press release - Angus King KVCC Commencement

Public Relations | Press Releases


Release date 03-19-15


Maine Senator Angus S. King, Jr. will be keynote speaker at KVCC 45th Commencement


FAIRFIELD, ME – Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has announced that Maine Senator Angus S. King, Jr. will be the keynote speaker at its 45th Commencement Exercises May 16 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Senator King was invited to make the keynote address by Dr. Richard Hopper, KVCC President.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have Senator King speak to KVCC graduates," Dr. Hopper said. "He is an important advocate of training and skills to build the local workforce; the Senator is also a supporter of opportunity and upward mobility through education. Celebrating this day together will inspire our graduates who have sacrificed a great deal to complete their studies. Senator King is also sure to encourage Mainers of all ages to avail themselves of the fantastic educational value that Kennebec Valley Community College and the entire community college system provide."  

More than 400 students will graduate from KVCC on May 16. Commencement begins at 10 a.m.

Senator King was sworn in as Maine's first Independent United States Senator on January 3, 2013. He joins a long line of independent leaders from the State of Maine and is a steadfast believer in the need for greater bipartisan dialogue and relationship building among legislators.

Senator King began his career as a staff attorney for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Skowhegan. In 1972, he served as chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Narcotics in the office of former Maine Senator William Hathaway.

In 1975, King returned to Maine to practice with Smith, Loyd and King in Brunswick. In 1983, he was appointed Vice President of Swift River/Hafslund Company, an alternative energy development company working on hydro and biomass projects in Maine and New England. Six years later, he founded Northeast Energy Management, Inc., a developer of large-scale energy conservation initiatives at commercial and industrial facilities in Maine.

In 1994, King was elected Maine's 72nd Governor. During his two terms in the Blaine House, he focused on economic development and job creation, and also achieved significant reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection, and the delivery of state services. He was re-elected in 1998 by one of the largest margins in Maine's history.

Senator King was born in Alexandria, VA in 1944. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1966 and from University of Virginia Law School in 1969. Senator King is married to Mary Herman and has four sons - Angus III, Duncan, James, and Ben, one daughter, Molly, and six grandchildren. He lives in Brunswick.

While Governor of Maine, King visited KVCC – then Kennebec Valley Technical College – in 2000 during his second term to meet students enrolled in a pioneering program he strongly supported called The Community College Partnership of Maine.

That program was developed between Maine’s technical colleges and state university system to offer transferable general education courses and expand access to college for Maine residents. Since that time, thousands of students have benefited from the closer ties the program forged between the two systems and from the creation of Maine’s community college system which it presaged.

KVCC dramatically updated its technology and expanded opportunities for students in the fall of 2014 with the soft opening of a second campus. The 600-acre Harold Alfond Campus is located in Hinckley, just six miles north of KVCC’s main campus in Fairfield.

The transformation of the property has been dramatic since KVCC began a major overhaul of what was once the central campus of the Good Will-Hinckley School, originally founded in 1889. Extensive improvements to buildings, parking, infrastructure, and a 120-acre farm on the property began in 2013 thanks to a gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation.

Many of KVCC’s newest programs are benefiting not only from investment in new infrastructure, but also from the expanded space and opportunities available at the Alfond Campus. This includes Maine’s first two-year program in Sustainable Agriculture and a two-year Culinary Arts program with a strong farm-to-table focus.

Most striking on the Alfond campus is the new Sustainable Agriculture Building, a modern 16,500 square-foot classroom and laboratory structure merging the study of agriculture, food technology, culinary arts and food entrepreneurship a modern academic facility.

Classes began in the new building in January 2015. The building contains classrooms, faculty offices, laboratories, a computer lab, an auditorium, a student lounge, and informal learning space. It is designed to take advantage of the latest advances in renewable energy technology and building efficiency practices.

While development continues, the new campus is already having an enormous impact on the College. Meanwhile, advances are also underway at the Fairfield campus, including the launch of a new two-year Business program option in Computer Systems Integration and expansion of other programs including the Electrical Lineworker Technology program. This fall, KVCC will also launch a new one-year certificate in Welding at the Fairfield campus and a new two-year Design-Build program at the Hinckley campus.

Both KVCC campuses are benefitting from massive investment in technology infrastructure over the past two years thanks to three grants from the US Department of labor totaling more than $8 million. This includes the most recent grant to advance health care, social work, and construction careers in Maine through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCT) Program.

This most recent grant is projected to serve more than 140 participants directly and many more after grant funding ends by allowing KVCC to expand and enhance its existing degree and certificate programs in Medical Assisting and Mental Health while creating a unique new two-year degree program in Sustainable Design-Build (Timber Frame) which will launch this fall.

KVCC is one of seven community colleges in Maine that operate under the authority of the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. KVCC is a public, non-profit, post-secondary institution supported in part by State legislative appropriations and federal funds.

The College offers more than 35 programs of study ranging from two-year associate degrees to certificates, as well as a comprehensive schedule of continuing education courses and business and industry outreach programs.

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