University of Maine

University of Maine
Latin: Universitas Mainenesis
Former names
  • Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts (1865–1897)
  • University of Maine (1897–1971)
  • University of Maine at Orono (1971–1986)
MottoDirigo (Latin)
Motto in English
"I direct"
TypePublic land-grant research university
Established1865; 159 years ago (1865)
Parent institution
University of Maine System
Academic affiliations
Endowment$444.9 million (2021)[1]
ChancellorDannel Malloy
PresidentJoan Ferrini-Mundy
Academic staff
Students11,561 (Fall 2019)[2]
Undergraduates9,430 (Fall 2019)[2]
Postgraduates2,131 (Fall 2019)[2]
United States

44°54′05″N 68°40′11″W / 44.901369°N 68.669628°W / 44.901369; -68.669628
CampusSmall Suburb, 660 acres (2.7 km2)[3]
NewspaperThe Maine Campus
Colors  Dark Blue
  Light Blue
NicknameBlack Bears
Sporting affiliations
MascotBananas T. Bear
University of Maine Historic District
LocationMunson, Sebec, and Schoodic Rds., Orono, Maine
  • 660 acres (267.1 ha) (entire campus)
  • 13 acres (5.3 ha) (original historic district)
  • 57 acres (23 ha) (increased historic district)
Architectural styleLate 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian, Greek Revival
NRHP reference No.78000194[5] (original)
10000228 (increase)
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 12, 1978
Boundary increaseApril 27, 2010

The University of Maine (UMaine) is a public land-grant research university in Orono, Maine. It was established in 1865 as the land-grant college of Maine and is the flagship university of the University of Maine System.[6][7] It is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".[8]

With an enrollment of approximately 11,500 students, UMaine is the state's largest college or university. The University of Maine's athletic teams, nicknamed the Black Bears, are Maine's only Division I athletics program. Maine's men's ice hockey team has won two national championships.


Brick Hall (1871), later renamed Oak Hall, burned in 1936

The University of Maine was founded in 1862 as a function of the Morrill Act, signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Established in 1865 as the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the college opened on September 21, 1868, and changed its name to the University of Maine in 1897.[9]

By 1871, curricula had been organized in Agriculture, Engineering, and electives. The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station was founded as a division of the university in 1887. Gradually the university developed the Colleges of Life Sciences and Agriculture (later to include the School of Forest Resources and the School of Human Development), Engineering and Science, and Arts and Sciences. In 1912 the Maine Cooperative Extension, which offers field educational programs for both adults and youths, was initiated. The School of Education was established in 1930 and received college status in 1958. The School of Business Administration was formed in 1958 and was granted college status in 1965. Women have been admitted into all curricula since 1872. The first master's degree was conferred in 1881; the first doctor's degree in 1960. Since 1923 there has been a separate graduate school.[10]

Stevens Hall

Near the end of the 19th century, the university expanded its curriculum to place greater emphasis on liberal arts. As a result of this shift, faculty hired during the early 20th century included Caroline Colvin, chair of the history department and the nation's first woman to head a major university department.[11]

In 1906, The Senior Skull Honor Society was founded to "publicly recognize, formally reward, and continually promote outstanding leadership and scholarship, and exemplary citizenship within the University of Maine community."[12]

On April 16, 1925, 80 women met in Balentine Hall — faculty, alumnae, and undergraduate representatives — to plan a pledging of members to an inaugural honorary organization. This organization was called "The All Maine Women" because only those women closely connected with the University of Maine were elected as members. On April 22, 1925, the new members were inducted into the honor society.[13]

When the University of Maine System was incorporated, in 1968, the school was renamed by the legislature over the objections of the faculty to the University of Maine at Orono (known informally as "U.M.O."). This was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986, when the "U.M.O." moniker was also abandoned and replaced officially with "UMaine" as the informal title with which to reference the Orono campus.[14]

