UMaine announces ‘Vision for Tomorrow’ $200 million comprehensive campaign

Today at the University of Maine Foundation Annual Luncheon, University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter and University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery N. Mills announced that UMaine and the Foundation have moved into the final, public phase of the Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign, a $200 million fundraising drive for UMaine. The campaign has been in its “quiet phase” for the past few years as it developed the effort’s base of support. As a result, funds raised so far now total over $121 million.

In addition, the first gift of the public phase was revealed — an anonymous $1 million matching gift that will leverage $4 million to $5 million in scholarship and other endowment support for Maine students to attend UMaine. More details about the match will be announced at a later date.

“Vision for Tomorrow is a bold fundraising campaign that will enable us to make an even greater difference in the lives of students, and to conduct our critical work statewide and beyond,” said President Hunter. “Throughout UMaine’s history, donors have demonstrated the importance of giving to a successful university to make it more successful. We look forward to partnering again in our Vision for Tomorrow.”

Many significant initiatives have been created as a result of the initial $121 million raised. Examples include: the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature, the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center, the Gerard S. Cassidy ’80 Capital Markets Training Laboratory, the Emera Astronomy Center, the Kenneth W. Saunders and Henry W. Saunders Professorship in Engineering Leadership and Management, the Savage Challenge Fund to support men’s ice hockey and the Edward Sturgis Grew Earth Sciences Endowment. In addition, annual giving success stories of the campaign include growth in the number of giving society members, and the launch of the Alfond Fund for Athletics, the Maine Day of Giving, and the Employee Giving Campaign.

“The success of the campaign celebrates UMaine’s past, while paving a way for the brightest possible future,” said Mills. “Central to the Vision for Tomorrow campaign are two major interests — immediate needs, and endowed support to benefit UMaine students and faculty. Nothing is more important than making sure students receive the most affordable, highest quality education we can provide.”

The campaign has four major priority areas — Fostering Student Success, Ensuring Access for All of Maine, Catalyzing Maine’s Economy, and Accelerating Discovery to Impact. Each area will focus on student success, including scholarships. Other examples of investments include endowments to support faculty and student learning across all colleges, centralized campuswide initiatives to enhance student engagement, and support for major capital needs to update where learning takes place and how it is delivered, such as a new Engineering Education and Design Center.

Campaigns mobilize and motivate alumni and friends in support of a university’s mission and values, Mills said. By reaching the goal of Vision for Tomorrow, UMaine will positively affect lives in Maine, provide broader access to higher education, enhance excellence, and contribute to the Maine economy and our state’s creative, athletic and scholarly achievements.

“Given that UMaine just welcomed its largest class ever, and seeks to expand its reputation for research and community engagement, Vision for Tomorrow stands out as a timely, worthy initiative that will benefit not only Maine’s flagship university, but the entire state,” Mills said.

The University of Maine Foundation will take the lead in managing the campaign. Honorary Co-Chairs for the Vision for Tomorrow campaign are Paul and Giselaine Coulombe. Paul, a member of the UMaine class of 1975, earned a B.S. in business administration and went on to become a prominent business leader. He and Giselaine are generous philanthropists.

Additional information about giving opportunities and campaign updates can be found online.