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UNE winners of College of Arts & Sciences MLK Jr. Essay Contest include WHS senior Liam Fay

BIDDEFORD, Maine –The University of New England awarded $11,000 in scholarships on March 6 as part of its 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on the campus of St. Francis College, now the University of New England, in 1964.

The scholarships were awarded to seven high school seniors, who were chosen as finalists for an essay contest as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ event, “50 Years of Progress and the Challenges that Remain.” The event brought together the campus and community to celebrate and showcase the work of CAS faculty and students related to issues of civil rights, equality, social change, diversity and equity.

At the event, UNE President Danielle Ripich surprised the attendees by extending additional $1,000 scholarships to all finalists who attend UNE.

“As stewards of St. Francis College’s legacy, we in the College of Arts and Sciences are thrilled to celebrate one of our University’s proudest historical moments – the 1964 Civil Rights symposium keynoted by Dr. King,” said Jeanne Hey, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The spirit of that event lives in our curriculum today.”

Kylie Copland of Concord-Carlisle High School (Mass.) was selected as the contest winner and awarded a scholarship of $5,000 to attend UNE. Copland’s essay addressed the importance of educational opportunity, referencing her participation in the METCO program in Massachusetts. Other award winners included runner-up Emily Certo of Nichols School (New York), third-place finisher Liam Fay of Wayland High School (Mass.) and fourth-place finisher Bailey Banville of Marshwood High School. Zenab Shaikh (Traip Academy), Katherine Perry (Bonny Eagle High School) and Sadie Tirrell (Scarborough High School) each received honorable mention recognition.

The College of Arts and Sciences intends to make the inaugural essay contest an annual event centered on a new theme each year. In addition to the scholarship announcements, the event featured student works and a faculty panel presentation by Robert Alegre, Jennifer Denbow, and Jennifer Tuttle. On May 6-7, 1964, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., traveled to St. Francis College – what is now the University of New England – to speak at a civil rights symposium hosted by the college. To celebrate the anniversary, UNE is hosting a semester-long series of speakers, events and community service in 2014 with the theme “The Struggle Continues.”

About University of New England

UNE is an innovative health sciences university grounded in the liberal arts, with two distinctive coastal Maine campuses and unique study abroad opportunities, including a new campus in Tangier, Morocco. UNE has internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and humanities, and offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.

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