Organization and administration


The University of Maine is the flagship of the University of Maine System.[7][15][16][17] The president of the university is Joan Ferrini-Mundy.[18] The senior administration governs cooperatively with the chancellor of the University of Maine system, Dannel Malloy, and the sixteen members of the University of Maine Board of Trustees (of which fifteen are appointed by the governor of Maine and one is the current Maine state commissioner of education). The Board of Trustees has full legal responsibility and authority for the university system. It appoints the chancellor and each university president, approves the establishment and elimination of academic programs, confers tenure on faculty members, and sets tuition rates and operating budgets.[19]

UMaine is also one of a handful of colleges in the United States whose Student Government is incorporated.[20] Student Government was formed in 1978 and incorporated in 1987. It is classified as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.[21] It consists of a legislative branch, which passes resolutions, and an executive branch, which helps organize on-campus entertainment and guest speakers, works with new and existing student organizations, and performs other duties. Other organizations fall under the umbrella of Student Government Inc., including representative boards, community associations, and many other student groups. The Maine Campus, the student newspaper, is also incorporated and does not operate under or receive money from student government.



Location and layout

A tree-lined path through the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Gardens

Situated on Marsh Island, between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers, the University of Maine is the nation's only land grant university (other than the University of Hawaiʻi) on an island.[22] Occupying the small city of Orono, population ~9,500,[23] the 660-acre (2.7 km2) campus[23] has an enrollment (2012–2013) of 10,901 students.[24] The campus has thirty-seven academic buildings, thirty administrative buildings, eighteen residence halls, eighteen specific laboratory facilities, fourteen Greek life houses, ten sports facilities, five museums,[25] two dining facilities, two convenience stores, a student union, a cafe, a pub,[26] an 87,000-square-foot (8,100 m2) state of the art recreation and fitness center,[27] and a 200'x200' air supported athletic/recreational dome.[28]

In 1867, the university rejected a campus plan by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City and the White House grounds in Washington, D.C.[29][30] The plan's broad concepts, including the Front Lawn, were nevertheless adopted during the school's first fifty years, and were oriented toward the Stillwater River. A second master plan was produced in 1932 by Carl Rust Parker of the Olmsted Brothers firm, which reoriented the campus center to the Mall, an open grassy area between the Raymond H. Fogler Library and the Memorial Gym.[31] The Mall is further bordered by one residence and five academic halls.

The campus is essentially divided into three sections (northern, southern, and hilltop),[32] all of which are near or border the Mall. The northern section includes many of the athletic facilities, including the Alfond Arena (basketball, hockey), Morse Field at the Alfond Sports Stadium (football, track and field), Larry Mahaney Diamond (baseball), Kessock Field (softball), the Field Hockey Complex (field hockey), and the Mahaney athletic/recreational dome. Other buildings on the northern section include the Cutler Health Center, two administrative halls, three residence halls, and multiple academic halls.

The southern section of campus includes the Memorial Student Union, the Maynard F. Jordan Observatory, Lengyel Gymnasium and Athletic Field, the Buchanan Alumni House, as well as multiple administrative, residence, and academic halls. The recently renovated Collins Center for the Arts is also on the southern part of campus, and not only provides the Hutchins Concert Hall, a 1,435-seat venue for performing artists from around the world,[33] but also houses the Hudson Museum, known for its contemporary Native American art, as well as displays that are culturally specific to the indigenous people of Maine. The Hilltop section of campus is populated largely with residence halls but also includes the 7-acre (2.8 ha) Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Gardens,[34] as well as academic and recreational facilities. The campus is also designated as an arboretum.[35]

The pre-1915 core of the campus, covering its earliest period of development, was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; this was expanded to include the second major phase of development (through the end of World War II) in 2010.[31]

Student life

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[36] Total
White 83% 83
Hispanic 5% 5
Other[a] 4% 4
Black 2% 2
Foreign national 2% 2
Asian 2% 2
Other[b] 2% 2
Economic diversity
Low-income[c] 27% 27
Affluent[d] 73% 73

