The University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) is part of the University of Maine System. Located in Presque Isle, UMPI offers studies in career and professional fields, teacher education, health and human services, arts and sciences, and the natural environment. The University also offers associate degrees, articulated transfer arrangements, non-degree certificates, continuing education for practicing professionals, and a very unique online learning project, UMPI OpenU, which allows participants to take an online UMPI course for free as long as they aren't seeking college credit. Its campus radio station is WUPI and its student newspaper is the University Times.
It was founded in 1903 as Aroostook State Normal School, offering a two-year teacher preparation program. It has undergone four name changes since then. In 1952, it was renamed The Aroostook State Teachers College; in 1965, it became The Aroostook State College; three years later when it joined the new University of Maine System, it was renamed The Aroostook State College of the University of Maine; and since 1971, it has been known as the The University of Maine at Presque Isle.
UMPI currently offers 19 Baccalaureate Degrees from Accounting and Social Work to Art and Environmental Studies, 7 Associate Degrees, and 30 Minor Programs. In addition, the university also offers a Geographic Information Systems certificate program, a Mental Health Rehabilitation Technician/Community Certification, and a 1-year Teacher Certification Program.
Northern Maine Museum of Science
The Northern Maine Museum of Science began in the early 1970s on the UMPI campus, however it officially opened on October 5, 1996. It has been maintained primarily with volunteer effort and money. Also, it is located in Folsom Hall, the primary classroom building at the university. This gives the student body the opportunity to browse the collection, throughout the three floors, in between classes. Also, this gives visitors the opportunity to tour the museum when classes are in session. Tours are available with appointments made with the Museum's Curator, Dr. Kevin McCartney. Dr. McCartney also was the driving force behind the creation of a 40-mile (64 km) long solar system model. This double-scale, three-dimensional scale is one of the largest in the world. Folsom Hall encompasses the Sun of this model and it ends with Pluto, just outside of Houlton, Maine.
Reducing carbon footprint
UMPI expects to begin generating clean energy in late spring 2009 after reaching an agreement with general contractor Lumus Construction Inc. on a $2 million project to install a 600-kilowatt wind turbine on the campus. This agreement establishes UMPI as the first university in the state and one of only a handful in New England to install a midsize wind turbine, according to officials. University officials anticipate that the wind turbine will produce about 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and save the institution more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Once fully operational, the turbine is expected to save an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.
Officially opened on January 21, 2006, this building is the main fitness facility to the student body and faculty. Also, community members are allowed and encouraged to join as members of Gentile Hall. The building has been the site for numerous events, attracting many different groups and hosting birthday parties. Some aspects of this complex include:
Multipurpose Gym: This 104 ft × 125 ft (32 × 38 m) area serves as a host for many different sports as well as a learning lab for athletic training, recreation, and physical education programs. Four layers of poured urethane create the flooring, with designated areas for seven different playing areas.
Climbing Wall: This 37-foot (11 m) wall is a major component of Gentile Hall and is unlike anything close to here. Over 600 holds, a bouldering area, all professionally designed are what makes this climbing wall a first-class facility.
Pool: This pool is 25 yards and has a maximum depth of 10 feet (3.0 m). This was built mostly for education, but students and community are encouraged to use for aerobic training and leisure. Also, the pool room is completely tiled and has an air transfer system that minimizes a chemical smell throughout the entire building.
Exercise/Physiology Lab: This is UMPI’s primary research, teaching, and testing human performance lab. Also, this serves as the site for the university’s testing of Maine Winter Sports athletes.
Gentile Hall also has an athletic training room, a mezzanine with vending machines and a reception area.
UMPI has 12 varsity sport programs and is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The university previously competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in the Sunrise Athletic Conference Men's and women's sports include: Cross-Country Running, Soccer, Basketball and Nordic Skiing. Male only sports include: Golf and Baseball. Women only sports: Softball and Volleyball. In addition, the University also hosts a variety of intramural sports and one club sport, ice hockey. The University Ice Hockey Club Team enjoys the honor of being the first team to play in the Alfond Arena against the University of Maine Black Bears losing 4–3 on February 4, 1977. Other notable past sports teams include the 1979 Wrestling Team that captured the Northern New England Wrestling Championship and the 1978 Women’s Field Hockey Team that captured the Maine State Championships. In the last two decades, the UMPI Cross Country Teams both Men and Women has enjoyed a great reputation of having one of the best teams in its division every year. The school’s sports teams are called the Owls and team colors are blue and gold.
UMPI is the location of chapters of Kappa Delta Phi National Fraternity, Kappa Delta Phi National Sorority, and Phi Eta Sigma National Academic Fraternity.