President Joan Ferrini-Mundy speaks to guests after being inaugurated as the 21st president of the University of Maine on Friday morning at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.

Gov. Janet Mills, University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and National Science Foundation Director France Cordova were among the dozens of people who gathered Friday morning at the University of Maine to celebrate the inauguration of Joan Ferrini-Mundy as the university’s 21st president.

“I am honored to join you all in celebrating the inauguration of President Joan Ferrini-Mundy,” Mills said, “a woman who brings us new eyes and fresh ideas to lead us to new horizons.”

The inauguration ceremony was held at the Collins Center for the Arts on the UMaine campus in Orono, nine months after Ferrini-Mundy took on the role in July. It included performances from students and speeches from the speakers that highlighted Ferrini-Mundy’s background in mathematics, and passion for science and technology.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Cordova praised Mundy, who oversees the University of Maine and the smaller University of Maine at Machias, for her work as the National Science Foundation’s chief operating officer before she arrived at UMaine. Cordova said Ferrini-Mundy will bring the same enterprise and dedication to education to her new role.

“Her influence was felt far beyond the National Science Foundation,” Cordova said. “It’s her approach to problems, her inclusion of many in their solutions and her fearlessness in taking on everything.”

Mills said Ferrini-Mundy’s background would prove more important than ever to help address Maine’s workforce development challenges.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

“Maine’s economic future is dependent on our ability to give more people training and education they need to prosper,” she said.

Ferrini-Mundy described how she had spent the past few months talking with students and faculty to understand their work and plans for the future.

“Being president is an honor that comes with sometimes daunting responsibilities and always meaningful rewards,” she said. “I am very pleased to be here and to connect, and commit and converge with you.”

Near the end of the ceremony, Page — who will step down at the close of the academic year — and Board of Trustees Chair James Irwin presented Ferrini-Mundy with the presidential medallion to officially inaugurate her.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

“I know that Joan has a great vision for research and development for the University of Maine,” Cordova said. “A vision that embraces all of the state of Maine.”