University of Maine

From Academic Kids

Template:UMO The University of Maine at Orono, established in 1865, is the flagship university of the University of Maine System. It is located in Orono, Maine just outside of Bangor, one of Maine's largest cities. The school has an enrollment of over 11,000 students and is known as UMaine for short. The school's sports teams are called the Black Bears and the school colors are blue & white.



UMaine was founded in 1862 by the Morrill Act, signed by president Lincoln. Originally named the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the Maine College opened on September 21, 1868, changing its name to the University of Maine in 1897.

The College was the fourth to be established in Maine, after Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby. Originally intended as an agricultural college, the College also placed a large emphasis on engineering and the sciences.

Tuition at the Maine College was free until 1879. In return, all students were expected to contribute 15 hours a week of labor, on which they were graded and received compensation in accordance with their grades.

Near the end of the 19th century, the curriculum was expanded to place greater emphasis on the liberal arts. New faculty hired during this time included Caroline Colvin, chair of the history department, and the first woman in the nation to head a major university department.

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M. C. Fernald, UMaine's first faculty member and second President, had a large impact on the University's early character and culture.

When the University of Maine System was incorporated, the school was renamed to the University of Maine at Orono (or UMO), but was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986. However, it is still ussualy referred to as UMO by Mainers.


UMaine counts engineering and business among its strongest programs and is well known for having one of the best forestry departments in the nation. Other strong programs include wood science, marine science, education, and nutrition science. UMaine is unique in offering a department of Socialist and Marxist studies and a minor in that field.

The University's Fogler Library is the largest in Maine and serves as one of its intellectual hubs, attracting scholars, professors, and researchers from around the state. A collection of rare and ancient manuscripts, as well as about 2 million government publications, augment the University's collection. The University's education is often rated as an excellent value, ranking high in both the Princeton Review and Kiplinger's annual lists of best public school bargains.

The Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden is an excellent research garden for horticulture in northern climates. The University of Maine is also home to the Maine Business School (, the largest business school in Maine.


The University of Maine participates in the NCAA's Division I level, and it is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference for football, Hockey East for ice hockey, and the America East Conference for all other sports. In 2007, the football program will leave the A-10 in favor of the Colonial Athletic Association.


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The Oak Hall Dormitory
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Autumn leaves shower a lawn in front of UMaine's Aubert Hall

The Bangor Area Transit system connects the University to Bangor and several outlying towns.


The student body at UMaine is representative of the population in the surrounding area and is roughly 93% Caucasian, accented by a handful of minority and international students. Race relations are positive, and it is common to see students of different ethnicities interacting. Since many students go to UMaine because of its low tuition (approximately $6,000 a year for in-state residents), the student body is also heavily from the working and lower-middle class. Politically, the student body is moderate.

Notable alumni


Points of interest


  1. Smith, David C. (1979). The First Century. University of Maine at Orono Press. ISBN 0891010378.

See Also

External links



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