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Congratulations 2015 Graduates!

Saturday, May 9, 2015 - Augusta Civic Center

All of the UMA community congratulates our graduates as they achieve this milestone.  To ensure a memorable event for our graduates, their family and friends, and to answer some typical questions, graduates and their guests are strongly encouraged to read through this information.


What Graduates Need to Know


Applying for Graduation

Students who wish to apply for candidacy for graduation must file a graduation card, or use the online Candidacy for Graduation Form, by December 1 for December completions and April 1 for May and August graduation. Students should meet with their faculty advisors first to avoid any unfortunate surprises in the spring; however, students are ultimately responsible for being aware of program requirements which are published in the UMA catalog. Information is also available through the Advising Center, College Offices, Academic Advisor, or University Center.


Commencement Exercises:  Where, When, What, and Who

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, 2015.  All degree candidates must report to the Fort Western Room in the North Wing of the Augusta Civic Center by 8:45 a.m.  At that time, line up for the Exercises will begin and last-minute "marching orders" will be given.  Commencement Exercises will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.; the length of Commencement is generally 2 hours.  It is suggested that you make arrangements ahead-of-time to meet your guests after the ceremony in a pre-arranged location. Please be aware that traffic delays can occur the closer you get to the Augusta Civic Center.  Graduates and guests may want to leave earlier to arrive on time for line up and seating.  Childcare is not provided.  If you have small children attending commencement, please provide for care for them during the ceremony.

Accommodations:  UMA wants all graduates to be able to participate as fully as possible in their graduation ceremony. Accommodations are available to help meet this intent.  Please be aware that at commencement graduates often stand for long periods, and use stairs and/or a ramp to access the stage where they will be officially recognized.

Graduates who have special accommodation needs, such as wheelchair or assisted access, or require seats in view of sign language interpreters, should contact Ariel Cassista (621-3350) to make your request as soon as possible.   Accommodation requests made less than five business days in advance of commencement may not be able to be provided. 

For information on accommodations for guests, please visit the “What Guests Need to Know” tab on the UMA Commencement web page.

Commencement Speakers and Honorees


Susan Collins

Commencement Speaker

Recipient of a Doctorate in Humane Letters

First elected in 1996, Maine Senator Susan Collins is serving her fourth term in the United States Senate. Known for her work in facilitating bipartisan compromise, Senator Collins is a key leader in the U.S. Congress.

Her record demonstrates significant legislative accomplishments in such critical areas as homeland security, national defense, disaster response, education, business development, and health care. Senator Collins' accomplishments range from the repeal of a $50 billion tax break for the tobacco industry to a major overhaul of our nation’s intelligence community to make us safer from terrorism. Along with former Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Collins led the successful repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that prohibited gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in the military.

Senator Collins has also earned honors from many professional and civic groups. Senator Collins was honored by families who lost loved ones on September 11th for her work authoring the Collins-Lieberman intelligence reform legislation. The American Association of Port Authorities named Senator Collins as “Ports Person of the Year” for her work in helping to secure our nation’s ports. In addition, Senator Collins has been named “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, “Legislator of the Year” by the American Diabetes Association, and has received honors from other groups ranging from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Association to the National School Boards Association.

Senator Collins was born and raised in Caribou, Maine, where her family runs a fifth-generation lumber business, founded by her ancestors in 1844. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Lawrence University, she is married to Thomas A. Daffron and resides in Bangor.


Mary Elisabeth Randall

Distinguished Service to UMA Award

Mary Elisabeth Randall began working at UMA in 1966 one year after the school’s founding, and continued working at UMA for the next 33 years. During that time period she served in a variety of positions beginning in the Registrar’s Office and becoming Registrar in 1968. She later became UMA’s Director of Equal Opportunity, Director of Institutional Research, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Services, Executive Director of Enrollment Services and finally Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services.

When her husband Dick Randall was tapped as President of UMA in 2005, Mary Elisabeth returned to UMA and donated her time working on a number of endeavors, most notably playing a leading role in the celebration of UMA’s 45th anniversary. She was also active in organizing UMA’s commencement exercises and in establishing and playing a leadership role on UMA's Campus Community Connections Committee.

