Congratulations 2022 Graduates!

Saturday, May 14, 2022, 10:00am | Augusta Civic Center

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


Dear UMA Community,

I am very pleased to announce that we are planning for an in-person Commencement this May! However, an adjustment to the commencement date has become necessary due to a venue scheduling conflict. Therefore, UMA’s Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Please mark your calendars.

Commencement will take place following University of Maine System COVID-19 protocols in place at that time. Current protocols require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for events with over 250 attendees. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks regarding all commencement details.

Any students who anticipate that they will be eligible to graduate this May are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. The deadline to Apply for Graduation is April 1. Make sure to complete the application so you can receive information about the commencement ceremony and be included in the commemorative program.* Students unsure of their status are encouraged to contact their faculty or professional advisor.

All graduating students for December 2021, May 2022, and August 2022 are invited to participate in the May 14, 2022 Commencement Ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center. Students must apply to receive their diploma, regardless of their attendance at commencement.
I look forward to greeting the graduates during the ceremony and wish everyone the best this spring semester.

Sincerely,

Joseph Szakas, Ph.D.
Interim President
Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs

*Inclusion in the program cannot be guaranteed for those applying after this deadline.


Current University of Maine System COVID-19 Protocols* for Events

The University of Maine System does require evidence of vaccination status or a negative test for entrance to indoor group gatherings of more than 250 persons.

Vaccination Status

Legitimate, legible, original vaccination cards and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. Individuals may also be asked for identification. For students and employees, the University System electronic clearance tool available via the COVID-19 portal will be accepted in place of other documentation.

The proof of vaccination is required to be for a vaccine approved by the FDA or WHO and must show the person had their final dose more than 2 weeks before the group gathering for which the evidence is being presented.

Negative Test

Evidence of a negative test that will be accepted includes a negative PCR test or rapid antigen sampled within 72 hours of the event or gathering. Legitimate, legible, original test results and physical or electronic copies will be accepted. For students and employees, the University electronic clearance tool may be used in place of other documentation.

The University System, at its sole discretion, may permit individuals who are not age-eligible for vaccination (currently those younger than 5 years old effective January 4, 2022) entrance to applicable gatherings if they wear a face covering and pass a symptom check, except that children younger than two are not required to wear masks.

Face Covering Requirements

Effective March 26, 2022, face coverings will be optional across the property of and in the facilities of the University of Maine System – – indoors and outdoors for all persons, students, staff, faculty and visitors – – regardless of vaccination status. There are many important exceptions, including in classrooms, when face coverings will or may continue to be required.

*In effect as of March 26, 2022.


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 UMA Centers.

Commencement Exercises: Where, When, What, and Who

Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2022. 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 care for them during the ceremony.

Graduating students needing accommodations for disabilities should contact Ariel Cassista, for more information at 621-3350/1-877-862-1234, ext. 3350, or e-mail ariel.cassista@maine.edu, no later than April 29.

Commencement Speaker: Dr. Anthony James, Jr.

Interim President Joseph Szakas is pleased to announce that Dr. Anthony James, Jr. will provide the Commencement Address on May 14.  Dr. James is currently serving as a consultant to the UMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in support of the DEI initiatives as outlined in UMA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

Dr. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Lincoln University, a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri. Dr. Anthony James is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science and Social Work at Miami University, Ohio.

Additionally, he recently served as the Interim Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and Chair of the DEI Task Force at Miami University. Dr. James is a published author in the field of DEI, has experience presenting to academic audiences and providing trainings and facilitating discussions centered on DEI. Before his academic career, James served as a children’s services worker, an informational analyst, and as an Engineer Officer in the Missouri Army National Guard.

Student Speaker

Cassidy Lessner
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Honorary Degree Recipient: Shawn Yardley, CEO Community Concepts

Shawn Yardley, ha had a career of public service that includes many years at the Maine Department of Human Services, as a Child Protective Services Caseworker and a Regional Manager; service to the City of Bangor as the Director of Health and Community Services, along with his current position as CEO of Community Concepts and President of Community Concepts Finance Corp. Mr. Yardley also served on UMA’s Board of Visitors for several years. UMA will recognize him with an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters for his contributions and distinguished career of service in social welfare and community health.

Caps and Gowns

Graduates’ caps and gowns will be black with a blue and white tassel.  Please visit https://www.buildagrad.com/umaineaugusta to order your cap and gown before midnight, April 15. Your cap and gown will be mailed directly to you. A limited number of caps and gowns will be available after the deadline and will require pick up. Questions should be directed to tadd.stone@maine.edu.

