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Colby College exceeded its $370-million capital campaign goal June 30, raising a total of $376-million in the largest fundraising campaign in Maine’s history. The Reaching the World Campaign, begun in 2005 under Colby President William D. Adams, was mounted to support financial aid, facilities, and the academic experience.
“The success of this campaign shouldn’t be taken for granted,” said Robert E. Diamond Jr. ’73, chair of Colby’s Board of Trustees and president of Barclays Bank PLC. “Exceeding our ambitious $370-million goal, despite the worst global recession in generations during these last two years of the campaign, is a stunning achievement.”
In 2007 Colby announced that it would receive one of the most important collections of American art ever given to a liberal arts college from Peter and Paula Lunder, who felt strongly that the art should be accessible to the people of Maine. To accomplish that goal, Colby needs a new exhibition space, and the campaign’s capstone gift, $5 million from the Portland, Maine-based Harold Alfond Foundation, will fund a major portion of a museum expansion to house the Lunder Collection.
The new gallery space is part of a $15-million, 26,000-square-foot expansion scheduled to break ground in mid-2011 for completion in 2013, Colby’s bicentennial year. It will allow many important pieces in the Lunder Collection to be exhibited, including works by James McNeill Whistler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, and many other American masters.
“These families [the Alfonds and the Lunders] have recognized the importance of great art to the state of Maine and have enabled us to make that art available to the people of Maine and to Colby’s faculty and students,” said Sharon Corwin, the museum’s director.
The Lunders and the Alfonds have strong ties to Colby, to Maine, and to each other. Peter Lunder, Harold Alfond’s nephew, helped him build Dexter Shoe into the successful business it became. The name of the new museum space will acknowledge the connection between the Alfond and Lunder families. Harold Alfond, who died in 2007, was a major contributor to Colby and other Maine institutions for decades. His wife, Dorothy Levine Alfond, was a member of Colby’s class of 1938. Their son Bill Alfond graduated from Colby in 1972 and has been a member of Colby’s board of trustees. Another son, Ted Alfond, is a member of the Colby Museum of Art Board of Governors, and his wife, Barbara Alfond, chairs the board. Their daughter, Jennifer Alfond Seeman ’92, is a Colby overseer. Peter Lunder graduated from Colby in 1956, and Paula Lunder is a life trustee.
During the campiagn, the College has completed six major construction projects: the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, the Diamond Building for social sciences and interdisciplinary programs, the Pulver Pavilion addition to Cotter Union, a new bookstore, the Bill Alfond Field, and the Harold Alfond Stadium, including a synthetic turf playing surface.
Major contributions to the campaign have increased Colby’s financial aid endowment by nearly $50 million, allowing the College to offer grants in place of loans in student financial aid packages. Since the campaign began, the percentage of Colby students who receive financial aid grants has risen to approximately 40 percent.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.colby.edu/campaign.