The University of Maine is kicking off a new series Thursday night called "Framing Maine," focused on storytelling in the state. NEWS CENTER's Bill Green is the first person to be featured.

The series, hosted by the Maine Studies Program, will highlight notable Mainers who tell the state's stories through various media, including literature, art, music, print and digital media, and other forms.

Bill will be interviewed by fellow University of Maine alumnus and NPR News correspondent Brian Naylor.

No archivist keeps official records, but it's safe to say no one has traveled to more remote parts of Maine and told more stories about regular people than Bill. There's no one else like him.

Bill started running studio camera at NEWS CENTER in 1972. Before long he had his dream job: covering sports. In time he moved from sports to feature reporting. Bill's stories reflect his lively curiosity about people and his endless interest in Maine and its history.

Forty-five years in local TV telling memorable stories — it's, in itself, an amazing story.

The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Minsky Recital Hall, Class of 1944 Building, which is connected to the Collins Center for the Arts (CCA). Bill's presentation will be followed by his interview with Brian.

Bill will then be honored by the UMaine Alumni Association, which is presenting him with its annual Black Bear Award for "outstanding service through continuous, outstanding advocacy for the University of Maine."

The event is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. You can get a ticket in person at the CCA box office, by phone at (207) 581-1755 or online.

A pre-reception event will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Miller's Cafe. Tickets for that event are no longer available.

The next speaker in the series, on April 3, is singer and songwriter Dave Mallett.