University of Southern Maine

University of Southern Maine
University of Southern Maine
Established 1878
Type Public
President Selma Botman
Students 10,974
Location Gorham, Lewiston, Portland, Maine, USA
43°39′45″N 70°16′34″W / 43.6625°N 70.27611°W / 43.6625; -70.27611Coordinates: 43°39′45″N 70°16′34″W / 43.6625°N 70.27611°W / 43.6625; -70.27611
Campus Suburban
Nickname Huskies

The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a multi-campus public urban comprehensive university and part of the University of Maine System. USM's three primary campuses are located in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston. Originally founded as two separate universities (Gorham Normal School, University of Maine at Portland), the two state universities were combined in 1970 to help streamline the public university system in Maine and eventually expanded by adding the Lewiston campus in 1988. The Portland Campus is home to the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service along with the Bio Sciences Research Institute and the University of Maine School of Law, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Osher Map Library. The Gorham campus, much more residential, is home to the College of Education and the School of Music. At Lewiston-Auburn, students experience a small, intimate campus, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning. Each campus maintains its own "atmosphere", and professionals from all campuses provide a world-class experience at this regional university.[1]

As of 2008, USM had 8,133 undergraduate students and 2,320 graduate and law school students, with an average class size of 22 and a student-faculty ratio of 17:1.[2]

USM is among the “Best Northeastern Colleges,” according to The Princeton Review’s 2007 listings,[3] and was also included in its 2007 edition of "America's Best Value Colleges."[4] The current president of USM is Dr. Selma Botman, who assumed the role on July 1, 2008 after serving as the Chief Academic Officer for the CUNY system in New York.[5] Former President Dr. Richard Pattenaude became chancellor of the University of Maine System on July 1, 2007.[6]


Mission statement

The mission statement of the university was amended by its Faculty Senate in November 2008, providing:

"The University of Southern Maine, northern New England's outstanding public, regional, comprehensive university, is dedicated to providing students with a high quality, accessible, affordable education. Through its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, USM faculty members educate future leaders in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering and technology, health and social services, education, business, law and public service. Distinguished for their teaching, research, scholarly publication and creative activity, the faculty are committed to fostering a spirit of critical inquiry and civic participation. USM embraces academic freedom for students, faculty, and staff, and advocates diversity in all aspects of its campus life and academic work. It supports sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and community involvement. As a center for discovery, scholarship and creativity, USM provides resources for the state, the nation, and the world."[7]


Evolving from Gorham Academy into an institution of higher education, USM originated in 1878 as Gorham Normal School, later called Gorham State Teachers College and then simply Gorham State College. In 1970 that institution merged with the University of Maine at Portland (previously Portland Junior College) and became the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham (UMPG).[8] The name was changed to University of Southern Maine in 1978. The Lewiston-Auburn campus was founded in 1988. USM is a major educational engine in the overall growth and development of economic, civic, and cultural life in southern Maine. USM offers baccalaureate and master's degree programs as well as doctoral programs in Public Policy, and School Psychology.[1]


Portland Campus

Luther Bonney, Masterton Hall, and the Science building at USM's Portland Campus

The main part of the campus consists entirely of non-residential buildings. Many department offices are located around the perimeter of the campus center in converted multi-story homes as well as in the major buildings. The primary academic areas of the Portland campus are business, nursing, history, political science, economics, sociology, biology, physics, chemistry, math, English, psychology, media studies, modern and classical languages and literatures, American and New England studies.[9]

Gorham Campus

43°40′54″N 70°26′54″W / 43.68167°N 70.44833°W / 43.68167; -70.44833 (Gorham campus, University of Southern Maine)

Robie Andrews Hall is one of the original Gorham State College buildings. It is now primarily a residence hall with some mixed academic usage on the first floor. Taken from a 1907 postcard.

