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May 26, 2017

Outgoing UNE president honored by state Legislature

File / Tim Greenway University of New England President Danielle Ripich, who will retire after 11 years heading the school, was honored by the Maine Legislature for her service.

University of New England President Danielle Ripich was honored this week by the Maine Legislature for her service to UNE and Maine.

Ripich, who will retire after 11 years as president of UNE on July 1, was cited for guiding the university through a period of unprecedented growth.

Ripich received a Legislative Sentiment, a public declaration in honor of a personal or civic achievement, according to state Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford. She announced her retirement last May.

Deschambault said that under Ripich, UNE expanded its campuses in Biddeford and Portland; opened a campus in Tangier, Morocco; and launched the College of Pharmacy, the College of Dental Medicine and the Online College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The university overall has grown from 4,000 students to more than 10,000. UNE’s contribution to the Maine economy has topped more than $1 billion per year.

The College of Dental Medicine just graduated its first class.

“Dr. Ripich, you have enriched us in many ways and leave a great legacy to the state,” Deschambault said in a prepared statement. “We all thank you very much.”

Ripich also was the 2016 Mainebiz Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year. Born in Ohio, Ripich told Mainebiz at the time that she went into the family business: both her parents were teachers. She received her PhD in speech pathology from Kent State University and both her bachelor's and master's degrees in speech pathology from Cleveland State University.

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