By Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2020

ORONO, Maine (AP) - A $240 million commitment by the Harold Alfond Foundation to the University of Maine System is the largest gift to a public institution of higher education in New England history, officials said Wednesday.

The commitment of money over the next 12 years is part of a $500 million economic boost to the state by the foundation.

“Maine is receiving a transformative, unprecedented investment in its people and its future from the Harold Alfond Foundation,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “And it comes at a time when we need optimism and an affirmation that we work best when we work together.”

The money and matching gifts will be used to transform academic collaborations and facilities; provide resources to faculty for development and innovation; support student success and provide scholarships; and accelerate workforce and economic opportunities for Maine, he said.

The Harold Alfond Foundation announced Tuesday the money will go to eight colleges, universities and organizations.

The largest grant went to the University of Maine System. Other beneficiaries are The Roux Institute at Northeastern University, the University of New England, Thomas College, FocusMaine, Colby College, Waterville Creates! and The Jackson Laboratory, officials said.

Created in 1950, the Harold Alfond Foundation has furthered the philanthropic legacy of Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company.

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