After Dick Randall's passing, Mary Elisabeth established the Richard J and Mary Elisabeth Randall Scholarship Fund.  Since creating the scholarship, Mary Elisabeth has helped to grow the fund through her own generosity and by organizing a campus walkathon each year to raise additional funds. The scholarships now supports two UMA students each year.


Bobbie Gottschalk

Distinguished Achievement Award

In 1993, Bobbie Gottschalk was approached to help to create “Seeds of Peace,” a program that would bring together teenagers from Israel and Palestine in an environment where they would learn how to resolve conflict peacefully and to develop skills in reconciliation and coexistence.

Through Bobbie’s efforts as co-founder and executive director of Seeds of Peace, she helped to establish a camp in Otisfield, Maine where 46 teenagers from Israel, Palestine and the United States attended the first summer 22 years ago.. There are now over 5,000 graduates of the program which now has its headquarters in New York City, and offices in Amman, Cairo, Gaza, Kabul, Lahore, Mumbai, Ramallah, Tel Aviv and Washington DC.

Through her persistence, persuasiveness and eloquence, Bobbie has brought together world leaders to serve on the SOP board of directors, including Senator George Mitchel, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordon, Shimon Peres of Israel and Dr. Sa’eb Erekat of Palestine.

Bobbie Gottschalk is currently a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She speaks at universities throughout the United States about her pursuit of world peace. She has been awarded the Peacemaker Award from Earlham College; the Lehrman-Pikser Professional Award for Jewish Social Services; the Reflection of Hope Award from the Oklahoma City Memorial Foundation; a Medal of Honor, presented by King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce College.

Bobbie’s personal connection to Maine began as a child, spending summers on the shores of Maranacook Lake where she is now building a year round home with her husband, Tom.


Noel March ‘90

 Distinguished Alumni Award

Noel C. March is the 39th United States Marshal for the District of Maine. President Barack Obama nominated him to this position on December 23, 2009, and he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on April 22, 2010.

As United States Marshal, Mr. March is responsible for the protection of our federal courts and judges, the investigation and apprehension of federal fugitives, the investigation of registered sex offenders, seizure and liquidation of criminal assets and support of the witness protection program. The Maine Violent Offender Task Force operates under the direction of the U.S. Marshal, as well.

He was previously the Director of Public Safety for the University of Maine and he partnered with former UMA Professor Dick Mears to found The Community Policing Institute.

Marshal March has been featured in numerous professional publications and is a 30 year decorated veteran of law enforcement in Connecticut and Maine, where he has held the ranks of Patrol Officer, Drug Unit Supervisor, and Chief Deputy Sheriff.

Public service is also an integral part of his life, sponsoring baseball camps and recruiting law enforcement to be coaches.  He has been an adjunct at UMA-Bangor, teaching community policing and is a regular guest lecturer in UMA-Bangor’s Restorative Justice class.

Noel March graduated from UMA in 1990 with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then went on to graduate from the 170th session of the FBI National Academy and the University of New England, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership. He also holds a graduate degree in Peace Studies from the University of Maine.


Jon Schlenker

Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology

In his nearly forty years at UMA, Professor Jon Schlenker held many positions at UMA, most notably as Professor of Sociology and Anthropology where it is estimated he taught over 20,000 students. Many of those students were taught through interactive TV and online, which Professor Schlenker helped to spearhead.  He continues to teach online as a part-time UMA instructor.

Professor Schlenker was also deeply involved in student life, serving twenty years as a soccer coach, for three years as Dean of Students, and for 25 years as director of the Honors Program. He also served in many other capacities, including as faculty advisor, Social Science program Coordinator, and Maine Policy Scholar

During his tenure as Director of UMA’s Honor’s Program, Professor Schlenker served two years as President of the National Collegiate Honor’s council and was a regular presenter at Honor’s conferences throughout the country.

Scholastically, Professor Schlenker earned three degrees while at UMA and wrote and co-authored four books, including the Choctaws: Cultural Evolution of a Native American Tribe. He also presented more than 59 papers and published 14 articles, including in the Community College Journal, New England Sociologist, and the Journal of National Collegiate honor’s Council.


