UMA Announces 2019 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

Judith Meyer, Executive Editor of Sun Journal, Morning Sentinel, and Kennebec Journal to Address Graduates at University of Maine at Augusta Commencement Ceremonies

Saturday, May 11th • 10:00AM • Augusta Civic Center


AUGUSTA–University of Maine at Augusta President Rebecca Wyke is pleased to announce that Judith Meyer will address graduates, family, friends, faculty, and staff at UMA’s Commencement Ceremonies on May 11, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the Augusta Civic Center auditorium. Over 500 students are eligible to graduate this spring and as many as 350 are expected to participate in the graduation ceremonies.

“UMA is pleased to have Judith Meyer participate in our Commencement activities,” said President Wyke.

“Given her background with the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and a career in journalism, she will provide a unique perspective on our year-long academic theme of ‘Freedom of Speech’.”

Photo of Judith Meyer
Photo of Judith Meyer

Meyer is executive editor of the Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and seven weekly newspapers owned by the Sun Media Group. She has been a journalist since 1990 and is the former editorial page editor for the Sun Journal.  She was named Maine’s Journalist of the Year in 2003. Currently, Meyer serves as vice president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a member of the Right to Know Advisory Committee to the Legislature.  She serves on the New England Newspaper & Press Association Board of Directors and was the 2018 recipient of the Judith Vance Weld Brown Spirit of Journalism Award in New England.

UMA will also recognize Randall Liberty with an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters. Liberty is Commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections and a 1998 graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta.

Randall Liberty
Photo of Randall Liberty

Prior to his appointment as DOC Commissioner by Governor Janet Mills, Liberty was Warden of the Maine State Prison for three years and served as Sheriff of Kennebec County for seven years. Commissioner Liberty is a decorated veteran with a 24-year record of service in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. He taught military history at West Point and served 10 months as a command sergeant major of a transition team embedded with Iraqi infantry in Fallujah.

As Kennebec County Sheriff and Maine State Prison Warden, he developed and instituted innovative programs that serve as rehabilitative opportunities for the incarcerated. Programs at the Maine State Prison include inmate gardening and recycling, a veterans’ pod, yoga instruction, and a hospice program. He is a strong advocate for programs that reduce prison recidivism rates.  His innovative approach to those in incarceration was profiled in Downeast Magazine.

About UMA

UMA transforms the lives of students of every age and background across the State of Maine and beyond through access to high-quality distance and on-site education, excellence in student support, civic engagement, and professional and liberal arts programs.

UMA is the third largest public university in Maine. In addition to its main campus in the state’s capital, UMA also serves students at its campus in Bangor (UMA Bangor) and through UMA Centers around the state.  With its multiple locations and long-term expertise in online and distance learning, UMA is generally considered the university of choice for Mainers of all ages who want to attend college without uprooting their lives.