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Celebrating the campaign that transformed the University of New England

The University of New England is celebrating the conclusion of the most successful capital campaign in the University’s history — a campaign that helped to transform UNE into the vibrant, innovative educational community that it is today. President Danielle Ripich, Ph.D., thanked the campaign’s supporters during the annual President’s Gala on June 8, 2017.

 “This campaign would not have succeeded without the support of UNE’s board, faculty, staff, alumni and friends,” she said. “It is their vision and dedication to innovation that has helped us all collectively transform this university, and I am confident the next president, Dr. James Herbert, will lead UNE through its next dynamic transformation.”

Led by Campaign Chair and UNE Trustee Emeritus Robert McAfee, M.D., UNE’s Moving Forward Capital Campaign concluded on May 31, 2017, having raised more than $61.6 million from more than 8,800 donors.

The campaign launched publicly in 2014, but UNE began privately raising support in 2009. That support included leadership gifts from the Harold Alfond Foundation for construction of the Alfond Forum athletics complex and Northeast Delta Dental for the establishment of the UNE College of Dental Medicine (CDM), Maine’s first and only dental school. The College of Dental Medicine received other significant gifts from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, the Mattina R. Proctor Foundation, the Vincent B. and Barbara G. Welch Foundation, Unum, Jane and Robert L. Card, D.D.S., Barry C. Saltz, D.D.S., and the Davis Family Foundation.

In 2010, the voters of the State of Maine approved a $5 million bond referendum, which resulted in a $3.5 million award to build UNE’s Oral Health Center on Stevens Avenue in Portland and $1.5 million to community health clinics throughout the state to support their ability to host UNE dental students on their clinical rotations. Combined, UNE CDM students are now providing tens of thousands of hours of oral health care to the citizens of Maine in clinical settings.

Support for scholarships and financial aid was another key component of the campaign. Of the $61.6 million raised, well over $23 million was earmarked for student support. Westbrook Junior College alumna Eleanor Morrell ’49 and her husband Richard Morrell, Honorary ’96, endowed a scholarship in her name, and other endowed scholarship funds were established with many generous gifts to honor Patricia Kelley, Associate Dean in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, former St. Francis and UNE Coach Jim Beaudry, and President Danielle N. Ripich.

Significant funds were raised to match the Doctors for Maine’s Future Scholarships provided by the State for Maine students studying at UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, including endowed scholarships established with gifts from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and the MaineHealth Osteopathic Heritage Fund. KeyBank and Delta Dental of Maine and Vermont also gave generously to support Maine dental college students practicing in rural areas of Maine, with funds supporting stipends for clinical rotations and loan forgiveness for those staying to practice in Maine and Vermont after graduation. The Betterment Fund has been a longstanding donor to UNE scholarships, continuing with this campaign through an endowed scholarship in support of CDM students.

UNE’s leadership in the growing field of Interprofessional Healthcare Education, or IPE, was supported by gifts from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

On the Biddeford Campus, what had been the gym at St. Francis College became Leonard Hall thanks to a generous donation from Robert Leonard, D.O., and Kathryn Leonard, D.O., both graduates of the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine’s class of 1986. The space was turned into a high-tech interactive classroom to support an innovative, team-based approach to medical education and an expanded medical school class of 175 students.

Another major capital objective that the campaign helped achieve was the renovation and re-opening of Alumni Hall on UNE’s Portland Campus, thanks to many generous donations from Westbrook College and Westbrook Junior College alumni and friends. Zareen Mirza gave a gift in honor of her mother, Josephine “Dodie” Detmer, former UNE Trustee and Honorary Alumna from the class of 2006, to name the Detmer Room. Other spaces were named in recognition of generous planned gifts, such as the Sandra Rice Sternburg (WJC ’56) Study Room and spaces named in honor of Dorothy Wallace Dixon (WJC ’41) and Constance R. Strout-Wood (WJC ’54). President Danielle Newberry Ripich gave to name the Newberry Room in honor of her parents. Alumni Hall was originally constructed in 1835 as the first building at Westbrook Seminary, which eventually became Westbrook Junior College and later Westbrook College before merging with the University of New England in 1996.

Perhaps the most unique gift was that of an island. Local developer and philanthropist Arthur P. Girard donated Ram Island in Saco Bay to serve as a marine research field station. In recognition of this and other generous gifts, UNE named the Arthur P. Girard Marine Science Center in Biddeford in his honor. Marine sciences were also supported with a significant gift from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation to endow a professorship in marine science.

The last principal gift that put the campaign over its $60 Million goal was given in December of 2016 from Housing Initiatives of New England, with $1,000,000 to establish UNE’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Health. The gift was facilitated by the Vice Chair of UNE’s Board of Trustees, Cynthia Taylor, President of Housing Initiatives of New England.

“Achieving this fiscal milestone was the ultimate goal, but the campaign’s messaging was developed to raise awareness, appreciation and support,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Bill Chance. “Getting the word out about UNE and the incredible institution that it has become in a short time and in the midst of a challenging economy was more than collateral; it was a primary purpose of the campaign. We are extremely grateful for every gift, large and small, for each exemplifies recognition of UNE’s contributions. By giving back, each donor helps keep UNE moving forward.”

une moving forward campaign by the numbers graphic

Thank You!

The University of New England raised more than $61 million to successfully complete its Moving Forward campaign. More than 7,500 students, alumni and friends contributed to this tremendous goal. From all of us to all of you, we say “Thank You!” Please enjoy the video below.

The University of New England Says Thank You!

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