Why UNE: Sense of Purpose

UNE is a purpose-driven university, and everyone here — from the students, to the faculty, to the professional staff — is united in our mission to help this planet, its people, and its communities thrive.

A Community of Difference-Makers

Want to help make the world a better place (and embark on a fulfilling career while you’re at it)? At UNE, you’ll find a tight-knit, uncommonly supportive community of like-minded souls. We’re people who understand that this world could use a little help and are serious about making meaningful positive impacts on our fellow human beings, on the communities we create together, and on this planet that we all inhabit.

This sense of purpose lives within our mission and values. And it is infused into everything we do at UNE,  from our academic programs — in urgently needed professions and disciplines — to the extracurricular opportunities we offer. So when you leave UNE to go out into the world, you’ll be ready to do your part, helping to address some of today’s — and tomorrow’s — most pressing challenges.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At UNE, diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values, crucial to fulfilling our mission of promoting healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy planet. We are dedicated to fostering a community in which all members feel a true sense of belonging and where their identities are affirmed and honored.

We recognize that we must go far beyond written words to advance our ideals and are committed to implementing policies and coordinating programs and initiatives that support these goals. As we engage in this ongoing work, we grow as individuals and become a better, stronger university.

Committed to Sustainability

UNE is featured in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges,” which recognizes outstanding sustainability-related policies, practices, and programs. We educate future environmental leaders and contribute valuable climate-change research through our renowned School of Marine and Environmental Sciences. At the same time, we cultivate sustainability across our campuses through the core curriculum, eco-clubs, and innovative management of our own buildings and facilities.

Our goal is to model sustainable practices for our students and neighboring communities and, in so doing, to actively contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.

A student holding mussels
Students at a beach cleanup
A College of Osteopathic Medicine students gives a vaccine to another student at the Vaccine Clinic
A hand holding a baby Bobolink bird
A student volunteering at Winter Fest

Active Citizenship

UNE students have gained a reputation around Southern Maine as positive, passionate difference-makers, always looking for ways to engage with local and global communities.

As a student, you’ll have opportunities to serve in many ways, for example helping to provide low-cost health care, building community housing, or conserving the environment. We maintain a database of hundreds of partner organizations where UNE students volunteer or pursue internships regularly. If you have a passion, we’ll connect you with opportunities for action.

Meet Students Making a Difference

Caring for Maine Seniors During COVID

Providing Access Through Adaptive Sled Hockey

Researching Solutions for Injured Spines

Getting a Lighthouse Off the Grid

Helping Farmers Protect Grassland Birds

Supporting Recovery Through Storytelling

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