KeyBank in Bangor has provided a $25,000 gift to name the new elevator in the renovated Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.
A dedication plaque recognizing KeyBank’s generosity will appear prominently on the elevator which transports people to the third floor where the VIP suite, the Bodwell Lounge and the entrance to the Hutchins Hall balcony all are located. There is certain to be plenty of hustle and bustle in the area, with people attending receptions, meetings and dinners or relaxing with a glass of wine during intermission.
The Collins Center for the Arts, honoring UMaine alumni Richard R. and Anne A. Collins ’59, ’61, who provided a $5 million gift toward the building’s renovation, reopened Feb. 1 with a performance by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra . The remodeled building features a spectacular new entrance, a renovated lobby, a new Hudson Museum on the second floor, an expanded Bodwell Lounge, and a significant facelift to Hutchins Hall.
“We’re delighted with KeyBank’s commitment to the Collins Center for the Arts,” said John Patches, executive director of the CCA. He noted that Adam Robertson, KeyBank’s vice president of private banking and member of the CCA’s advisory board, played a key role in securing the gift.
His colleagues at the bank were extremely enthusiastic about providing the gift for the CCA, Robertson said. “We like to support the Bangor marketplace, and the university is a cornerstone in that marketplace.”
Over the years, KeyBank has supported the university in a variety of ways. It provides annual student scholarships through the Mitchell Institute, named for U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, and it is one of the sponsors of the Maine hockey program.
Image Description: (L-r): John Patches, executive director of the Collins Center for the Arts; Gail P. Conley, KeyBank market manager and senior vice president KeyBank National Association; and Adam Robertson, KeyBank vice president of private banking
University of Maine forestry students will be safer in the forest thanks to a $15,000 gift from Plum Creek, the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation.
The Plum Creek Forestry Summer Camp Safety Fund, administered over three years, will provide safety equipment for 20 students who participate in the annual three-week training session which offers intensive, hands-on experience in forest management.
Heretofore, students were required to purchase their own helmets and eye, leg and boot protection at a cost of approximately $250. Now, thanks to Plum Creek’s generous gift, forestry camp will be more affordable for these young people who learn to use chainsaws, logging equipment, road construction equipment and other tools in their quest to become forestry professionals.
“Plum Creek’s contribution is much appreciated. With lots of students working together, strong attention to safety is vital,” said Louis Morin, an instructor in the School of Forest Resources who directs the summer forestry camp, held both on campus and in Acadia National Park.
The gift also will go a long way in easing the financial burden for forestry students, Morin pointed out. “The forestry camp is one of the most expensive courses that forestry students have to take. Not only do students have to buy their own equipment and pay for room and board, they also lose three weeks of income that they would have earned through summer employment.”
Based in Seattle, Plum Creek owns more than seven million acres in major timber producing regions of the United States, including 928,000 acres in Maine’s Piscataquis, Somerset, Franklin and Penobscot counties.
“We wanted to support the University of Maine because it is a very valuable resource for the state and the forest products industry,” said Mark Doty, community affairs manager for Plum Creek’s Maine headquarters in Fairfield. The company also has field offices in Greenville, Bingham and the Jackman area.
“As a practically-oriented organization, we felt it was important to provide something that would be useful to students,” said Doty, who graduated from UMaine in 1986 with a degree in forest engineering.
This isn’t the first time that Plum Creek has given UMaine a boost. “Plum Creek has been a tremendous supporter of the university through its active membership in the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit,” said Professor Robert Wagner, director of the School of Forest Resources, referring to a group of forestland owners and managers that funds scientific research at UMaine to develop new information that will improve sustainable forest management practices in the state.
Noting that Plum Creek’s priorities include protecting the environment and acting as a strong community partner, Doty said at least 18 UMaine graduates currently are employed with Plum Creek and are working in Maine. Several others work for Plum Creek in other states.
These talented young people “come ready to work with a great work ethic and a can-do attitude,” he said.
“The forestry summer camp is a big part of preparing these students. That’s why we wanted to support something practical like that. Academics are important, but on the ground training is too.”
Image Description: Paul Davis (left), Plum Creek's general manager for the New England Region, with Edward Ashworth, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture