The word "forum" in ancient Rome denoted a place of assembly, a public space used for athletic competitions as well as the open exchange of ideas. UNE's Harold Alfond Forum is the largest gathering space on either the Biddeford or Portland Campuses. The Forum, which opened Fall 2012, provides the UNE community with state-of-the art athletics facilities as well as space for academic and recreational activities.
The Harold Alfond Forum is a state-of-the-art athletic facility with a 900-seat NHL-size hockey rink, 1,200-seat basketball court, multipurpose indoor practice courts, modern locker rooms and a fitness center, providing UNE's student-athletes with outstanding amenities. It is located next to UNE’s new synthetic blue turf field.
With a combined seating capacity of 3,000, the Alfond Forum is the largest venue on UNE's two campuses for UNE community and academic events such as the Annual Fall Convocation, which welcomes each new undergraduate class.
Intramurals and club sports have ample opportunity to use the Alfond Forum for programming. In addition, UNE students have time and space for general, personal recreation activities such as pickup basketball games and open skate. Times are also scheduled for public skates, and facilities can be rented for sporting events and other purposes.
The Alfond Forum houses and provides premier facilities for UNE's Athletic Training and Applied Exercise Science programs, with custom-designed teaching and laboratory space.
The Harold Alfond Foundation announced on Dec. 10, 2010 a commitment of $10 million to create an approximately $20 million state-of-the-art Harold Alfond Forum on the University of New England campus in Biddeford combined with an investment in interprofessional health care workforce education.
Founded in 1950, the Harold Alfond Foundation furthers the philanthropic legacy of Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company and a longtime supporter of Maine communities in which he and his family worked and resided. Harold Alfond awarded matching challenge grants to organizations to foster collaboration and to inspire and leverage additional giving by others. He ensured that his philanthropy would live on by committing nearly all of his wealth to the Foundation, which continues to support charitable causes in the State of Maine.
Consistent with Harold Alfond’s own giving pattern and philanthropic principles, the Foundation favors education, health care, youth development and other selected charitable causes.
UNE's Harold Alfond Center for the Health Sciences was also made possible by a lead challenge gift from the Alfond Foundation.