Over the years the University Credit Union has supported the University of Maine in a variety of ways — from establishing and maintaining the “Look-Out” lounge on the first floor of the Memorial Union, to backing new-student programs, from sponsoring athletic and cultural events, to underwriting income tax preparation service for students.
Now the 40-year-old non-profit institution has stepped forward once again to help the University, this time with a $15,000 pledge to the President’s Discretionary Fund.
“We wanted to the Administration to direct the funds where the need is the most,” says Matt Walsh, president and CEO of UCU.
“We wanted to ensure that the President could use these funds to help the University’s priorities and put it toward unmet needs in any category, whether it was facilities, student scholarships or professorships.”
The UCU gift comes as part of Campaign Maine, the University’s six-year, $150 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.
With 19,000 members, offices in Orono, Bangor, Farmington and Portland, and a variety of new electronic services, the University Credit Union has a come long way since it opened in 1967 in the basement of Coburn Hall.
“On payday, the lines used to be down the hall and out the door,” Matt says he was told by a long-time faculty member.
A 1992 graduate of UMaine with a degree in business management, Matt has been with the credit union since 1997.
“It has been a great experience working at UCU on campus. Continuing to grow this institution better to serve our members, system-wide, has been very rewarding.”
As with all credit unions, the UCU is a not-for-profit institution owned by members and, thus, is able to return profits to members in the form of lower fees and loan rates, higher savings rates and free or low cost services.
“The biggest difference between us and others,” says Matt, “is that I frequently talk to members who want to share a thought about how to serve them better. Our board of directors and senior management listens to every one of those members and, more often than not, we’ll make changes based on their suggestions. How many financial institution customers can pick up the phone and talk to their president?”
Located on the University campus on Rangeley Road since 1988, the credit union has added a variety of services, but stands by its original mission: to provide members, through their input and ownership, personalized financial services, while promoting the value of education in Maine.
“We’re committed to helping promote and ensure that the University community is solid and continues to flourish,” Matt says.
To that end, the UCU has supported:
· The UMaine Alumni Association
· The UMaine Athletics Department as a Corporate Sponsor
· Events at the Maine Center for the Arts
· The Rudman Conference Room at the University of Maine System headquarters in Bangor
· Student orientations
· The Bion and Dorain Foster Student Innovation Center
· The Mel McClure Scholarship Fund in honor of the former UCU director and UMaine accounting professor
· The Maine Book, an encyclopedia of names and facts associated with UMaine athletics
In addition to bolstering UMaine, the UCU helps out in the community by sponsoring wellness programs and book giveaways at public schools and an annual golf tournament to benefit Special Olympics, as well as by donating to food pantries.
More information about the University Credit Union can be found at http://www.ucu.maine.edu/