May 9, 2003
Two hundred and three students were awarded degrees at the 121st commencement exercises at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Saturday, May 10.
President Richard Cost presided over the awarding of one hundred and seventy-five bachelor and twenty-eight associate degrees.
In addition to awarding diplomas to members of the class of 2003, James D. Irving, president of J. D. Irving, Limited, was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, which was conferred by Cost.
Irving, who also addressed graduates and guests during the commencement ceremony, is president of the international forest products company which produces a full and wide range of forest products including lumber, Kraft pulp, newsprint, tissue and corrugated medium. The company also manages environmentally certified woods in Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees voted earlier this year to grant the honorary degree to Irving.
In addition to Irving, UMFK senior class president Joy Gervais addressed her fellow graduates. Gervais of Frenchville earned a bachelor of science degree in behavioral science.
Also at the commencement ceremony, Martin B. Bernstein and Sandra B. Bernstein were awarded, as a couple, the 2003 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.
Martin Bernstein has been CEO of the St. John Valley's Northern Maine Medical Center for 20 years. Sandra Bernstein has been superintendent of schools in Maine School Administrative District 27 for nearly a decade.