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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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Unprecedented $90M gift for UMaine athletics will revamp school’s struggling facilities

The University of Maine’s needy athletic facilities have received a major shot in the arm.

The Harold Alfond Foundation is providing the athletic department with an unprecedented gift of $90 million, the organization announced in a press release on Wednesday morning. It will be the largest single gift to athletics at a public university in New England and among the largest gifts ever, nationwide.

It was part of a $240 million grant to the University of Maine system.

It will be distributed over the next 10 years and is the lead gift in a planned $110 million investment in athletic facilities on the Orono campus. All the money is expected to be funded through private philanthropy.

The transformative gift will go toward capital projects in direct support of the master plan to upgrade the athletic facilities.

Details of the plan will be disclosed at a later date.

Last year, UMaine

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$240 million gift to UMaine System ranks among largest ever to public institutes of higher ed

A $240 million gift to the University of Maine System is among the largest ever gifts to public institutes of higher education and will be used to invest in new facilities, scholarships and athletics over the next 12 years.

The funding is part of a $500 million investment announced by the Harold Alfond Foundation Tuesday that will provide grants of between $5 million and $240 million to expand science and technology education and workforce skills around Maine. The grants are the largest set of commitments the philanthropic organization has made in its 70-year history.

About half of the total Alfond donation will go to the U Maine System, which announced more details Wednesday on how the money will be spent. The gift is the 8th largest gift ever to a U.S. institute of public higher education and the largest ever in New England, according to a news release from the

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UMaine student remembered for work ethic, athletics, personal style

Regan McCleary, a University of Maine student from Buxton who died Saturday evening, was a quiet, driven athlete and student who excelled in math and opened up around his close circle of friends, his family said.

McCleary, a 19-year-old sophomore, drowned in the Stillwater River in Orono on Saturday evening. A rescue effort with boats and a helicopter retrieved him from the river around 7 p.m., and an investigation by the Orono Police Department is ongoing.

Regan McCleary Photo courtesy of the McCleary family

His family remembered him as a quiet, highly motivated student and athlete whose playful side came out around his close friends.

“He had a good balance,” Kendra, his mother, said in an interview. “He was conscientious, but he also spent a lot of time with friends. The boys.”

In his first year, McCleary earned several academic awards from the University of Maine, including the Alton S.

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