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Prominent real-estate developer and 1968 alumnus Joe Boulos is the new chair of the Board of Trustees at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Boulos, the chair and CEO of CB Richard Ellis/The Boulos Company, is best known locally for his recent proposal to build a $250-million civic and convention center in Portland and his financing of a college scholarship fund for military personnel. To date he has funded 187 scholarships for Maine servicemen and women who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11. A Colby trustee since 1993, Boulos will lead Colby’s governing body through the College’s most significant physical expansion in a half century.
Raised in Portland and South Portland, Boulos founded The Boulos Company in 1975, after five years as a U.S. Marine pilot in Vietnam and a commercial helicopter pilot in Laos, Zaire (now the Congo), and South America. Those experiences, he says, helped shape his business style. “I think that a military experience, or a situation that you’ve been tested and you make it through, instills a lot of confidence. You think, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen? The business doesn’t make it? So what?’ I don’t think I’m afraid of trying something new,” he said.
That attitude has put him at the head of one of Maine’s largest commercial real estate groups, with 140 employees in companies that cover commercial brokerage, commercial asset management, real estate development, and real estate security services.
Of Boulos’s appointment, President William D. Adams said, “Colby is so fortunate to have a leader like Joe, the right person at the right time, stepping up to the plate. I admire him, personally and professionally, and the board’s similar sentiments can be read into the fact that they elected him chair unanimously.”
Beyond his professional accomplishments and commitment to his alma mater, Boulos has served as a trustee at the Portland Museum of Art, Cheverus High School, Maine Bank & Trust, The Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve and as chair of the Maine Compact for Higher Education. He was a founding director of The Maine Alliance and the Maine Real Estate Developers Association. Boulos has received numerous real-estate awards and was honored by Colby as Alumnus of the Year in 2003.
Boulos takes leadership as Colby embarks on an ambitious period of growth that includes ensuring the college has the resources to enhance Colby’s academic programs; making sure the most capable students, regardless of their financial situation, can attend; providing support for faculty and teaching; and providing necessary facilities to keep Mayflower Hill on the list of America’s greatest college campuses.
Colby is in the midst of constructing the 55,000-square-foot, $14.5-million Diamond Building, an academic facility that will house The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and various social science and interdisciplinary studies departments. Following its completion, two more buildings will be erected, including a natural sciences building and a music instruction and performance center.
Colby combines a challenging academic program, an emphasis on undergraduate research, and active community life. In June Colby was recognized as one of America’s most international campuses when it received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. The College also has been recognized for environmental leadership, with an award from the Environmental Protection Agency and two Maine Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence. Founded in 1813, Colby enrolls 1,800 undergraduates.