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September/October 2007 Cover


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UMaine Today Magazine


President's Message

President Robert A. Kennedy
President Robert A. Kennedy
 

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As we move toward the start of the fall semester, I am struck by a particular thought: The fall of 2007 will be a terrific time to be a first-year student at the University of Maine.

While our student community is thriving, as evidenced by continued enrollment increases and the high level of satisfaction our students report, we will raise the bar with new facilities and programming that will come online this fall. The centerpiece will be UMaine's new Recreation and Fitness Center, an 87,000-square-foot building that must be seen to be believed. That building is adjacent to UMaine's Hilltop residence halls and newly renovated Hilltop Commons dining facility. We plan to have all of our first-year students live in that campus neighborhood, with returning students housed in other parts of campus.

This approach is rooted in research that suggests that it will enhance the first-year students' initial experience, improve their ability to acclimate to our community and assist them in getting off to a strong start in the classroom. We plan to supplement these initiatives with a comprehensive First Year Residential Experience (FYRE) program, through which our student affairs and academic staffs will deliver relevant and useful workshops and other activities directly to students in their residence halls.

There is tremendous excitement about these initiatives, particularly among those incoming students and their families. By doing all we can to enhance our students' experiences as soon as they arrive on campus, we increase the likelihood that they will thrive, both socially and academically. This should help improve student retention and assist in our efforts to continually develop UMaine as a model living and learning community.

UMaine Today Magazine
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The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
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A Member of the University of Maine System