Honorary UMaine degree for Gerritsen
Orono — Two icons of Maine literature and music — international best-selling author Tess Gerritsen of Camden and singer/songwriter David Mallett — will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees and share remarks at the University of Maine’s 212th commencement Saturday, May 10.
Mallett, who lives in Sebec, will address the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Gerritsen will address the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, both held in the Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
"It is UMaine's distinct privilege to present honorary degrees in recognition of the contributions of Tess and Dave to the arts and humanities," said University of Maine President Paul Ferguson.
Gerritsen earned a medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1979. It was while on maternity leave from her work as a physician that she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first romantic suspense novel, "Call After Midnight," was published. She then wrote eight more romantic thrillers and a screenplay, “Adrift,” which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.
In 1996, Gerritsen debuted on the New York Times best-seller list with her first medical thriller, "Harvest." She has since published the suspense novels "Life Support" (1997), "Bloodstream" (1998), "Gravity" (1999), "The Surgeon" (2001), "The Apprentice"(2002), "The Sinner" (2003), "Body Double" (2004), "Vanish" (2005), "The Mephisto Club" (2006), "The Bone Garden" (2007), "The Keepsake" (2008; UK title: "Keeping the Dead"), "Ice Cold" (2010; UK title: "The Killing Place"), "The Silent Girl" (2011) and "Last To Die" (2012).
Gerritsen’d books have been published in 40 countries, and more than 25 million copies have been sold around the world. In addition, her books have been top-three best sellers in the United States and abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for "Vanish") and the Rita Award (for "The Surgeon"). Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles,” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Now retired from medicine, Gerritsen writes full-time.
Mallett has had a music career spanning four decades. His songs, which take place in or are written about experiences of Maine, have been recorded by more than 150 artists including Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, John Denver, Emmylou Harris and even the Muppets. His "Garden Song" has become an American folk classic. Mallett has performed in town halls and folk clubs across America and Europe, in addition to major venues such as Barns of Wolf Trap, Newport Folk Festival and on “A Prairie Home Companion.” He has recorded 15 albums including “The Fable True” (2007), based on Thoreau's expeditions in the Maine Woods, a spoken word CD with accompanying music.
Mallett began his musical career in Bangor at age 11, performing in a country-folk duo with his older brother Neil. He began writing songs when he was a theater student at the University of Maine. After living in Nashville for many years, Mallett returned to Maine in 1995 and established his own label, North Road Records. He continues to travel and perform on the world stage. His sons, Luke and Will, founded the six-member alt-country/rock Mallett Brothers Band in Portland.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or firstname.lastname@example.org.