 Andrew Breault

Student Speaker

Andrew is graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in French, which he pursued to better understand and reflect upon his Franco-American heritage.

Andrew started at UMA in the mid-1980s, but soon left school to enter the military. After retiring from the U.S. Army many years later, Andrew returned to UMA.

Shortly after his return to UMA, Andrew began getting actively involved in student life opportunities, including serving as the French Club President for two years. Andrew has also served on Go Global, and he sits on the UMA Student Conduct Committee and the Student Government Association. He volunteers in the UMA gym and community garden. He also volunteers down at the Food Pantry weekly. He has been on the Dean's List a number of times.

Andrew has 5 children and his wife, Peggy, is also a student at UMA. He and his family are also hosting a UMA French student this year.

Andrew hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree and also plans to continue at UMA for a certificate in the fall. 


 Caps and Gowns

Please visit the Graduation link on the UMA Bookstore website to order your cap and gown. Be sure to select the location where you would like to have your cap and gown delivered. Graduates' caps and gowns will be black with a blue and white tassel. Questions should be directed to the UMA Bookstore at 621-3467 or 1-800-621-0083. Graduates must have the black cap, gown, and tassel to participate in the Commencement Exercises.



Students who have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.25 or higher at the end of Fall 2014 will be honored by wearing a gold braided cord around the necks of their gowns.  Cords will be distributed during line-up.  Those students who have completed the requirements for the Honors Program may be additionally recognized by medallions.



If you completed your degree requirements as of December 2014, your degree has been mailed to you.  Students who complete their requirements as of May 2015 will have their diploma mailed to their home by the end of July.  Students completing their requirements this summer will be mailed their diploma once the grade is on their transcript.


Commencement Protocol

  • Because of the large number of folks attending Commencement, it is suggested that you make arrangements to meet your guests after the ceremony in a pre-arranged location.
  • Cell phones and pagers should be turned off.  When this is not feasible due to urgent circumstances, the device should be set to vibrate or soft tone.  Graduates should refrain from texting.
  • All graduates and their guests are asked to remain for the entire ceremony out of respect for all of the graduates.
  • Please see Commencement Protocol (under What Guests Need to Know).


Receptions (Commencement and Programs)

  1. Commencement Reception:  There will be a reception with light refreshments immediately following the ceremony on the UMA Campus Common (between the Randall Student Center and Jewett Hall).  Please join faculty, staff, guests, and your fellow graduates in this celebration. This is a five to ten-minute walk from the Civic Center or there is closer parking available in the Randall Student Center parking lot.
  2. Information and Library Services Program Reception May 8, 5:30 p.m., Katz Library
  3. President's Reception: May 8, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Danforth Gallery in Jewett Hall


Alumni Organization

Once graduated, you become an alumnus of UMA.  As an alumnus, you are eligible for many alumni benefits and discounts. Please complete the UMA Alumni Contact Form, so we can stay in contact with you after graduation. You can also join the Alumni Association or opt in to receive monthly e-newsletters Moose News. Membership the the UMA Alumni Association is free for the first year, so join  and see what we have to offer! If you're interested in getting more involved in UMA alumni activities - and we hope you are - the UMA Alumni Association has regular monthly meetings that you are welcome to attend.


Updating Your Addresses

Please be sure to notify the University of any changes in your mailing address and/or your e-mail address.  You can initiate this by contacting the UMA Enrollment Services Center at 621-3185 or 1-877-862-1234.  You can also change your address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses online by using MaineStreet.



The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  "If a student has requested that directory information not be released, no information will be released to any requestor, including insurance companies and prospective employers, without the expressed written consent of the student.  Nor will the student's name be included in the published Dean's List, student directory, commencement brochure or any other institutional publication or press release."  If a student wishes to remove this restriction, s/he must submit written authorization to the UMA Enrollment Services Center (621-3185 or 1-877-862-1234).



