FARMINGTON — A video featuring students, faculty and staff at the University of Maine at Farmington and set to the popular song “Happy” is getting lots of views online.

It’s mostly about fun, creator Abraham Turcotte, a UMF senior from Portland, said.

They dance. They clap. They sing. And the world is watching.

The video was posted on YouTube at 5 p.m. Thursday, Turcotte said. In less than 24 hours, the number of views was quickly rising.  

By midafternoon Friday, the video on the UMF Facebook page had reached 40,000 views, with another 9,000 views on YouTube. The number watching on Turcotte’s Facebook page numbered 23,000, he said.

Students interrupted his studies Friday to congratulate him on his work.


UMF alumni are responding with nostalgia and fond reminiscence of their days on campus. Prospective students who were considering UMF are expressing more desire to attend after viewing the video, Stephen Milligan, a website designer in Alumni Services, said.

Other campuses have undertaken videos set to the song, “Happy,” released in January by Pharrell Williams, Turcotte said.

After seeing those, he thought one at UMF could be better.

It took two weeks of planning and another week to shoot, plus time for editing, he said. The video covers scenes from around the campus with about 122 students involved.

Even UMF President Kathryn Foster makes a cameo appearance, leading a group of dancers down the hall of the Administration Building.

A few campus groups were invited to share their musical talents. The Clefnotes, a campus a cappella group, and Bust-A-Move Beavers, a dance club, were awesome, Turcotte said.


Other students responded to invitations on his Facebook page to participate without practice or choreography. Some were just randomly approached and asked to dance, he said.

Turcotte, who’s majoring in recreation business administration, works on campus with Thomas Donaghue, creative specialist, senior writer in the department of enrollment and marketing.

Donaghue and Milligan gave their support and wisdom to the project.

“It was his video,” Milligan said. “We offered information as he needed and shared our knowledge.”

This was Turcotte’s capstone project from his undergraduate work in marketing, he said.

He had developed experience in creating videos and editing before starting this project.

He’s preparing to graduate from UMF on May 17 and seeks work in marketing, he said.

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