When Dannel Malloy accepted the job last year as chancellor of the University of Maine System, one of the first people he met with was Greg Powell, head of Maine’s largest philanthropic institution, the Harold Alfond Foundation.
About five months later, the university system started discussing a grant proposal with the foundation that led to it this week becoming the recipient of the largest donation ever to a public educational institution in New England.
The Harold Alfond Foundation on Tuesday announced it would award $500 million to eight Maine educational institutions and workforce development organizations. The University of Maine System received the biggest chunk of funding: $240 million allocated over the next 12 years, making that portion alone the largest single donation the Harold Alfond Foundation has ever given.
The donations fall within the general priority areas for the foundation — education, health care and community and youth development —