EASTPORT, Maine — The Boat School-Husson University will hold its 40th graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, May 8.

Weather permitting, the event will be held on the school’s waterfront. As with long-standing tradition, the launch of the student-built boats will be held after graduation.

“We are excited to once again have this very important day upon us,” lead instructor Bret Blanchard said in a press release. “I have spent the last 30 years as either a student or instructor here, and this has always been the most exciting day of the year. Family, friends, instructors, staff, alumni and students are joined by guests and media to participate in the noble Maine tradition of sliding our boats down the ways into the mighty Atlantic. This is something that has been happening here on the coast of Maine for over 400 years.”

Launch Day is also Parents Day at the Boat School-Husson University. Students will hold a picnic and cookout for invited family, friends, alumni and guests.

This year’s guest speaker will be Ron Renaud, former president of Washington County Community College.

“Ron Renaud has been part of this school’s history almost from the start,” Boat School Administrator John Miller said in the release. “Not only does he hold the history in his memory, he holds it in his heart. Everyone here is excited that he and his wife, Linda, will be here as part of the graduation ceremony.”

An open house will take place 9-10:30 a.m. with tours of the facility.

The open house and launch of the Boat School’s student-built boats are open to the public. The Family & Friends picnic is by invitation.

For information call John Miller at 207-853-2518.