If coming from the south, take Interstate 95 north to exit 112.  Continue off ramp (from ramp, you will be bearing right).  At the first traffic light, turn right.  If coming from the north, take Interstate 95 south to exit 112.  At the end of the ramp, there is a light.  Take a left into the right-hand lane to continue straight.  At the third traffic light, turn right.  The Augusta Civic Center will be directly in front of you.  Facing the front of the Civic Center, the North Wing entrance is on the far right.  Graduates should enter through there; guests should enter through the main entrance of the Civic Center (middle doors).  Traffic will be heavy, so be sure to plan extra time for delays.




Traditional (non-personalized) graduation announcements are available from the UMA Bookstore on the Augusta Campus, and in the Student Life Office on the Bangor campus.  You may also purchase personalized announcements directly from Balfour, a company that offers official graduation products. 


Class Rings

UMA class rings are available through Balfour, a company that offers official graduation products.  Balfour offers many options and styles of high quality college jewelry.



The Honors Program Student Association will be selling roses at Commencement at the tables located just inside the main doors of the Civic Center.


Imprinted UMA Items

UMA Bookstore staff will be located just outside the Civic Center auditorium selling imprinted memorabilia and souvenirs to celebrate your achievements.  Items available for purchase will include diploma frames, t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, drinkware, and stuffed animals.

The UMA Bookstore, located in the Richard J. Randall Student Center, will be open on Graduation Day from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., where our full line of collegiate memorabilia will be available for purchase.


DVD of Commencement

An unedited recording (DVD) of the 2015 Commencement (after May 18) will be available through the UMA Bookstore for the cost of $20.  Price includes standard shipping within continental US.


What Guests Need to Know

Commencement Exercises:  Where, When, What, and Who

  • Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, 2015, at the Augusta Civic Center.  Guests should enter the Civic Center through the main, front doors.
  • Commencement Exercises will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.; the length of Commencement is generally 2 hours.  Guests will not be seated once the processional begins (when graduates march into the auditorium); late arrivals must wait until the processional ends.
  • Because of the size of the crowd, it is suggested that you make arrangements ahead-of-time to meet your graduate after the ceremony in a pre-arranged location.  Please be aware that traffic delays can occur the closer you get to the Augusta Civic Center.  Graduates and guests may want to leave earlier to arrive on time for line up and seating.


Commencement Protocol

The University of Maine at Augusta’s Commencement is an important, exciting, and proud day for the graduates, their families and friends, and for UMA’s faculty, administration, and staff.  It is the University’s desire that the tone of the commencement ceremony be one of honor, respect, and dignity.  Thus, behavior of the graduates and their guests should be consistent with the significance of the occasion.  To that end, we ask the following:

  • The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.  Guests should remain by their seats while the graduates enter.
  • No one is permitted to stand in the aisles or to block the view of another audience member.
  • Cell phones and pagers should be turned off.  When this is not feasible due to urgent circumstances, the device should be set to vibrate or soft tone.
  • It is requested that guests stay in their seats and not place themselves in the ceremony by drawing attention away from the graduates, calling directly to them, using noisemakers or signs, or approaching the graduates to take pictures.
  • Guests should remain by their seats until the graduates, faculty, and staff have all marched out of the auditorium.



  • There is no limit on the number of guests per graduate.  Tickets are not required for admission.
  • Guests will not be seated during the processional; late arrivals must wait until the processional ends before being seated.
  • Elevators are available off of the main lobby to access the second level.


Seating for Guests with Disabilities

In order to have the ceremony go as smoothly as possible for guests, designated seating areas for individuals with disabilities are available. Family members and guests needing more information about accommodations should contact Ariel Cassista, for more information at 621-3350/1-877-862-1234, ext. 3350, or e-mail, no later than May 1.

Please note we are not able to seat entire families in the special seating designated areas; normally only one member of your party can accompany the guest requiring special seating.  In order to accommodate those who require this seating, additional guests must sit in the general seating areas.

Wheelchair accessible seating and special seating for guests with mobility impairments, the elderly, and people with hearing and visual disabilities is available.
A sign-language interpreter will be on the stage during the ceremony.  Folks needing the services of the interpreter should indicate this to an usher.