Ambulance Service

One of the University of Maine's ambulances

The University of Maine operates the "University Volunteer Ambulance Corps," an Ambulance service fully licensed by the State of Maine. The service is operated by students and staff of the university. UVAC's ambulances are available to respond to emergencies on campus and can also provide mutual aid to many surrounding towns and agencies. The service ensures a licensed Emergency Medical Technician is sent on every call. The service has two ambulances both equipped to provide Paramedic Level care. UVAC responds to approximately 500 calls per school year.[37]

Greek life


Greek life has existed at the University of Maine since 1874. Approximately 14% of University of Maine undergraduates are members of Greek letter organizations.[38]







The University of Maine is one of 16 colleges and universities listed in Princeton Review's "Green Honor Roll" (2011). Several of the nation's leading research universities, including Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Arizona State and the University of Washington are also on that prestigious list, as are Harvard and Northeastern. Recognizing schools for their commitment to sustainability, the Green Honor Roll lists only those 16 institutions that received the highest possible score on The Princeton Review green rating. The guide lauds UMaine for its recycling programs, green-certified buildings and free shuttle bus service. It also notes the fact UMaine has a sustainability coordinator, a sustainability council, and "Eco Reps" in its residence halls.[39]

University of Maine has a sustainability council made up of students, faculty, administrators, staff and a full-time sustainability coordinator. A green loan fund provides capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments.[40] The university has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, and two residential-scale solar thermal systems are in place on Nutting Hall and Sebec House. The University of Maine composts food scraps from dining facilities, and York Dining Hall has gone trayless to reduce waste. For all new campus construction, LEED Silver standards are required.[41] The Blue Bike program refurbishes abandoned bikes and rents them to students free of charge, providing a means of alternative transportation on and around-campus.[42]

Dining services


The campus has two dining halls, Hilltop and York, and the Bear's Den Café & Pub in Memorial Union. Wells Dining Hall closed in fall 2022 due to a decrease in student enrollment.[43][44] In fall 2023, the university deployed robots called Kiwibots to deliver food to students across campus.[45] The Black Bear Exchange is the campus food pantry open three days a week.[46] The pantry is supported by the Good Shepherd Food Bank, donations, and food drives.[47]

In 2022, the university signed a contract to outsource campus dining services to Sodexo beginning on July 1, 2023. Sodexo provides food service at Maine's six other public universities. The deal requires Sodexo to pay the university a $3 million signing bonus and invest $7 million in dining hall improvements.[48] Sodexo announced that it would add to the campus a food truck, a coffee shop and an autonomous market located in the Wells Dining Hall.[49] In 2024, the high number of student and parent complaints about the poor quality of the food led the university to form weekly focus groups of students. Students complained of undercooked meat and the lack of options for pescatarians. The dining halls began stocking its fresh fruit bars all day.[50]

In 2016, after the university was asked to offer more vegan choices by a student group, the university dining halls switched from using a conventional mayonnaise to using an egg-free, vegan mayonnaise, and food services department officials said it helped the university lower the campus environmental footprint.[51]

The Maine Campus


Founded in 1875, The Maine Campus is a weekly newspaper produced by students. It covers university and Town of Orono events. The Campus is a direct-funded student organization and is not under the purview of student government. Stephen King wrote a weekly column for the Campus in the 1970s and also published short stories such as Slade in the newspaper.[52]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[54]202
Washington Monthly[55]146
WSJ/College Pulse[56]> 600

The University of Maine offers more than 90 undergraduate major programs organized in five colleges: the College of Education and Human Development; the College of Engineering; the Honors College; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences. UMaine also is home to one of the nation's oldest honors programs, now called the Honors College.[58] The Honors College offers academically qualified students an opportunity for intensive, interdisciplinary study. Students are invited to become part of the Honors College during the admissions review process. UMaine also offers a wide array of graduate programs, including more than seventy master's degree programs and thirty doctorate programs.[59][60]

