Colby College President William D. Adams today announced a $2 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to create and endow the Harold Alfond Director of Athletics position at the College and to provide support for varsity athletic programs.
"Harold Alfond's generous support over the years, particularly his support of Colby's student-athletes, has made it possible for our students to train and compete in some of the finest facilities available at any liberal arts college in the country," said President Adams in announcing this gift. "This most recent gift will provide even greater opportunities for Colby's student-athletes to compete at the highest levels of the NESCAC [New England Small College Athletic Conference]."
Prior to his death in 2007, Harold Alfond became known for his philanthropy statewide, notably in the area of athletics. "Harold Alfond's commitment to competitiveness on the playing field and performance in the classroom is well known," said Harold Alfond Foundation Chairman Gregory Powell. "It is our hope this gift will enhance the experience of Colby student-athletes on the field and in the classroom."
Colby's current athletic director, Marcella Zalot, has been named the first Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. The endowment of the athletic director position frees funds that will be used to augment other programs in the Athletics Department.
Alfond was a major contributor to Colby for decades. His name adorns many facilities at the College -- including the athletic center and a residence complex -- and across the state. A life overseer at Colby, Alfond received an honorary doctorate in 1980. His late wife, Dorothy "Bibby" Alfond, was a member of the Class of 1938. Their son Bill graduated from Colby in 1972 and has served as a trustee of the College. Another son, Ted, and his wife, Barbara, are members of the Colby College Museum of Art Board of Governors. Harold and Bibby Alfond's nephew Peter Lunder '56 and granddaughter Jennifer Alfond Seeman '92 both serve Colby as overseers, and Peter Lunder's wife, Paula Crane Lunder, is a life trustee of the College.
In addition to this gift, the Harold Alfond Foundation and Bill Alfond have made significant recent gifts to the College in support of its athletics programs, including Bill Alfond Field, Colby's first synthetic turf facility, built in 2004, and the Harold Alfond Stadium, built in 2008.
Colby College, founded in 1813, is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Colby provides a rigorous academic program that fosters transformational relationships between students and faculty. Graduates emerge as committed leaders ready to make an impact on their world. The college enrolls 1,850 students. Additional information is available at www.colby.edu.
The Harold Alfond Foundation
Founded in 1950, the Harold Alfond Foundation furthers the philanthropic legacy of Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company and a longtime supporter of Maine communities in which he and his family worked and resided. Harold Alfond awarded matching challenge grants to organizations to build community partnerships and to inspire and leverage additional giving by others. He ensured that his philanthropy would live on by committing nearly all of his wealth to the Foundation, which continues to support charitable causes in the State of Maine.