ORONO, Maine -- On Saturday, May 11, the University of Maine will hold its commencement where many Black Bear student-athletes will receive their degrees. Below are student-athlete thoughts as they reflect on their time at the University of Maine.
“Looking back at the last five years here at the University of Maine, I can’t help but think about how much I have changed as an individual because of the amazing opportunities and life long lessons associated with being a student-athlete. Words cannot express how fortunate and privileged I feel to have been able to represent the University of Maine hockey team and wear its jersey out onto the ice. I will continue to hold close the great memories and extraordinary friendships for the rest of my life.” -- Mark Nemec, Men’s Ice Hockey
“My time here at the University of Maine has truly been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I came to this school never imagining the journey I would have as a student-athlete. Being a part of athletics and academics here at the University has made me into who I am today. I will forever be grateful for all of the support I have received from the UMaine faculty, my coach Mark Lech, my family, and most importantly my lovely teammates. Looking back on my time here I can say I have no regrets; I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to represent UMaine and I will continue to do so in one way or another for the rest of my life.” Corey Conner -- Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country.
“These past four years as a Black Bear student-athlete have been the best years of my life. The friendships and memories I have made with my teammates and classmates will be cherished forever. It has been an honor to play the sport I love, for the school I love for four amazing years. Once a Black Bear, always a Black Bear..... GO BLUE.” - Michael Fransoso, Baseball
“When I started here four years ago I could have never anticipated how much of a life changing experience being a UMaine student-athlete would be. The biggest lesson I have learned from my time here is the value of hard work and dedication, and I have come to learn that those two words epitomize University of Maine athletics. I have had the opportunity to play amongst, meet, and be inspired by some incredible athletes and coaches, and the things I will take away from this place stretch far beyond the classroom. My fondest memories will always be those shared on and off the field with my teammates, they have been an incredible family and one that I am sad to be leaving. As I look forward to starting a new challenge in the fall, I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity to wear the UMaine jersey and be a part of such a great program and place.” Madelaine Hill -- Women’s Soccer
“Four years ago I was extremely nervous to start school and swimming at the University of Maine. I had been with the same people my whole life, and I was nervous because I did not know anyone in Maine. When I got here, however, the transition was easy because of my team and the athletic department in general. I achieved more than I could ever have dreamed in my four years at this school. I had some extremely high points, and also some very low points. My team and coaches were there for both. I know that even though I will not be on a swim team next year, I have developed life long friendships that I will not loose. I also know that I will continue to be a part of this university, especially the athletic department, because I bleed blue.” Carmen Linden -- Women’s Swimming
“I was honored to be a student-athlete for the only Division I school in my home state, the University of Maine. I came into the program as a boy and I am leaving as a man. The coaches and academic staff was amazing. There is always a helping hand waiting for you and I am very grateful for that. I want to thank everybody that has been there for me at the University of Maine. I am a Black Bear forever and look forward to following them for many years to come! Go Blue! - Jon McAllian -- Men’s Basketball
“I have truly enjoyed the past four years at UMaine. Being a part of the Black Bear community was such a great experience that I will always cherish. The time I spent on the field, in the classroom, and with friends has prepared me for my next step in life. The University of Maine is truly the college of my heart always. I am forever a Black Bear!” - Jennifer MacDowell, Softball
“I cannot believe how fast these four years have flown by, but they have certainly been the best four years of my life. The academic progress, the athletic experiences, and the relationships I have formed with teammates, friends, and staff will last a lifetime. If I could do this all over again, I would in a heart beat. Being able to compete for the University of Maine has been an honor, and I will forever be proud to call myself a Black Bear.” - Brittany Ott, Women’s Ice Hockey
“The past four years here at the University of Maine have been unforgettable. The moments that I experienced here will forever be highlights of my life. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a successful field hockey program that reached new heights over the past few years. Both my teammates and coaches enriched the best four years of my athletic career and without a doubt shaped the person I am today. It is hard to comprehend that this experience is already over. I am looking forward to the future but will not forget the past. No matter where my career might take me, I will forever be a Black Bear. M-A-I-N-E Go Blue!” - Zoe Adkins, Field Hockey