Hannibal Hamlin Hall

The University of Maine is one of only a handful of institutions to offer a combined developmental/clinical PhD to students accepted into their clinical psychology PhD program,[61] as well as advanced degrees with distinct concentrations in developmental psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral neuroscience.[62] The University of Maine has a strong commitment to developing the next generation of neuroscience researchers and educators, thus along with offering a PhD in psychological science with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, they also offer a neuroscience concentration for PhD students studying biomedical science.[63]

It is the only institution in Maine ranked as a national university in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. U.S. News categorizes UMaine as an institution that offers "a full range of undergraduate majors, master's, and doctoral degrees."[64]

UMaine is one of only four institutions in Maine (along with Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby) accredited to award membership into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.[65]

The university is also the birthplace of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, recognizing high academic achievement across all disciplines.[66]

The Raymond H. Fogler Library is the largest in Maine[67] and serves as one of its intellectual hubs, attracting scholars, professors, and researchers from around the state.[68] A collection of rare and ancient manuscripts, as well as about two million government publications, augment the university's collection.[69] The Special Collections Unit includes the Stephen King (author and UMaine alumnus) papers, which attract researchers from across the globe.

UMaine hosts the Intensive English Institute, an English as a second language program designed to help students develop their English language skills for success in school, business, and social communication.[70] Due to budget cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEI was discontinued as of May 31, 2020.[71]

The University of Maine is also home to the Maine Business School, the largest business school in the state. Paris-based international educational consulting organization Eduniversal has included the Maine Business School at the University of Maine among its selection of 1,000 of the world's best business schools, ranking it as an "excellent business school-nationally strong and/or with continental links."[72] In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Maine Business School among the nation's best business colleges[73]

The Canadian-American Center, an institution that focuses on Canadian-American studies is based at the University of Maine.[74]



The University of Maine is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education,[75] and programmatically accredited by other accreditors including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Chemical Society, the American Dietetic Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, the Council for the Advancement of Educator Preparation, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the Society of American Foresters, and the Society of Wood Science and Technology.[76]

The Oak Hall Dormitory



The fall 2018 admissions data are as follows:[77]

Student Classification Applications Acceptances Enrollment
New First-Year Students 12,457 11,503 2,248
New Transfer Students 1,027 863 409
Graduate Students 1,423 845 499



In the fall of 2020, the university's enrollment consisted of:[77]

  • 8,870 undergraduate degree-seeking students
  • 595 undergraduate non-degree students
  • 2,121 graduate degree-seeking students
  • 155 graduate non-degree students
  • 9,110 full-time students
  • 2,631 part-time students



The University of Maine is one of the National Science Foundation's top 100 public universities for research. In FY10, UMaine exceeded $100 million in external expenditures for research, 86% of which was federal funding. Leading sectors of the university in generating external support are advanced materials, marine sciences, climate change, environmental studies, forestry, precision manufacturing, and aquaculture. Undergraduate research is a priority at UMaine, and in 2008, the Center for Undergraduate Research was established to connect students with faculty projects that suit their interests.[78]

UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center


The UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, founded in 1996 with support from the National Science Foundation, provides research, education, and economic development encompassing material sciences, manufacturing and engineering of composites and structures. The center's research and development projects have included the VolturnUS 1:8, composite arch bridge system, and the Modular Ballistic Protection System (MBPS).

The center is the leading member of the DeepCwind Consortium, whose mission is to establish the State of Maine as a national leader in deepwater offshore wind technology.[79]

Multisensory Interactive Media Lab


Founded in 2018, the Multisensory Interactive Media Lab (MIM Lab) is moving into an era of ‘Internet of Everything,’ in which everything and everyone will be digitally embedded and connected. In the MIM Lab of the University of Maine, academic researchers develop novel enabling technologies to explore the immense potential for the communication of our experiences – shifting focus from the current age of information towards a new age of experience. Many of their research works try to answer a fundamental question “How can we move beyond traditional visual- and auditory-based digital interfaces to form immersive sensory rich interactions in the context of real-world, augmented or virtual experiences?”.[80]

UMaine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site at Monhegan Island


The University of Maine was granted an ocean energy demonstration site through state legislation in 2009. The site, known as the UMaine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site, is available for use by commercial and non-commercial entities in partnership with the university to research and develop ocean energy devices, such as floating wind turbines or wave energy converters.

