Led by Pugh, Trustees
Help Fund New Center

by Stephen Collins '74


When the special Trustee Commission on Multicultural and Special Interest Housing recommended a 7,000-square-foot common ground center as the best solution to students' pleas for a multicultural house (see Student Life), there was immediate broad support for the concept. Between concept and groundbreaking, however, lies the not insignificant task of raising money--in this case at least half of the more than $1-million construction cost. Since the commission's report was published a few days before the spring meeting of Colby's Board of Trustees, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Randy Helm didn't have much time to work out a strategy. And it turned out he didn't need it.

Recognizing that more than a half million dollars would need to come from new gifts, Helm says he did little more than mention the subject to board chair Lawrence Pugh '56. "Larry basically said he thought the board would put its money where its mouth was, and he said, `Let me see what I can do,'" Helm recalled.

At odd moments and during breaks over the weekend meeting, Helm saw Pugh huddled with one trustee after another in a corner, occasionally pulling a folded and increasingly tattered piece of yellow legal paper from his pocket. Before the board meeting adjourned, Pugh announced that he had secured pledges for $505,000 from fellow trustees toward construction of the center. Additional gifts and pledges have since increased the collective trustees' contribution to more than $600,000, Helm reports.

Pugh and his wife, Jean (Van Curan '55), took the lead, pledging $250,000, and the College will recognize that gift by naming the addition The Pugh Center. Pugh said the trustees' financial support for the common ground space reflects the intensity of their devotion to and love for Colby. "It's a measure of our belief that what can happen in the Pugh Center and what will radiate out through the College will be of great benefit to students for a long time," he said.

The trustees' generosity "is really very typical of what Colby's Board of Trustees has done over a number of years when projects came up," Pugh said, pointing to the Lunder House as a special need met, in large part, by members of the board.

Helm said the trustees' support underlines their en-thusiasm for the unique solu-tion proposed by the special commission. "It's not the `politically correct' solution; it's the Colby solution to a difficult issue," he said.

Pledges by trustees reflect that "they have tremendous respect and admiration for Larry and Jean Pugh," Helm added.

Catalyst for Improvement
A chemistry lab in the Keyes building will be renovated and equipped to serve the needs of non-science majors thanks in part to a $100,000 grant from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation in Scarborough, Maine. The foundation is the charitable arm of Hannaford Bros. Co., a Maine-based food retailer with 118 stores in seven states in the northeast and the Carolinas.

"The Hannaford Charitable Foundation is very pleased to support Colby's capital campaign and the College's commitment to technological literacy, an increasingly important component of a liberal arts education," said Paul A. Fritzson, president of the Hannaford Charitable Foundation, when the gift was announced this spring.

The grant is an important component in Colby's proposed $1.4-million modernization of the Keyes chemistry building, one of the highest priority objectives of Colby's $100-million capital campaign announced last October. The new laboratory will expand and enhance the hands-on laboratory courses that satisfy the College's science requirement for non-science majors and will help ensure that all Colby graduates will be prepared for an increasingly technological world. Construction is slated to begin this summer.

"Not only will this benefit all Colby students who use the facilities, it will also enhance our extensive collaboration with public school science programs in the greater Waterville area," said Colby College President William R. Cotter. "This is a stunning contribution toward our overall plan for upgrading science facilities."

Three Hannaford Bros. vice presidents are Colby graduates: Albert Carville Jr. '63, Karen Johnson Mank '70 and Kenneth C. Johnson '76.

Not Afraid to Take a Check
As captain of the women's ice hockey team, Laura Iorio '95 was "tough in front of the net--very aggressive--definitely gritty," said Laura Halldorson, Iorio's coach for the past four seasons. Despite a lacrosse injury that required reconstructive knee surgery between her first and second seasons, Iorio played all four years, starting as a forward and wrapping up her career playing defense. "She wasn't afraid to get hit," Halldorson said, even though the tender knee occasionally required crutches between games.

Iorio brought that same tenacity to a different arena this spring. She took charge of Colby's Senior Pledge drive and lifted the College's perennially successful student fund raising effort to a record 70 percent participation rate, edging last year's record of 69 percent.

That rate sustains an upward trend that started in 1989, when just 35 percent of Colby seniors made pledges. The Senior Pledge was initiated 10 years ago.

This year's record participation rate earned praise for the seniors from President William Cotter when he addressed them at Commencement, as well as praise for Iorio, whom he singled out. "Laura probably still has some pledge forms under her gown for any seniors who still are not in the pledge," Cotter quipped.

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Randy Helm credited the success of the drive to Iorio's energy and what he called a "real over-the-top performance" at the senior dinner. She arrived at the dinner with pledge cards for more than 100 classmates who hadn't signed on and used the opportunity to employ the fund raiser's best tool, personal contact, to win more converts. When it was her turn to speak, she got to the platform, paused and made a great fuss applying her make-up in front of the crowd before charming and cajoling her peers one more time. At the class party afterward she got the last dozen pledges that put her over 70 percent. "She's vibrant and outgoing. She loves Colby and isn't afraid to tell people so," said Helm. "She was definitely the right leader at the right time."

By the time seniors picked up diplomas on May 28, 70.52 percent of them had pledged $39,472 (payable over five years), and Iorio, wearing a baseball cap instead of the traditional mortarboard, celebrated by dancing a quick jig up the steps to the platform. "That's just the type of person she is," said Associate Director of Annual Giving Margaret Felton Viens '77, who coordinated the Senior Pledge with Iorio. "She was great to work with."

Proceeds from the Senior Pledge go to the Alumni Fund for general, unrestricted expenditures by the College. "It's to get Colby alumni into the habit of giving from the day they graduate," says Helm. During the five years before their first reunion, graduates tend to move around a lot and don't have a great deal of money to give. The Senior Pledge informs students about the importance of philanthropy to the College and to their own lives and helps mold their philanthropic habits while their Colby experience is still fresh, Helm says.

Iorio, a government major and women's studies minor who led the Colby Women's Group as well as the hockey team, isn't waiting to see whether she's found her career calling--she has an internship at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., working in development.

Banking on the Future
Fleet Bank of Maine has pledged $50,000 to the Campaign for Colby. The gift will endow a scholarship for minority students.

Colby trustee and Fleet Bank of Maine Chairman M. Anne O'Hanian Szostak '72 presented a check to College trustees at their May meeting.

"It is our sincere hope that Fleet's gift to this campaign will provide the impetus for other corporations and individuals to affirm their support for Colby's educational mission," Szostak said.

Raising funds for scholarships is a principle goal of the Campaign for Colby. Fleet's pledge, to be paid over five years, was welcomed by President William Cotter.

"This is another example of Fleet Bank's corporate leadership in the state of Maine, and we are very grateful for their support of our efforts to offer more scholarship monies to minority students," Cotter said. "Making sure that students from a variety of backgrounds may continue to attend Colby is a cornerstone of our mission."

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