By 1965, the Town of Orono’s long history as a lumber town had faded and it had grown into a small university town. Demographically and socially, Orono today demonstrates many of the markers of a university town—from its occupational profile and residency of university employees and students to its growing knowledge-based economy and its evolving downtown of “third places.” But there are differences, too, from a typical university town—for example, in the relative physical isolation of the University of Maine from the rest of the town, and in Orono’s small population compared with the university’s enrollment. Opinions on the quality of Orono as a university town vary, and the Town-Gown relationship cuts across several dimensions—economic, civic, public services and fiscal, social, and educational. These relationships are fluid, and both Town and University continue to work on balancing their respective interests and needs. For example, as of 2015 they continued to consider how best to accommodate student homes in neighborhoods; and how to expand the University of Maine’s role as the source of new industry for Orono and the state. Evan Richert, AICP, is the Town Planner for Orono and Sophia L. Wilson is the Town Manager of Orono.
Richert, Evan D., and Sophia L. Wilson. "Orono: Growing as a University Town, 1965-2015." Maine History 50, 2 (2016): 92-108. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol50/iss2/6