How the UMaine System’s largest gift ever came together

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 —

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Why We Need Women Leaders To Rebuild Our Broken Systems

Over the past seven plus months, as Covid-19 has devastated communities around the globe, we’ve seen plenty of media coverage of women leaders responding quickly, decisively, and compassionately to the pandemic (consider how Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s premier, conducted a Facebook Live chat from her couch at home to reassure fellow New Zealanders the evening she ordered an early lockdown on the island country). Other female leaders – including Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, and Denmark Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen – acted swiftly to shut down their countries, while communicating information calmly, clearly, and empathetically.

Now, a study published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the World Economic Forum confirms what many of us already suspected: Covid-19 deaths in countries led by women are significantly lower than those in countries led by men. According to the study’s authors, Supriya Garikipati and Uma

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Fashion groups transform back-end systems to aid bounceback

A growth in ecommerce during the coronavirus pandemic has helped some fashion houses and clothing retailers continue to do business even under lockdown. Industry experts now believe deeper digital transformation of distribution and sales could help fashion manufacturers and luxury brands with some longer-standing challenges posed by changes in consumers’ retail habits.

According to Goldman Sachs, fashion groups like Prada, Gucci and Ferragamo could bounce back faster than initially forecast, thanks to the recovery of the Chinese and American domestic markets. Analysts also expect brands that are focusing on digital marketing and ecommerce strategies will have substantial competitive advantages over their less nimble rivals. 

For Italy, where the fashion industry is worth almost 1.5 per cent of GDP, prolonged shop closures around the world have had a devastating effect on fashion companies’ results and weighed negatively on domestic suppliers.

Carlo Capasa, the president of Italy’s national fashion chamber, predicts revenue

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