September 5, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent will officially invest its ninth president at an inaugural ceremony on Friday, September 19, at 11:00 a.m. in the Fox Auditorium on campus.
The formal investiture of Richard W. Cost is the first event in a weekend of activity planned to commemorate the university's 125th anniversary, which will coincide with this year's Fort Kent area Scarecrow Festival.
Inaugural festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a musical prelude performed by "Innovata Brass", a Boston-based brass ensemble. At 11:00 a.m. members of the platform party will process into the auditorium led by bagpiper Susan Mack of Pownall, Maine.
UMFK vice president for academic affairs Robert Scott will serve as master of ceremonies for the inauguration, introducing representatives of the state, University of Maine System, and local community and campus organizations, each of whom will extend official greetings.
University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph Westphal will be present to deliver the official charge of office to Cost.
Music will be an integral part of the celebration and prominently featured throughout the inaugural ceremony. In addition to the brass ensemble and bagpiper, the talents of a number of local musicians will be highlighted.
Joy Gervais, a member of the UMFK class of 2003, will perform both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems and Samantha Boutot, a well-known St. John Valley vocalist and student at Fort Kent Community High School will perform a number of selections during a musical interlude.
The "UMFK Alma Mater" will be sung by Charles Closser, professor of oral communication, who will be accompanied on the piano by Scott Brickman, associate professor of music.
Alongside the music, the inauguration ceremony promises to be very colorful, as current UMFK students from 18 different countries will bear their national flags as part of the procession.
Countries represented will include the United States and Canada, as well as Angola, Argentina, Bermuda, Ghana, Germany, Ireland, India, Israel, Jamaica, Lithuania, Liberia, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, Vietnam and the West Indies.
The ceremony will be immediately followed by a luncheon served in Nadeau Hall.
Official inaugural activities for Cost, who was appointed UMFK's ninth president in May of 2002, and assumed office three months later on August 1, were postponed to coincide with the year-long 125th anniversary celebration, which is being held throughout this academic year on and around the campus.
Prior to joining UMFK, Cost served as vice president for institutional advancement at Bridgewater State College, a public comprehensive college of 9,000 students serving southeastern Massachusetts. His responsibilities at the institution included fund raising, public affairs, alumni relations, and for three years, admissions.
In his capacity at Bridgewater he also served as executive director of the college's foundation. He is credited with creating a successful development office that raised over ten million dollars.
Before joining Bridgewater, Cost served for six years as vice president for institutional advancement at Moravian College, a small liberal arts school of 1,200 students in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. There he directed a capital campaign that raised $24 million. He established a college record by raising $7.8 million in a single year.
The new UMFK president earned his doctorate in education from New Jersey's Rutgers University in 1977, and holds a master's degree in business administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He received his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University.
Cost has served on a dozen college and university accrediting teams for either middle states or the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
He is a retired captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served six years active duty and another 24 as a drilling reservist.
The inauguration ceremony is open to the public.
For more information on inaugural activities, contact the inaugural office at UMFK at (207) 834-7800.