Section 211 The Maine Prize

Effective: 1/29/90
Last Revised: 7/15/24

Responsible Office: Clerk of the Board

Policy Statement:

The public university of the State of Maine has a particular responsibility to recognize exceptional distinction, not only in its graduates but also in the larger community. Accordingly, to honor persons of renown and national stature who have strong ties to Maine, the Board of Trustees hereby creates The Maine Prize, An Award of the University of Maine System.


Periodicity. Ordinarily, The Maine Prize may be awarded at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.


The intent of the Board is to avoid rigid requirements and frame the terms of eligibility broadly. The only fixed requirement is that the awardee be living at the time the selection of the recipient is made.

The awardee necessarily will have a strong Maine connection, although neither native birth, State residency, nor graduation from a University System campus is required. The nature of the Maine connection could be manifested in significant contributions to the welfare of the State, for instance, or the awardee might be a Maine person who has made important contributions to the national or international welfare.

There is no restriction on the range of professions deemed appropriate to a suitable awardee. Indeed, it is possible that an eminently qualified individual might have pursued no formal career at all.

Process of Selection:

The Chair of the Board shall appoint a committee of two Trustees and three members from outside the University System. In addition, the Chancellor shall serve ex officio, and the Board’s staff will be responsible for providing the necessary secretariat function. The Committee may entertain nominations from as broad a span of sources as it considers appropriate. Its recommendations shall be made to the Board of Trustees, which shall make the final decision on recipients.

The Award:

The Maine Prize consists of an appropriately inscribed plaque and a monetary award of $10,000.

The Ceremony:

The Award will be presented in a major University convocation. The focal point of the ceremony would be a formal address by the recipient of the award and a suitable publication that includes a written edition of the address will provide a record of the event. Usually, the ceremony will take place on one of the Campuses of the University System with the choice having some relevance to the awardee, if possible. The repetitive selection of any one campus is to be avoided.