University of New England (United States)

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University of New England
File:University of New England, Maine logo.png
Former names
College Séraphique (1939–1952)
St. Francis College (1952–1978)
Motto Connections. For Life.
Established 1831; 187 years ago (1831) [1]
Type Private, non-profit
President Danielle N. Ripich
Provost James J. Koelbl
Academic staff
254 full-time[2]
198 part time
Administrative staff
Students 10,371[3]
Undergraduates 5781
Postgraduates 3070
Location Biddeford, Maine
Portland, Maine
 United States

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Campus Rural
Colors Blue and white          
Athletics NCAA Division III Commonwealth Coast Conference and ECAC
Nickname Nor'easters
Affiliations NEASC (accreditation) [4]

The University of New England (UNE) is a private, coeducational university with campuses in Biddeford, Maine, and Portland, Maine. The Biddeford campus sits on 540 acres, the Portland campus on 40 acres, and the Tangier Campus on 3.7 acres. During the 2014-2015 academic year 10,371 students were enrolled in UNE's campus-based and online programs.

UNE's institutional history dates to 1831, when Westbrook Seminary opened on what is now the UNE Portland Campus. The UNE Biddeford Campus was founded in 1939 when College Séraphique opened as a high school and junior college for boys of Quebecois decent. In 1952, that institution became a four-year liberal arts college named St. Francis College. In 1978, St. Francis College merged with the New England Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine to become the University of New England. In 1996, the University of New England merged with Westbrook College.[5] In 2014, UNE opened a campus in Tangier, Morocco.[6]

UNE is the largest private university in the state of Maine[7] and the largest educator of healthcare professionals for Maine.[8] It is organized into six colleges that combine to offer more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, online, and professional degrees. Known predominantly for its programs in the sciences and health sciences, UNE also offers degrees in the marine sciences, environmental science, business, education, the humanities, and many other subjects. Its College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only medical school in Maine, and its College of Dental Medicine is the only dental college in northern New England.


In 1939, a boys-only high school and junior college called the College Séraphique was founded in Biddeford by Father Decary and the Franciscan friar of St. Andre's parish.[9]

In 1952, the school changed its name to St. Francis College and began granting bachelor's degrees with state approval in 1953.[9] The high school program was phased out by 1961, and the college was first accredited in 1966.[9][10]

The school became co-educational for the first time in 1967 and the Franciscans withdrew from the administration of the college in 1974.[9]

To survive dropping enrollment, St. Francis College entered into an agreement with the New England Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine to establish the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine on the same campus, and in 1978 the two merged under the new name of the "University of New England".[9] In 1996, Westbrook College merged with the University of New England. The merger took place under the terms of the original 1831 Westbrook charter, and the combined institutions became Westbrook College before changing the name back to the University of New England.[11] The campus of the former Westbrook College is now known as the UNE Portland Campus.

In December 2010, the university received the largest gift in its history -- $10 million from the Harold Alfond Foundation to build the Harold Alfond Forum on the Biddeford Campus, and to support interprofessional healthcare workforce education.

The Alfond Forum, which opened fall 2012, includes a 105,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) athletics complex featuring an ice hockey rink with 900 seats; a basketball court with 1,200 seats; classroom space; a fitness center; and multi-purpose indoor practice courts that can also be used for performances and other events, with a combined seating capacity of 3,000.

This provides the largest gathering space on both the Biddeford and Portland campuses. The complex is located between UNE's new synthetic blue turf field and Sokokis Hall.

In March 2014, UNE launched its $60M "Moving Forward Campaign," the largest in UNE history.[12]

As of 2016 UNE is a sponsor of IR Tanger, a Moroccan soccer team.


Biddeford Campus

The Biddeford Campus covers 539 acres (218 ha), with 0.75 miles (1.21 km) of ocean frontage. The 26 buildings on the campus include the Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences, the Pickus Center for Biomedical Research, and the Marine Science Education and Research Center, which houses the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Clinic. The Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences houses Maine's only medical school, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.[13]

UNE's Biddeford Campus is also home to the George and Barbara Bush Center and Legacy Collection, which houses material anchoring the Bush legacy in Maine, including memorabilia on loan from the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A & M University.

A transit service called the Nor'easter Express provides transportation from University Campus to downtown Biddeford and Saco, as well as the Saco train station and the park & ride lot near the Biddeford turnpike exit.[14]

Portland Campus

File:UNE Ludcke Auditorium.jpg
Ludcke Auditorium, Portland campus.

