strange route in retrospect, but it was all interesting,” he said.

[email protected]

Upcoming high school graduations:

Central Maine Christian Academy: Sunday, May 19, South Lewiston
Baptist Church, 2 p.m.

Buckfield High School: Saturday, June 8, at the school, 6 p.m.

Dirigo High School: Friday, June 7, at the school, 6 p.m.

Edward Little High School: Saturday June 1, Colisee, 7:30 p.m.

Fryeburg Academy: Sunday, May 26, at the school, 2 p.m.

Gray-New Gloucester: Saturday, June 15, Colisee, 7 p.m.

Hebron Academy: Saturday, May 25, at the school, 10:30 a.m.

Leavitt Area High School: Sunday, June 2, Colisee, 3 p.m.

Lewiston High School: Friday, May 31, Colisee, 7 p.m.

Lisbon High School: Sunday, June 2, Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham, 2 p.m.

Maranacook High School: Sunday, June 9, at the school, 1 p.m.

Monmouth Academy: Sunday, June 9, at the school, 2 p.m.

Mountain Valley High School: Thursday, June 6, Puiia Gym, 6 p.m.

Mt. Abram High School: Friday, June 7, at the school, 7 p.m.

Mt. Blue High School: Saturday, June 8, at the school, 11 a.m.

Oak Hill High School: Monday, June 10, Augusta Civic Center, 7 p.m.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School: Saturday, June 8, Gouin Athletic Complex, 7 p.m.

Poland Regional High School: Sunday, June 2, at the school, 4 p.m.

Rangeley High School: Saturday, June 8, at the school, 2 p.m.

Spruce Mountain South: Saturday, June 8, at the school, 7 p.m.

Spruce Mountain North: Sunday, June 9, at the school, 1 p.m.

St. Dominic Academy: Friday, May 24, at the school, 6:30 p.m.

Telstar Regional High School: Friday, June 14, at the school, 7 p.m.

Winthrop High School: Sunday, June 9, at the school, 2 p.m.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.