UNE graduates 1,531 at 2013 Commencement, including College of Pharmacy's inaugural class; Angus King delivers keynote address

Students from UNE's inaugural College of Pharmacy Class

May 18, 2013

Commencement Speaker U.S. Senator Angus King Jr.

The University of New England's 178th Commencement marked an historic occasion today - the graduation of the College of Pharmacy's inaugural class. 

The ceremonies took place outdoors under a tent on UNE's Biddeford Campus at 10:00 a.m.

U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. was the 2013 commencement speaker, and UNE also honored Maine's Poet Laureate Wesley McNair with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

The University awarded 1,531 associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at the event, representing the College of Arts and Sciences, Westbrook College of Health Professions, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and College of Pharmacy. The UNE College of Pharmacy's inaugural graduating class 0f 90 graduates included 26 students from Maine.

UNE President Danielle N. Ripich, Ph.D., welcomed those attending and those watching all over the world through a live streaming of the ceremony.

In addressing the inaugural class of the College of Pharmacy, she said: "This class truly are pioneers. I want to thank you. You joined this college and you helped create unique and lasting traditions and a legacy that will follow for generations of students."

In her remarks, President Ripich confronted the voices in the media and society in general that have been challenging the value of higher education.

"Universities in many ways are the most valuable and enduring institutions that civilization has created," she argued. 

She explained that college classrooms are tools of democracy and that universities function as creators and accumulators of knowledge. She also noted that the humanities in particular address the questions of truth, love, honor and justice through logic and the values that we hold and that education teaches us to apply.

Wesley McNair

Wesley McNair, having received his honorary degree, read a poem titled "Happiness," about a family member getting stuck in the backseat of a car. "In every poem is a lesson," he said. "I chose to read this poem because behind its humor is a vision of life that is above all a collaborative enterprise. To get to where we are going on this journey of ours, we need the help of others and so often those others are members of our own family."

Angus King

Senator Angus King, in an address that was often humorous, told the graduates "10 things I wish someone had told me when I was 22."

Number 1, he said, was to "take more risks, it's OK to make mistakes. ... You can always achieve more than you think." Number 5 was "treat your first job as if it is the most important job you'll ever have. Be the best." Number 7: "Don't type anything into cyberspace that you don't want your grandmother to read on the front page of the New York Times." And 10: "Value your friends and family and never let them down."

Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine Medal

The UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated 122 physicians and 15 educators with masters of science in medical educational leadership at the commencement ceremony.  In its afternoon hooding ceremony at Merrill Auditorium, the College of Osteopathic Medicine will award its Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine Medal, the college's highest honor, to John B. Crosby, J.D., executive director of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which represents more than 100,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, and David R. Manyan, Ph.D., associate dean of research and graduate programs, an integral member of the University of New England and theCollege of Osteopathic Medicine for nearly 38 years.

The University of New England is an innovative health sciences university grounded in the liberal arts, with two distinctive coastal Maine campuses and unique study abroad opportunities. UNE has internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and humanities, and offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.