University of Maine

University of Maine

Maine, University of, main campus at Orono; coeducational; land-grant and state supported; chartered 1865 as Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, opened 1868, renamed 1897. There are also campuses at Farmington (1864), Fort Kent (1878), Presque Isle (1903), and Machias (1909). The university's facilities include the Maine Center for the Arts; the Canadian-American Center; the Center for the Study of the First Americans, at Orono; and the Archeological Research Center, at Farmington.

The University of Maine, 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. Known as "UMaine" for short, the school has an enrollment of over 12,000 students making it the largest university in the state. It is the only institution in Maine classified as a research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Athletic teams are nicknamed the Black Bears, and sport blue and white uniforms.


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 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.

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.”

When the University of Maine System was incorporated, the school was renamed by the legislature over the objections of the faculty to the University of Maine at Orono (or UMO). This was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986. However, it is still frequently referred to as UMO.

The official fight song of UMaine is the “Stein Song”. Written by Lincoln Colcord (words) and E.A. Fenstad (music), the tune rose to fame when Rudy Vallee arranged the current version. Vallee attended Maine from 1921–1922 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. According to “College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology” published in 1998, the “Stein Song” ranks as the sixth greatest fight song of all time. It trails only “Notre Dame Victory March”, “The Victors” (Michigan), “On Wisconsin”, “Down the Field” (Yale), and “Anchors Aweigh” (Naval Academy). Maine students and alumni alike take great pride in singing the “Stein Song” while supporting their national powerhouse hockey team.

Academics and student life

UMaine counts engineering, business, forestry, marine science and Agriculture among its most prominent programs. Other programs include wood science, sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, education, and nutrition science. UMaine is unique in offering a program in Socialist and Marxist studies and a minor in that field.

UMaine is one of only a handful of institutions to offer a combined developmental/clinical Ph.D. in psychology, as well as distinct advanced degrees in developmental psychology, social psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Along with offering a Ph.D in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience, the University also offers a neuroscience concentration for Ph.D. students studying biomedical science.

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 two million government publications, augment the University's collection. The Special Collections Unit includes the Stephen Edwin King (author of The Shining and UMaine alumnus) papers, which attract researchers from across the globe.

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

UMaine is also the birthplace of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, recognizing high academic achievement across all disciplines.

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

The Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden is a 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. Recently a Paris-based international educational consulting organization Eduniversal has included the Maine Business School at the University of Maine among its recent selection of 1,000 of the world’s best business schools.

The 2008-2009 student body consists of representatives from 47 of the United States, as well as 47 other countries

The University is also host to 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.

University of Maine Student Government, Inc.

The University of Maine is one of a handful of colleges in the United States whose Student Government is incorporated. Student Government was formed in 1978 and incorporated shortly thereafter. They are classified as a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. The organization represents solely undergraduate students as each semester, however, Student Government is also regularly accused of not seeing to students' best interests, with accusations of political corruptness and mishandling of elections.

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, including Representative Boards, Community Associations, and many other student groups.

Student Government in the recent past has brought Live, Blues Traveler, Ben Folds, Guster, Better Than Ezra, Dashboard Confessional, Motion City Soundtrack, and others to the campus as well as actively lobbying for student interests at all levels of the government and administration.

The current President of University of Maine Student Government, Inc. is Steven Moran.


The University of Maine participates in the NCAA's Division I level, is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association for football, Hockey East for ice hockey, and the America East Conference for all other sports. 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.

In 1965, the football team competed in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando Florida against East Carolina. They were beaten in the game 31-0, but remain the only team from Maine to compete in a bowl contest.

Notable alumni

Arts, literature, humanities, and entertainment


Business, construction, and service

Science and engineering

Faculty and administration


Points of interest

Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden

The Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden (6.5 ha) is located on the University of Maine campus in Orono, Maine, USA. It consists of two parts: the Littlefield Garden, housing the permanent collection of woody and herbaceous ornamentals; and the Research Center dedicated to research. The Littlefield Garden is open to the public every day of the year.

Littlefield Garden was founded in the early 1960s by Lyle E. Littlefield, then Professor of Horticulture. Since then the Garden has collected over 2,500 woody and herbaceous plants, with special emphasis as follows: 210 crabapple varieties, 180 lilacs, 150 rhododendrons, and 35 magnolias.

The 15,000 square feet Roger Clapp Greenhouses are also located on the University of Maine campus. The greenhouses contain over 200 species of tropical and desert plant species from throughout the world.

Academic Programs

College of Business, Public Policy and Health

College of Education and Human Development

College of Engineering

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture

Graduate School

Dept. of Animal & Veterinary Sciences

Dept. of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Molecular Biology

School of Biology and Ecology

School of Biomedical Sciences

Maine Business School

Dept. of Chemical &1` Biological Engineering

Dept. of Chemistry

Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Climate Change Institute

Dept. of Communication & Journalism

Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Dept. of Computer Science

Dept. of Earth Sciences

Dept. of Ecology & Environmental Sciences

School of Economics

College of Education & Human Development

Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Dept. of English

Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

School of Forest Resources

Dept. of History


Dept. of Intermedia

Dept. of Liberal Studies

School of Marine Sciences

Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Dept. of Modern Languages & Classics

School of Nursing

Dept. of Ocean Engineering

School of Performing Arts

Dept. of Physics & Astronomy

Dept. of Plant, Soil & Environmental Studies

Dept. of Psychology


  1. Smith, David C. (1979). The First Century. University of Maine at Orono Press. ISBN 0-89101-037-8.
  2. Office of Institutional Studies, Fact Sheet with Official Enrollment

See also

External links

Search another word or see University of Maineon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature