Unity, Maine – March, 2012 –  Unity College will hold its commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. in Tozier Gymnasium on the campus located at 90 Quaker Hill Road in Unity, Maine.

Tickets are required for admission and may be obtained from Unity College Event and Summer Programs Coordinator Kate Grenier at (207) 948-9121, or by e-mail at kgrenier@unity.edu.

The theme of commencement, Connecting with the Environment, was chosen by members of the graduating class.  This theme serves as the basis for all presentations and awards given during commencement exercises.  As an environmental college all majors have a strong connection to the environment, a fact that informed the choice of theme.

Unity College expects to graduate the largest class in its history.  Founded in 1965 on the site of a former chicken hatchery, the College has grown since its inception and developed a national profile for sustainability science.

In recent years the issue of global climate change has come to the forefront of the values and focus of the College.  In July of 2011, Unity College welcomed its 10th President, Stephen Mulkey, a scientist with an international reputation for research and scholarship.  Under his leadership the College is strengthening its focus. Curricular majors and programs across the curriculum will focus on the emerging field of Sustainability Science, which probes interactions between global, social and human systems, the complex mechanisms that lead to the degradation of these systems, and concomitant risks to human well-being. He has made training students for careers in service to the mitigation of global climate change a unifying focus.

Journalist and author Cynthia Barnett will serve as commencement speaker.  She has reported on freshwater issues from the Suwannee River to Singapore. She is author of the new book Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, which calls for a water ethic for America. The Boston Globe describes Ms. Barnett’s author persona as “part journalist, part mom, part historian, and part optimist.” The Los Angeles Times writes that she “takes us back to the origins of our water in much the same way, with much the same vividness and compassion as Michael Pollan led us from our kitchens to potato fields and feed lots of modern agribusiness.”

Barnett will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sustainability Science.

Maine Poet and author Lewis Turco will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Arts and Humanities. Presidential spouse Michele Leavitt, herself a poet and writer, described Turco’s work in glowing terms.

“Lewis Turco is a rock star of the poetry world,” Leavitt said.  “His creative and scholarly works have been critical contributions to the growth of American poetry.”

A host of activities will frame the commencement exercises.

The Senior banquet will be held on Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Tozier Gymnasium.  Tickets are required.

The inauguration of Stephen Mulkey, Ph.D., as Unity’s 10th President, will take place on Saturday, May 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts,  42 Depot Street (off Route 202) in Unity, Maine.  Admission to the event will be by invitation only.

For Senior Banquet ticketing information, Presidential Inauguration invitation, and other information contact Kate Grenier.

A family and friends reception for participants of the inauguration and commencement will take place on May 12 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. outside Tozier Gymnasium.

Immediately following commencement there will be a congratulatory gathering with light refreshments under a tent adjacent to Tozier Gymnasium.

In 2011, Unity College was named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s 2010 Green Rating Honor Roll.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Friday, March 09, 2012