May 7, 2004
Two-hundred fourteen students were awarded degrees at the 122nd commencement exercises at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Saturday, May 8 in the University SportsCenter.
President Richard Cost presided over the awarding of 187 bachelor and 29 associate degrees. The ceremony also served as the closing event for the university's 125 anniversary celebration.
In addition to awarding diplomas to members of the class of 2004, Maine landscape painter Neil Welliver, was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, which was conferred by Cost.
Welliver, who also showed a video of his work to graduates and guests during the commencement ceremony, is a talented artist who has utilized Maine's wilderness as the inspiration for much of his work for more than three decades. His paintings, often as large as eight feet square, depict the detail and everyday cycles of nature in a landscape untouched by man.
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees voted earlier this year to grant the honorary degree to Welliver.
In addition to Welliver, UMFK senior class president Clinton King addressed his fellow graduates. King of Jay, Maine graduated with a bachelor of science degree in computer applications.
Also at the commencement ceremony, 94-year-old Genevieve Jalbert Bouchard, a 1926 alumna of the Madawaska Training School, a forerunner of UMFK, was honored with the distinguished service award. The honor is bestowed annually to deserving recipients who have rendered service to the campus, community, St. John Valley, Aroostook County, and the State of Maine.