Philanthropists Joe and Sheri Boulos have stepped up again for Maine. The couple, known widely for their generosity to Maine organizations and people, has committed $10 million to Colby—the largest gift in their history. The gift will name the Boulos Family Fitness Center in the College’s new athletics complex, which is slated to open in 2020. Joe Boulos ’68, LL.D. ’09 is a life trustee and former chair of Colby’s Board of Trustees.
“This phenomenal gift from Joe and Sheri Boulos is an expression of their deep and longstanding commitment to Colby,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “These two are Colby’s most loyal supporters, always jumping in to advance the College. Joe has been the leader for Colby who everyone loves to follow. He is smart, dedicated, strategic, and totally selfless. He and Sheri have never wanted anything but to see Colby thrive.”
Colby students participate in athletics and healthy physical activities in high numbers. About 40 percent are varsity athletes; about 80 percent participate in organized athletics in some form. The existing athletic complex is a hub of activity on campus, and the new complex will attract and accommodate the campus community—and the local Waterville community—in new ways.
“This gift helps to ensure that Colby is providing our students with the very best experience and the tools they need to be competitive at a national level,” said Greene. “It also extends our ability to serve Waterville and the surrounding areas by providing local teams the opportunities to practice and compete in world-class athletic facilities and state-of-the-art fields. The Bouloses’ generosity is truly a gift to Maine.”
“Sheri and I are thrilled to be able to support Colby in this way at this time,” said Mr. Boulos. “The College has ambitious plans for its future, and we are all in.”
In addition to this capital gift, Joe and Sheri Boulos committed $350,000 to the Colby Fund, which facilitates the College’s operations and accelerates important strategic initiatives. It also provides much-needed funding for financial aid, which has long been important to the Bouloses. In 2007 the Bouloses funded a program that replaced student loans with grants in financial aid packages of Maine students. In 2008, under his leadership, the Board of Trustees extended the program to all students, and it has become one of the signature initiatives of the Colby Commitment, which ensures access to and affordability of the Colby experience.
Raised in Portland and South Portland, and well known in Maine’s business community, Mr. Boulos was a U.S. Marine pilot in Vietnam before founding CBRE | Boulos Brokerage, Asset Management and Boulos Development in 1975. He now oversees the strategic direction of the management company. Over his career, Mr. Boulos has developed and built more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial property in the Portland area.
Mr. Boulos became a Colby overseer in 1991. He joined the Board of Trustees two years later and served as chair from 2005 to 2009, during which time the College conducted a $376-million campaign—the largest in Maine history when it surpassed its goal in 2010.
The Bouloses’ generous support of the College has been marked by support of the existing Boulos Family Fitness Center as well as the Harold Alfond Stadium and the Colby College Museum of Art. They have contributed significantly to financial aid at Colby and beyond. They created the Boulos Family Scholarship program that has, to date, funded 310 Maine veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 with scholarships of $10,000 each. In honor of Mr. Boulos’s father, they contributed the lead gift for the Boulos Stadium at Cheverus High School, from which Joe Boulos graduated.
“We’ve focused our philanthropy around education in Maine, veterans, and mental health issues—on the latter, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook has been particularly important to us,” said Sheri Boulos. “This opportunity for a major gift in support of Colby’s new athletic complex aligned perfectly with our priorities.”