UMA 2023 Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Graduates on May 6 at Augusta Civic Center

The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) will hold its 2023 commencement ceremony to celebrate its upcoming graduates at the Augusta Civic Center on May 6, 2023, with the ceremony beginning at 10 am. Nearly 500 graduates will be honored through a Commencement program that will also be live streamed on the UMA web site at

Following are a few highlights of the speakers and honorees for the Commencement Ceremony:

Commencement Address – Enock Glidden, ‘16

Enock Glidden
Enock Glidden, photo by Dostie

Enock Glidden is a disabled athlete, adventurer, motivational speaker, and an advocate for others with disabilities. Enock has lived to overcome life’s challenges, breaking physical barriers and defying odds, all the while inspiring others to consider “How can I?” Through his work with Maine Trail Finder, he is showcasing all of the amazing outdoor spaces available to people in Maine while also helping to improve access.

“UMA is delighted to have Enock provide the keynote address at our Commencement program,” said Interim President and Provost Joseph Szakas. “His drive and determination symbolizes all those who overcome life’s challenges, breaking barriers and defying odds. He is an inspiration to many, and I’m glad we can call him an alumnus.”

Student Speaker

Virginia Laflamme is a Liberal Studies major with a double minor in Women’s and Genders Studies and English. Virginia decided to complete her Bachelor’s degree in 2021 when her 25-year career as a massage therapist was paused due to the COVID pandemic. During her time at UMA, Virginia has excelled in the areas of academics, community service, and leadership. Following graduation, Virginia plans to pursue graduate education and career opportunities focused on social justice.

Distinguished Student

The 2023 Distinguished Student Award recipient is Jennifer Christiansen, a Justice Studies/ Pre-Law student. She has contributed in numerous ways to UMA, including her role as a Community Advisor at UMA’s residence halls, developing a new Mediation Practicum course with faculty, and supporting a variety of student life activities. After graduation, Jenn will be attending the University of Maine School of Law, where she plans to study business and corporate law.

Distinguished Alumni

UMA’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is Eddie GreyFox Burges. After completing the Certificate in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Technician 2013, Eddie continued his studies and went on to earn the Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services in 2017. His positive impact upon communities and organizations in Maine has been enormous, and include the Wellness Mobile Foundation, American Red Cross, and Sweetser, just to name a few.

Professor Emerita

Nursing Professor Terry Colby will be recognized and conferred as Professor Emerita of Nursing, a distinct honor based on the recommendation of her faculty colleagues. Professor Colby joined UMA’s Nursing program in the fall of 1982, and during her 40 year tenure, she has served in a variety of roles both within UMA and throughout Maine that have helped nursing education and the profession excel. As noted by her peers, “Professor Colby has set the standard high for nursing excellence.”