Over $133,000 raised in tribute to President Susan J. Hunter

More than $133,000 for scholarships and construction of the Engineering Education and Design Center has been raised to honor the leadership of University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias President Susan J. Hunter, according to University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery Mills.

The announcement was made May 24 at a tribute dinner for Hunter, who is retiring July 1.

Hunter had declined a traditional retirement party and instead agreed to a fundraising effort to support the top priorities of UMaine’s $200 million Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign — scholarships and the Engineering Education and Design Center.

Mills began the fundraising effort by naming two new Foundation funds in her honor: the President Susan J. Hunter Maine Top Scholars Scholarship and the President Susan J. Hunter Engineering and Education Design Center Fund. The scholarship is an endowed scholarship that will provide annual support to UMaine students from Maine who excel academically. The second fund will provide a naming gift for a space in the new engineering facility. Donors were happy to support both the campaign and President Hunter’s legacy, said Mills.

Over 200 guests gathered for the tribute dinner at Wells Conference Center to celebrate the leadership of UMaine’s outgoing 20th president.

“She has been a great president who has restored this state’s understanding of and pride in the unique contributions of the flagship university,” said alumna Trish Riley.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be a Black Bear and I am honored by the generosity of our staff, alumni and friends. I could not be happier that these funds were established in my honor and will provide much-needed support for two very important priorities of our campus,” Hunter said.

In 2014 when Hunter was installed as president, a fundraising effort established the President Susan J. Hunter Fund at the University of Maine Foundation. That fund, now valued at over $100,000, supports the development of a more diverse workforce at the University of Maine through the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, a program Hunter helped establish.

The University and the Foundation launched the public phase of the Vision for Tomorrow campaign during Homecoming weekend last October. At that time, the campaign total was $121 million. Currently, the campaign is at nearly 80 percent of the $200 million goal with over $157 million raised.

Contact: Monique Hashey, 581.5104