The 41 acres (17 ha) Portland Campus (Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.) is designated a national historic district. It is the home of the Westbrook College of Health Professions, the College of Pharmacy, the Art Gallery, the Maine Women Writers Collection, and the Dental Hygiene Clinic. The new College of Dental Medicine, housed in the $14.5 million Oral Health Center, enrolled its first class in 2013.

Graduate and Professional Studies

The College of Graduate and Professional Studies was established in 2014, and functions completely online. The University of New England began offering online classes in 2009. As of 2014, UNE offers online master's degrees in Education (MSEd), Medical Education Leadership (MMEL), Public Health (MPH) and Social Work (MSW). UNE's online graduate certificate programs include the Graduate Certificate in Public Health (GCPH), seven Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS). There is one Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) offered. UNE also offers 14 online science prerequisite classes through the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Morocco Campus

In January 2014, UNE opened a campus in Tangier, Morocco, within the campus of the American School of Tangier, the oldest American school in Morocco. The campus consists of two buildings—one for academic programming and the other for student and staff housing. Undergraduates take courses in the sciences, humanities, and languages.[15]


The University of New England is an innovative health sciences university grounded in the liberal arts, with two distinctive coastal Maine campuses and unique study abroad opportunities, including programs in Seville, Spain, and UNE's campus in Tangier, Morocco. UNE has internationally recognized scholars in the sciences, health, medicine and humanities; offers more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs; and is home to Maine's only medical school and dental school.

It is one of a handful of private universities with a comprehensive health education mission including medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, nursing and an array of allied health professions. UNE's interprofessional education initiatives prepare future healthcare professionals to practice comprehensive and collaborative team-based care. Both graduate and undergraduate students engage in research and scholarship alongside dedicated faculty who are committed to their academic and professional success.[16]

The university offers certificates, Bachelor's degrees in various fields, Master's degrees both on-site and online, and Doctoral degrees. The university comprises six colleges: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Westbrook College of Health Professions, College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Dental Medicine, and the online College of Graduate & Professional Studies.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine is Maine's only medical school; its graduates constitute 25 percent of primary care physicians practicing in rural parts of Maine, and 10 percent of practicing physicians in the state.[13][17]

Centers of Excellence

The University of New England has four centers of excellence for research and scholarship.[18] These university-wide centers build on existing programs in marine science and neuroscience, humanities and interprofessional education.

The centers are designed to provide opportunities for collaborative research and scholarship programs for interdisciplinary, multi-investigator and multi-institutional awards. The centers are also designed to expand undergraduate research at UNE and explore opportunities for future doctoral programs, and include:

  • The Interprofessional Education Collaborative and the Center for Excellence in Interprofessional Education (CEIPE)
  • Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences (CEN)
  • Center for Global Humanities (CGH)
  • Marine Science Center (MSC)
  • Center for Enrichment of Teaching & Learning
  • Human Nature Project
  • Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for the study of Pain and Sensory Function


The University of New England teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III.[19] The Nor'easters are a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) for thirteen of the school's current varsity sports; for men's and women's ice hockey, the Nor'easters belong to the ECAC East League.[19] Men's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, and volleyball. The University announced in December 2014 that it planned to add men's football (2018) and women's rugby (2016) as varsity sports.[19][20]

There are also many club sports and intramural sports.

Notes and references

  1. UNE Alumni website
  2. "University of New England". College Navigator. Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  3. University of New England at a Glance
  4. "Welcome to the University of New England's NEASC Re-Accreditation website", University of New England website
  5. Press, The Associated. "Trustees approve college merger UNE, Westbrook to share enrollment". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  6. News, The PIE. "International Education News l The PIE News l UNE opens Morocco's first US-run HE campus". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  7. "CMCC partners with UNE to expand students' access to science degrees | Twin City Times". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  8. "University of New England – GPACU". Retrieved 2016-02-12. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 University of New England: History
  10. "University of New England". Colleges & Universities (CIHE) / Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  11. University of New England: Westbrook College History
  12. "Give to UNE | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "College of Osteopathic Medicine | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  14. "Getting Around | Office of Safety and Security | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  15. "UNE Tangier, Morocco | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  16. "About UNE | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  17. "National Center for the Analysis of Healthcare Data: Customized Maps and Data". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  18. "Centers and Institutes | Research | University of New England in Maine, Tangier and Online". Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "About UNE Athletics". University of New England Athletics. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  20. "University of New England to Promote Womens Rugby to Varsity Status", Rugby Wrap Up, December 6, 2014.

External links