A woman in a cap and gown points to friends at UNE's 187th Commencement ceremony

UNE celebrates its 187th Commencement

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the University of New England awarded more than 1,600 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, health sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, human services, education, and management during its Commencement exercises at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

This was the first University-wide Commencement ceremony held since 2019.

“It feels so good to be back in-person, together again as one big Nor’easter family,” UNE President James D. Herbert, Ph.D., told the graduates. “This ceremony marks the culmination of your hard work. It offers occasion for you to reflect on how far you have come and to look ahead to all the amazing things you will do.”

Herbert encouraged the graduates to continue to speak their minds and not shy away from the hard conversations around issues that too often divide us.

Author and prominent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D., delivered the Commencement address. Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and taught for 16 years at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions.

“When you fail at something, don't kick yourself,” Haidt told the gathering. “Don't say ‘I’m terrible’, say ‘this is what I need to get stronger. What can I learn from this? What did I do wrong?’ If you're not failing at things, that means you're not trying hard enough. You're not taking risks.”

Both Haidt and David Evans Shaw, founder of IDEXX and visiting lecturer at UNE, received honorary degrees.

Shaw is a prominent American business and social entrepreneur whose career has included extensive public service in science, the arts, conservation, and public policy. Known locally as the founder of IDEXX, Shaw has helped build more than a dozen successful technology companies as a CEO or board member.

“UNE’s culture of innovation is dependent on free expression and inquiry, and engaging in robust, sometimes controversial discourse is vital to ensuring a diverse and inclusive classroom environment, whereby students are free to share their ideas in a respectful and productive manner,” Herbert said. “Both Haidt and Shaw embody these important qualities in every aspect of their work.”

View the University-wide ceremony

View the College of Osteopathic Medicine ceremony