Gorham is home to most of the University's dormitories and competitive athletic facilities. The primary academic areas residing in Gorham are industrial technologies, engineering, art, music, theater, counseling and education, anthropology, geography, environmental sciences, and geosciences.[9] McLellan House, built in 1773, was acquired by Gorham State College in 1966. It was initially converted into dormitories and later into office space.[10] Dorms located on the Gorham campus are listed below:

  • Woodward Hall
  • Dickey and Wood Towers: Dickey and Wood Towers were opened in 1970 and formerly inaugurated in 1973. They are named after Edna Dickey, who taught history at the university from 1945-1972 as well as serving as Dean of Women from 1945–69 and Esther Wood, who taught social sciences from 1930-1973.[10]
  • Upton Hall and Hastings Hall: Upton Hall and the adjacent Hastings Hall are named after Ethelyn Upton and Mary Hastings, both of whom were prominent faculty. Upton Hall, home of the university healthcenter and bookstore, was opened in 1960. Hastings Hall opened in 1968. Together, the complex can house up to 300 students.[10]
  • Anderson Hall
  • Robie Andrews Hall: Robie Hall is named after former Maine Governor Frederick Robie, who served from 1883-1887. It was built in 1897 to replace a female-only dormitory which had burnt down in 1894.[10]
  • Phillipi Hall: Opened in 2004[10]
  • New Residence Hall (completed fall of 2007)

Lewiston-Auburn Campus

44°4′35″N 70°10′20″W / 44.07639°N 70.17222°W / 44.07639; -70.17222 (Lewiston-Auburn campus, University of Southern Maine)

USM's Lewiston-Auburn campus, Front entrance. This campus was established in 1988

The Lewiston-Auburn campus of the University of Southern Maine is the newest of the three campuses and has recently built and opened a new wing in order to accommodate its rapid growth. The college on this campus is known as Lewiston-Auburn College (USM LAC). USM LAC is committed to being a national leader in interdisciplinary education, serving as a resource for the community, providing an outstanding educational experience for its students through degree programs that are responsive to changing cultural and workplace demands and that are available to a non-traditional and diverse student body.[11]

Baccalaureate degree programs available at USM LAC are: Arts and Humanities, Leadership and Organizational Studies, Natural and Applied Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Occupational Therapy. An extension program in Industrial Technology from USM’s School of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology and extended programs in Nursing (BS & RN to BS) from USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions are also offered at the Lewiston-Auburn campus. Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees are offered exclusively at Lewiston-Auburn College. Additionally, USM’s College of Education and Human Development extends a master degree in Literacy to USM Lewiston-Auburn.[11]

Distance Learning locations

The University offers courses off-campus courses via Interactive Television at locations in Saco, Bath, and Sanford.[12]


The University of Southern Maine sponsors the 23 sports at the NCAA Division III level. The majority of sports compete in the Little East Conference; wrestling competes as an independent Division III team, men's and women's ice hockey compete in the ECAC East.[13]

Men's intercollegiate athletic teams

Women's intercollegiate athletic teams



  1. ^ a b "USM History and Mission". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ "USM at a glance" (pdf). University of Southern Maine. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  3. ^ The Best Northeastern Colleges, 2007 Edition. Random House/Princeton Review. August 1, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Princeton Review Ranks USM Among the Best in the Northeast". University of Southern Maine. September 28, 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  5. ^ "President Botman Kicks Off Presidency and Academic Year on High Note". University of Southern Maine. August 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ "USM President Richard Pattenaude, Soon to be Chancellor of the UMaine System, 'Worked Hard, Did Well, Had Fun.'". University of Southern Maine. May 12, 2007. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ University of Southern Maine, Faculty Senate. 2008. Minutes of the USM Faculty Senate Meeting, November 7, 2008. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine Faculty Senate.
  8. ^ "USM Timeline". Special Collections. USM Libraries. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  9. ^ a b "Academic Programs". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Campus Descriptions: GORHAM CAMPUS Library, University of Southern Maine
  11. ^ a b "USM Lewiston-Auburn College General Info". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Off-Campus Courses". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  13. ^

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