By Natalie Scott
BANGOR, ME- On Friday, April 7th, students, faculty, and people of the community gathered at the Gracie Theatre and online, via live stream, to hear about the gift to Husson University from the Harold Alfond Foundation. President of the University, Robert Clark stood on the stage in front of hundreds to introduce Chairman Gregory W. Powell. Powell soon made his way to the stage, as well, to tell the good news. Everyone waited patiently while each of the guest speakers gave out some information about Husson University, the Harold Alfond Foundation, and more. This announcement was extra special because it was such a surprise to the students, staff and all who take part in making this University what it is today. Even though guests knew the Harold Alfond Foundation was donating something, they were unsure of what it was.
On behalf of the Harold Alfond Foundation, $1 would be be matched for every $2 donated to Husson University. This would round up to a whopping $4 million, eventually building up every time money is donated. Powell soon announced that this generous donation will be used for a new college of business building on the Bangor campus. Officials even say they hope to have the building ready to use by the year of 2021. President Clark said construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 for the building to be ready for students by 2021. With donations coming in at a steady rate, and already having $1.7 million raised, Husson Officials mentioned that they hope to finish off the fundraising at around $16 million. “This reflects a strong commitment of a team of individuals that have a vision for Husson’s future. One, that reflects its quality and values and its contribution to Maine’s economic future,” said President Clark.
The new college business is said to be around 32,000 square feet, consisting of business classrooms and offices. It has also been said to be the largest college of business in the state, by Powell himself. The building will be connected to, or located close to the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on the Husson campus in Bangor. This is also located near the three new townhouse buildings that are under construction right now. “It shows that the university is continuing to grow, and that it has support from outside of Husson. They obviously see something worth investing in Husson, and that shows that the university is doing something right,” said Bryce Carter, a sophomore at Husson University.
With the college of business being approximately 119 years old, everyone agreed that they needed an upgrade and it wouldn’t have been possible without this donation. Officials also added in a fact that the college of business has grown over 32 percent in the last five years, making business one of the top longed for majors at Husson University. “This gift will help us provide future generations with the facilities and technology they need to successfully prepare to compete in today’s global economy,” said President Clark. Senator Susan Collins even made an appearance via video, sending her apologies for not being there in person, and speaking about the donation. It was truly a surprise to the community.