The University of Maine was founded in 1862 as a function of the Morill Act, signed by President Abrahm Lincoln. Established in 1865 as the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts, the college opened on September 21, 1868 and changed its name to the University of Maine in 1897.
By 1871, curricula had been organized in Agriculture, Engineering, and electives. The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station was founded as a division of the university in 1887. Gradually the university developed the Colleges of Life Sciences and Agriculture (later to include the School of Forest Resources and the School of Human Development), Engineering and Science, and Arts and Sciences. In 1912 the Maine Cooperative Extension, which offers field educational programs for both adults and youths, was initiated. The School of Education was established in 1930 and received college status in 1958. The School of Business Administration was formed in 1958 and was granted college status in 1965. Women have been admitted into all curricula since 1872. The first master's degree was conferred in 1881; the first doctor's degree in 1960. Since 1923 there has been a separate graduate school.
Near the end of the 19th century, the university expanded its curriculum to place greater emphasis on liberal arts.As a result of this shift, faculty hired during the early 20th century included Caroline Colvin, chair of the history department and the nation's first woman to head a major university department.
In 1906, The Senior Skull Honor Society. was founded to "publicly recognize, formally reward, and continually promote outstanding leadership and scholarship, and exemplary citizenship within the University of Maine community."
On April 16, 1925, 80 women met in Balentine Hall — faculty, alumnae, and undergraduate representatives — to plan a pledging of members to an inaugural honorary organization. This organization was called "The All Maine Women" because only those women closely connected with the University of Maine were elected as members. On April 22, 1925, the new members were inducted into the honor society.
When the University of Maine System was incorporated, in 1968, the school was renamed by the legislature over the objections of the faculty to the University of Maine at Orono. This was changed back to the University of Maine in 1986
As the Flagship University for the state of Maine, we are committed to supporting Maine students. Through the Maine Scholarship Commitment Program we focus on a student’s high school GPA and the rigor of coursework completed to award competitive, renewable scholarships at the time of admission. No additional application is required to be considered for these scholarships.
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