Peter H. Lunder and Paula Crane Lunder, of Waterville, Maine, have strong ties to Colby College and its museum. Mr. Lunder graduated from Colby in 1956, and both Mr. and Mrs. Lunder received honorary degrees from the College in 1998. Mr. Lunder is a life overseer. Mrs. Lunder joined the Board of Trustees in 1998 and served as its vice chair in 2003–04. In 2006, she was named a life trustee. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lunder have been generous members of the museum's Board of Governors since 1995. In that year, they made the lead gift to the museum's Lunder Wing, designed by architect Fred Fisher and inaugurated in 1999. That same year, they also endowed a curatorial position at the museum, the Lunder Curator of American Art.
Mr. Lunder is also the vice chairman of the Smithsonian Institution's National Board, where the Lunder Foundation endowed the Lunder Conservation Center and the Lunder Education Curator at the Smithsonian's Museum of American Art, in Washington, D.C.
Commenting on the promised gift to Colby, the Lunders said, "We have the fullest confidence in the leadership and vision of the staff of Colby College and the Colby College Museum of Art, and we passionately support the museum's teaching mission. It is therefore our great pleasure to give our collection of American art to the College. We believe these artworks offer both a window into the American experience and a broad perspective on the world, and we wish to share these opportunities for insight and enjoyment with others—from the Colby community, to Waterville, to the state of Maine and its many visitors."