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A Century of Progress: 1878 to 1978

The University of Maine at Fort Kent
A Century of Progress




Roger Grindle




Made available electronically : September 2003


It is hoped that the following collection of historical vignettes, photographs and lists of graduates will provide old friends and new acquaintances of the University of Maine at Fort Kent with an appreciation for those people and events that have enabled our institution to reach its hundredth birthday. This volume is not designed to be a formal history of the Fort Kent campus. Rather, this is an unabashed attempt to convey, through the words and observations of those involved, the reasons why people even today, especially the Alumni, speak fondly of the "Training School." Special thanks go to Mrs. Lucille Pelletier, Chairman of the Centennial Committee, Miss Michele Corey, Miss Patricia Pelletier, Noella Michaud, Cyrilla Picard, and Mr. Barry Stokes for their cooperation.

R. Grindle, 
on behalf of the Committee

Some thoughts...

At its Centennial a University pauses for a time in retrospect and prospect, proud of its accomplishments, evaluative of its present practices, contemplative of its future.

For ninety years the sole mission of Madawaska Training School -- University of Maine at Fort Kent was the education of teachers -- primarily for the region of the St. John Valley, though, as its early catalogues reveal, from the first days, graduates of Madawaska Training School were employed throughout the nation.

In the decade since becoming a campus of the University of Maine System, UMFK has achieved initial accreditation and reaccreditation, added three baccalaureate degree programs, one multiple Study Sequence Associate degree program, plus certificate programs in gerontology and human services.

Standing between yesterday and tomorrow, UMFK has reached a time of renewal and growth. The Centennial comes as winter wanes and the promised eternal renewal of springtime is upon us. So UMFK looks to the future as a season of academic genesis achievement.

Two mandates for the future await us, historical in their force. One is the unyielding commitment to the improvement of instruction. The other is the continuing redefinition and re-emphasis of general education. The undergraduate years are the ideal years for exploration, testing and discovery. As our students face the next ten decades, their surest armor is that intellectual development which most effectively prepares them to cope with the forces of change, the velocity of life, and the creatively satisfying use of leisure time. The stultifying evenings and weekends of our electronic and energy-prodigal culture must yield to a more worthy exploitation of newly-found free time. General education, the liberal arts, and especially the humanities, will heighten and intensify the living for Second Century graduates of UMFK.

Richard J. Spath