Top Stories: Nov 19 Campus Connections

SMCC pays tribute to veterans

SMCC paid tribute to veterans with an appreciation breakfast attended by veterans from both SMCC and the University of Southern Maine.

The Nov. 7 breakfast, followed by a flag-raising ceremony, marked the first time that the two schools had held an appreciation event together for veterans. SMCC President Joe Cassidy and USM President Glenn Cummings both spoke at the breakfast, as did veterans certifying officials from both schools.

In any given year, SMCC certifies about 300 veterans and dependents who come to SMCC using veterans benefits earned through your service. And there are many other veterans who attend SMCC, but not through the GI Bill.

SMCC was founded in 1946 as the Maine Vocational Technical Institute to teach returning World War II veterans new skills for the post-war economy. While SMCC has evolved through the decades, it continues to provide training and education to veterans.

SMCC is a better place because of veterans who study and work here, Cassidy told veterans at the breakfast gathering.

“We don’t want to lose sight that veterans are core to what our college is all about,” he said. “You’re in our DNA.”

Also speaking was Navy veteran and SMCC alumna Amy Meuchel, who now attends USM. Meuchel was president of the SMCC Veterans Club for two years and, after graduation, went on to become Maine’s first-ever female district commander and post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

Exhibits put spotlight on student artwork

Student artwork is in the spotlight with two exhibits at the Learning Commons and in the Captain’s House.

Students in John Knight’s Painting I class will be displaying their works in the Learning Commons for the first two weeks of December. For the show, “Travels in Portraiture,” students were asked to make full-length portraits using acrylic on paper.

Students either invented characters or used photos of sculptures, historic figures, family members or other sources to represent their ideas, allowing them to explore subjects such as spirituality, sin, pregnancy, family and culture in their own way.

In the Captain’s House, several dozen works are on display as part of the student Art Club exhibit called “SMCC Creates.” The show is open to all students, not just art students.

For Jamie Dunlap, the show marks the first time she’s had her work on public display. Her 4-by-6-foot charcoal and pastel drawing takes up much a wall in the Captain’s House.

She says having her artwork on exhibit is scary, but that art is freeing for her.

“It’s something I can’t not do,” she said.

Photo: Paintings by Haley Santerre (left) and Lena Kalanga (right) are on display in the Learning Commons, while the paintings in the center are on exhibit at the Captain’s House.