Forest Land Resources


The University of Maine is responsible for over 14,000 acres (5,700 ha) of land across Maine which is used for research and recreation.[81] Among the most prominent are: Aroostook Farm, (Presque Isle, Maine); Bear Brook Watershed, (Hancock County, Maine); Dwight B. Demeritt Forest, (Orono, Maine / Old Town, Maine); Fay Hyland Bog, (Orono / Veazie, Maine); and Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, (Old Town, Maine).

Bureau of Labor Education


The Bureau of Labor Education at the University of Maine in August 1966 with funds appropriated by the Maine Legislature. Its mission is to ensure that “appropriate and specialized educational programs (be made) available to members of the Maine labor force, both organized and unorganized.” Historian Charles Scontras has been affiliated with the BLE since its founding with his first book being published also in 1966.[82]

Climate Change Institute


The University of Maine Climate Change Institute dates to 1973 and the founding of the Institute for Quaternary Studies. In 2002, it was renamed. Polar explorer, climate scientist, and glaciologist Paul Mayewski is the institute's director.

The institute has made numerous scientific discoveries, including mapping the difference between climate during the Ice Age and during modern times, connecting acid rain to human causes in the 1980s, and finding that the climate can change abruptly through analysis of ice core samples from Greenland.[83]

The institute maintains the Climate Reanalyzer, a website that provides data visualization tools based on climate and weather datasets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other meteorological organizations.[84]


Maine Black Bears Division I men's ice hockey

The University of Maine participates in the NCAA's Division I level,[85] and is a member of the Coastal Athletic Association for football,[86] Hockey East for ice hockey,[87] and the America East Conference for all other sports.[88] The school has won two national championships, both in men's ice hockey. In 1993, they defeated Lake Superior State University 5–4 behind a third period hat trick by Jim Montgomery. In 1999, they defeated rival University of New Hampshire 3–2 in overtime on a goal by Marcus Gustafsson.[89]

In 1965, the football team competed in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida against East Carolina. They were beaten in the game 31–0,[90] but remain the only team from Maine to compete in a bowl contest. In the 2018 season they went to the FCS Semifinal, eventually losing to Eastern Washington.

The baseball team has participated in seven College World Series, six of them under coach John Winkin between 1976 and 1986, and one under Jack Butterfield in 1964. The Black Bears achieved two third-place finishes in 1964 and 1982.

Although the official fight song of UMaine is "For Maine", the school's main spirit song is the better-known "Maine Stein Song". Written by Lincoln Colcord (words) and E. A. Fenstad (music), the tune rose to fame when singer Rudy Vallée arranged the current version. Vallee attended Maine from 1921 to 1922 before transferring to Yale, and his popularity helped make the song a national favorite. To this day, the "Stein Song" remains the only college fight song to ever reach number one on the pop charts, achieving this distinction in 1930.[91] According to College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology, by Studwell and Schueneman, the "Stein Song" is one of the very best fight songs of all time.[92]

In addition to varsity athletics, the university offers many club sports through its Campus Recreation department. Sport clubs represent UMaine by competing against teams and clubs from other universities and colleges. National governing bodies for each club provide competition guidelines and league structure.

Sport clubs are student-led and student-administered. Each has a budget that is run through Campus Recreation, which in part funds nearly all clubs. Clubs are eligible for funding through Campus Recreation after they have been active for at least one year and have a membership minimum of ten members. Current club sports include alpine skiing, baseball, crew, cricket, cycling, fastpitch softball, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, Nordic skiing, roller hockey, rugby, shotokan karate, soccer, tennis, table tennis, tackle football, ultimate, and volleyball.[93]

Notable alumni


See also



  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  4. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


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