Graduates must have the black cap, gown, and tassel to participate in the Commencement Exercises.

Cords

Students who have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.25 or higher at the end of Fall 2021 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 (please contact the director of the Honors Program for medallions).

Diplomas

If you completed your degree requirements as of December 2021, your degree has been mailed to you. Students who complete their requirements as of May 2022 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 people 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)

Commencement Reception: There will be a reception with light refreshments immediately following the ceremony on the UMA Augusta Campus Green (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. If the weather is inclement, the reception will be held in the Randall Student Center.

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 the Moose News. Membership in the UMA Alumni Association is free, 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 and Information Services at 621-3185 or 1-877-862-1234. You can also change your address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses online by using MaineStreet.

FERPA/Confidentiality

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 UMA Enrollment and Information Services (621-3185 or 1-877-862-1234).

Directions

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.

Commencement Exercises: Where, When, What, and Who

  • Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2022, 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 Speaker: Dr. Anthony James, Jr.

Interim President Joseph Szakas is pleased to announce that Dr. Anthony James, Jr. will provide the Commencement Address on May 14.  Dr. James is currently serving as a consultant to the UMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in support of the DEI initiatives as outlined in UMA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

Dr. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Lincoln University, a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri. Dr. Anthony James is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science and Social Work at Miami University, Ohio.

Additionally, he recently served as the Interim Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and Chair of the DEI Task Force at Miami University. Dr. James is a published author in the field of DEI, has experience presenting to academic audiences and providing trainings and facilitating discussions centered on DEI. Before his academic career, James served as a children’s services worker, an informational analyst, and as an Engineer Officer in the Missouri Army National Guard.

Student Speaker: To be announced.

Honorary Degree Recipient: Shawn Yardley, CEO Community Concepts

Shawn Yardley, ha had a career of public service that includes many years at the Maine Department of Human Services, as a Child Protective Services Caseworker and a Regional Manager; service to the City of Bangor as the Director of Health and Community Services, along with his current position as CEO of Community Concepts and President of Community Concepts Finance Corp. Mr. Yardley also served on UMA’s Board of Visitors for several years. UMA will recognize him with an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters for his contributions and distinguished career of service in social welfare and community health.

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.

Seating

  • 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 upper levels.

Disability Accommodations for Guests

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 ariel.cassista@maine.edu, no later than April 29.

Please note we are not able to seat entire families in the special seating designated areas; generally 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. Anyone 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. Please note, family and friends who cannot walk a distance can be dropped off at the front of 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 by guests to transport individuals 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 when 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, GradImages®, 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.

Reception

There will be a reception with light refreshments immediately following the ceremony on the UMA Augusta Campus Green (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. If the weather is inclement, the reception will be held in the Randall Student Center.

Directions

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.

Parking

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 upper levels.

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.

Where and When

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

  • Saturday, May 14, 2022
  • 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 complete the following RSVP form by Friday, May 6th.

Robing Information

On May 14, you should report to the Civic Center’s Androscoggin/Aroostook/Cumberland Rooms no later than 9:15 a.m. to robe.

If you need to rent a cap, gown, or hood, please visit https://www.buildagrad.com/umaineaugustafac to place your order. The items will be mailed directly to you. The deadline to ensure timely delivery is midnight, April 15. Regalia is required to march at Commencement.

Reception

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.

Faculty/Staff Needing Accommodations for Disabilities

If you should need disability accommodations, please contact Ariel Cassista, for more information at 621-3350/1-877-862-1234, ext. 3350, or e-mail ariel.cassista@maine.edu, no later than April 29.

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.

Announcements

Traditional (non-personalized) graduation announcements, as well as personalized announcements, are available for order online from Balfour.

Class Rings

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

Professional Photographs by GradImages®

GradImages® is proud to support one of the biggest moments in a graduate’s life: walking across the stage and into the next chapter. With over 40 years of experience, we understand the importance of this moment and the desire to preserve these memories for a lifetime. Finding your graduate’s photos after the ceremony is easy. Visit www.GradImages.com to view and purchase custom photo products like prints, plaques, specialty gifts, and more.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your photos, please contact our Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576, online at www.gradimages.com, or email ecc.giservice@gradimages.net. We have a large team of customer care representatives ready to help graduates and family members with anything they may need.

Imprinted UMA Items

UMA Spirit Store 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 Spirit Store, located in the Richard J. Randall Student Center, will be open on Graduation Day from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., where a full line of collegiate memorabilia will be available for purchase.

Flowers

UMA’s Athletics Clubs will be selling roses at Commencement at tables located just inside the main doors of the Civic Center.