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Univ. of Maine Receives $90M Gift for Athletic Facilities

October 9, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationFacilities
The University of Maine is the recent recipient of the largest single gift to an athletics department at a public university in New England and among the largest gifts ever nationwide, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News.

The Harold Alfond Foundation is gifting the Black Bears athletics department $90 million to update their facilities as part of a $240 million grant to the University of Maine system.

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Photo: Bill Comstock / Creative Commons

Over the next 10 years, the money will be distributed and is the lead gift in a planned $110 million investment in the main Orono campus’ athletic facilities, according to the Bangor Daily News. Details of the plan will be closed at a later date, the university said.

Below is an excerpt from the Bangor Daily News on the upcoming facility improvements on the Maine campus.

Last year, UMaine Athletic Director Ken Ralph had hired JLG Architects of Grand Forks, North Dakota, which has a similar climate to Maine’s, to evaluate its athletic facilities and space in order to come up with a long-term plan for improvement to the facilities.

Ralph said that based on their research, it is believed to be the sixth-largest individual gift from one donor in the history of Division I sports.

“Very few athletic departments have a day like we’ve had today. I am so grateful to the Harold Alfond Foundation staff and board members. They have worked quite hard with us over a period of years to put this together,” Ralph said during a press conference at the Alfond Family Lounge in Alfond Arena that also featured the University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy and UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.

Ralph said it will be the driving force behind a capital project he called essential for varsity athletics, intramurals, club sports, and youth sports in the region.

“I really expect this to move the needle not just with our competitiveness, but as an economic driver for Penobscot County and, hopefully, an enrollment drive at the University of Maine,” he said.

Ralph would like to see the university host high school championship games as it does for one football state title game each year.

To read the full article from the Bangor Daily News on the latest developments on the Maine campus, click here