Disability seating will be on a "first-come, first-serve basis;" seating cannot be reserved.

Please arrive early.  We recommend that guests needing accommodations arrive by 9:30 a.m. to allow ample time to arrive, park at the Augusta Civic Center, and to find seating in the auditorium.  Handicapped parking is located near the Civic Center.

Upon arrival to the Civic Center auditorium, guests needing special seating should approach an usher.  Ushers wear UMA blue stoles and nametags and will assist guests to the appropriate, designated seating areas.

Wheelchairs are available to use at the Civic Center; however, they should be used to transport guests to their seats and immediately returned to the main lobby for others to use.


A Special Word about Photography

UMA is committed to ensuring that family and friends are able to hear the name of their graduate called and watch them receive their diploma as they cross the stage.

For families who desire to take a photo during the ceremony, we strongly request that you follow the rules below in order to minimize the disruption to others:

  • Photos during the ceremony may only be taken from your seat or from the designated photography area located to the far right of the stage as indicated by the sign.
  • Please do not block the view of other guests.
  • Please be as quiet as possible as you move to take a photo, most especially if you are sitting in the metal bleachers.

Please also know that there are three excellent alternatives to taking your own photos during the ceremony:

    • Arrangements have been made for professional photographers:  LifeTouch Studios will be present to take photos of the graduates, as each crosses the stage and as each stands in front of the logo banner after leaving the stage.  Proofs will be available about a week later and graduates should be contacted via email and given the web page address to view the proofs.
    • Families are welcome to take photos in front of the podium following the ceremony.
    • A special photography area has been set up in front of the Gazebo on the Commons, where the Commencement Reception will be held for all graduates and their families.



An unedited recording (DVD) of the 2015 Commencement (after May 18) will be available through the UMA Bookstore for the cost of $20.  Price includes standard shipping within continental US.


There will be a reception with light refreshments immediately following the ceremony on the UMA Campus Common (between the Randall Student Center and Jewett Hall).  Please join your graduate, faculty, staff, and other guests in this celebration.  This is a five to ten-minute walk from the Civic Center or there is closer parking available in the Randall Student Center parking lot.



See Directions, above



The Augusta Civic Center has several parking lots that provide free parking.
A limited amount of handicapped parking is available in front of the Civic Center and in the side parking areas.  Family and friends who cannot walk a distance can be dropped off at the front of the Civic Center. Floor seating is available for those needing accommodations (please see Seating for Guests with Disabilities).  Elevators are available off the main lobby to access the second level.


Area Lodging

Please visit the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce for great information on local lodging options, as well as a listing of area restaurants, shopping facilities, attractions, and recreational activities.


What Faculty and Staff Need to Know

Where and When

Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend graduation and to march in the commencement exercises. 

  • Saturday, May 9, 2015
  • Augusta Civic Center
  • Exercises begin at 10:00 a.m. and will run until about 12:00 noon; reception to immediately follow. 
  • Faculty and staff should report to Civic Center by no later than 9:15 a.m.


 RSVP for Commencement

So that we plan appropriately for commencement seating, please RSVP to Ann Corbett by Friday, May 1st.


 Robing Information

On May 9th,  you should report to the Civic Center's Androscoggin/Aroostook/Cumberland Rooms no later than 9:15 a.m. to robe.  If you placed an order for a cap, gown, or hood, it will be available at the Bookstore by May 1st.  Payment for a hood is required when you pick it up.  The Bookstore will be open graduation day at 8:00 a.m. for those who are unable to pick up your regalia earlier.  If you have not yet placed an order for a cap and gown, it may not be too late.  Please contact Jerry Garthoff in the Bookstore at 621-3067 as soon as possible.



There will be a reception on the campus Green immediately following the commencement exercises.  If the weather is inclement, the reception will be held in the Randall Student Center. 


 A Special Note for Faculty

Because your presence is so important to our students and their families and friends, we hope you will make every effort to attend this year's exercises, as well as the reception afterwards.  Graduates do look forward to seeing you and introducing you to their family and friends.  

Thank you for your commitment to this joyous celebration of the University's graduates.