UMaine receives largest single donation ever for athletics from Harold Alfond Foundation

$90 million of the total $500 million gift goes to Black Bear Athletics
Harold Alfond Foundation announces $500 million investment in Maine’s future
Harold Alfond Foundation announces $500 million investment in Maine’s future
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:56 AM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The Harold Alfond Foundation is gifting $500 million to institutions across the state on Wednesday.

The University of Maine receiving $90 million to put towards the state’s only division one programs.

According to a news release from UMaine, it’s the largest single contribution for athletics at a public university in New England and is among the largest gifts ever nationwide.

UMaine athletic director Ken Ralph said in a statement, "The plan for this funding is for new facilities, and upgrade our existing facilities, to improve the competitiveness of our Division I teams. Advance our stated commitment to gender equity in our athletics programs, as well as, create a destination for youth club programs and high school championship level events. "

Ralph has been renowned for his work at Colorado College where he funded and built new athletic facilities before coming to Orono. One of his projects there was a new hockey arena and has discussed the desire to build a new one on campus previously.

The gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation is a 10 year distribution. Of the $500 million the foundation is gifting, $240 million went to the University of Maine system.

Thomas College in Waterville also received money from the gift to "launch of new academic programs in leading-edge fields, enhanced student retention programs, expanded affordability initiatives, and a deepening of academic and employer community partnerships through the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation.

Colby College has been a huge benefactor of the Harold Alfond Foundation over the years and continued with part of this gift as they try to make Waterville a college town everyone wants to be a part of.

We will update this story following news conferences scheduled Wednesday.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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