Editorial: We must not forget the alumni who made UMaine great

University of Maine alumnus, Stephen King, is a household name to virtually all Maine people and those well beyond our state borders. He has written an impressive number of books in his career in both fiction and nonfiction genres. His latest work, “Hearts in Suspension,” will be featured for its launch right on campus on Nov. 7, with King making an appearance on his old stomping ground.

Though he graduated in 1970, King has not disappeared from the UMaine campus. He commonly gives back to the community through scholarships that he and his wife appoint to local high school and college students. The university recently announced its intent to hire a Chair in Literature position to honor King, as he is widely regarded as one of UMaine’s most famous former students.

King is only one example of UMaine students finding success in their post-graduation careers. Our university has sent some incredible people into their adult lives. Notable alumni have excelled in all sorts of fields.

Former Black Bears play in professional sports leagues. Some coach teams. Others have participated in or produced films, such as Lawrence Bender — producer of many popular movies, including “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting” and “An Inconvenient Truth.” Alumni of UMaine have moved on to serve in political office, in Maine and beyond. Three former Maine governors were once Black Bears and our current Maine Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, is also a UMaine alumnus.

There is no limit to what Black Bears have done and will continue to do post-graduation. But beyond these big name accomplishments, UMaine alumni excel in everyday ways and places too. The alumni of UMaine are a great asset to the surrounding community. Many are active in supporting events on and off campus, volunteering and donating to the school itself or other causes. Alumni who choose to read this newspaper, in order to keep up with their old school and refresh themselves on the current affairs, are a source of great support too.

UMaine may have seen seemingly countless students come through its doors and it can be easy to forget that our school has been in operation for over 150 years now and counting. But it remains true that even after their graduation dates, former Black Bears continue to breathe life into their community. It doesn’t matter if they have stayed in the Bangor, Maine area or have spread their wings and gone elsewhere. Black Bears new and old remain relevant and have bright future days awaiting them.

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