Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold medalist and champion for women’s distance running, delivered the keynote speech and received an honorary degree at the University of Maine at Farmington’s 2015 Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 16. Graduating senior Chelsea Lear-Ward from Levant gave the student address.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic marathon champion, at her home     UMF-Chelsea Lear-Ward-02

Joan Benoit Samuelson

A Maine native and one of the nation’s most recognizable athletes, Joan Benoit Samuelson has blazed a trail for women of all ages in the sport of competitive running. Her life-long commitment to health, fitness and the sport she loves has redefined the idea of a lifetime runner and inspired a generation on how to never give up on being your best.

See more about Joan Benoit Samuelson

Graduating senior Chelsea Lear-Ward from Levant gave the student address. With a major in Community Health Education and a minor in Environmental Studies, she is interested in helping to promote health through sustainability. A Mitchell Scholar, she has been active on campus interning with the TerraCycle recycling program, coordinating events for the Farmington Farmers Market and helping to raise awareness of domestic violence. After graduation, she plans to move to Washington State to work in the wellness field.

University of Maine at Farmington President Kathryn A. Foster and UMF Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph McGinn conferred degrees to this year’s graduates. Karl Turner, member of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, delivered greetings to the graduates from the University of Maine System.

DVDs of the ceremony will be available this summer from the UMF Ferro Alumni Center.

Visit the Ferro Alumni Center website for ordering details.

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Office of the Provost/
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University of Maine at Farmington
Merrill Hall
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Farmington, Maine USA 04938
tel 207-778-7276
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