On Friday, Dec. 2, the USM community, including faculty, students, alumni as well as family and friends, honored President Cummings at his installation as USM’s thirteenth president.
The installation ceremony of President Cummings was a first for USM and the school plans to recognize future presidents of the university in a similar way.
Held in the Costello Sports Complex on the Gorham campus, the field house was decorated in blue and white for President Cummings’ event.
USM’s faculty were garbed in academic regalia and students who were selected as Inauguration Scholars marched in the processional to kick off the installation.
Students selected as Inauguration Scholars were nominated by faculty members for their academic achievement and promise and were recognized by President Cummings and Provost Jeannine Uzzi during the event.
“These students here reflect our diversity, our dreams, our power, the barriers and the future of this university,” President Cummings stated.
The event featured USM’s concert band, along with the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and the USM Chorale. Together, their musical performances added an elegant touch to the celebration of President Cummings.
Many people spoke in high praise of President Cummings, congratulating him on his position, as well as wishing him luck in the years to come.
Those selected to speak for President Cummings included the Provost Jeannine Uzzi, Student Body President Humza Khan, Theresa Sutton of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees and many more. Each person spoke about the positive change that has come to USM as a result of President Cummings.
“Alumni donations are up, enrollment is increasing, scholarship funds are on the rise and today at USM there is a sense of positivity and optimism,” Khan stated.
The Chancellor of the University of Maine System, James Page, was the one to formally charge President Cummings as the thirteenth president of USM.
“It’s a great day for the state of Maine,” stated Page, who emphasized the event was not only to honor President Cummings but to celebrate the community of USM.
President Cummings has been the president of USM for almost 18 months. In his closing speech, Cummings shared that the reason for waiting to hold the installation until December was due to budget constraints. Cummings joked that since USM has had five presidents in the last eight years, the community wanted to make sure he was going to stick around.
As a special recognition of President Cummings, Maine Senators Angus King and Susan Collins were broadcasted in a video, and expressed their high regards for him, congratulating him on his presidency.
At the end of his speech, Cummings addressed the importance and overall mission of USM, paying tribute to his faculty and staff.
“It is my delight to tell you that the faculty, the staff, the community and the state, wants us to succeed. We have the best mission of any university and we together will fulfill it,” stated Cummings.
Julie Pike, Staff Writer