University of Maine System Honored with Maine Development Foundation Award

The University of Maine System (UMS) has been  awarded the 2023 President’s Award by the Maine Development Foundation (MDF). MDF cited UMS’  “exemplary leadership” toward improving Mainers’ lives. 

“The University of Maine System is leading actionable and scalable efforts that help drive systemic change toward a more equitable, inclusive Maine economy and ensuring Maine continues to be a great place to live and work for all,” said Yellow Light Breen, MDF’s president and CEO. “There is no part of our work that is not touched by or integrally dependent on our partnership with UMS and especially the flagship campus at UMaine. Whether it’s our work with the future forest bioeconomy with FOR/Maine, our work to support the seafood sector with SEAMaine with Sea Grant and several UM research centers involved, our Policy Leaders Academy economic education program for legislators, the collaborative efforts of MaineSpark to boost credentials of value for Mainers, or sending the most participants through our Leadership program since inception — UMS and UMaine are with us all the way.”

During this year’s program, “Aspire: Unlocking the Potential of Maine to Thrive and Prosper,” UMS was presented with MDF’s President’s Award for its “wholistic approach to making affordable, quality education and career training available to every Mainer, and for its systemic efforts to incubate and support Maine entrepreneurs, businesses, and industries.” 

“To receive this kind of support from the Maine Development Foundation is beyond an honor,” said UMS Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “This is validation that everything we are working toward matters: an inclusive approach to education, encouraging students and lapsed students to complete their degrees. Education is the way toward creating a more robust state of Maine.”

UMS Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy reflected on the System’s and MDF’s shared vision. “This is a real celebration of the importance of working together to connect people, decision-makers and communities through trusted research, leadership and creative partnerships. These are the ways we will help stimulate new ideas and solutions while improving Mainers’ lives.”

Watch an award tribute video about the University of Maine System from the Maine Development Foundation on its YouTube Channel