UMaine gets $10M gift for engineering building, media report

The Associated Press, Bangor Daily NewsPortland Press HeraldMaine PublicMainebizWABI(Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine has received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor to help build its engineering education and design center. The gift is the largest single estate donation in the university’s history, the BDN reported. UMaine is in the midst of a lofty fundraising campaign, Vision for Tomorrow, with a goal of $200 million. The donation brings that amount over $148 million, the BDN article states. The engineering center is the top priority of that campaign, according to UMaine’s president. “This investment builds on the remarkable growth and success of UMaine engineering,” President Susan J. Hunter said. “The engineering education and design center [EEDC] will help the College of Engineering expand its capacity to help meet student demand and Maine’s need for engineers,” Hunter added. Since 2001, the undergraduate engineering program has had 70 percent growth in enrollment. Dana Humphrey, dean of the College of Engineering at UMaine, told Maine Public the facility will be the center for the college’s undergraduate engineering education programs. He said the new building will allow students to be educated for the modern world and allow collaborative learning. U.S. News & World ReportThe Seattle Times and National Post carried the AP article.

Maine Trails magazine features article on new Engineering Education and Design Center

The February/March 2018 issue of the Maine Better Transportation Association’s (MBTA) Maine Trails magazine featured an article on the planned construction of the University of Maine’s new Engineering Education and Design Center, funded in part by a recent $10 million gift from an anonymous donor. The new building will be a place for students to collaborate, and will include laboratory facilities with interdisciplinary capacity to meet the needs of various programs within engineering. Three of UMaine’s 11 engineering programs are enrollment capped, so there are more eligible students than can be admitted with the current resources, but 27 percent of Maine’s engineers are 55 or older and will soon retire, creating a need for new engineering graduates to fill positions, the article states. The new facility will help expand the program’s capacity for educating prospective young engineers and bringing them into the workforce. The design team for the building includes WBRC Architects Engineers, based in Bangor, and Ellenzweig from Boston, among others. Plans are to break ground in spring 2020 with the building opening in 2022. Dean of the College of Engineering Dana Humphrey says the impact of the facility will include creating “more high-paying jobs in Maine” and helping Maine companies grow. “This dream is becoming a reality, and it will be a great benefit for the entire state of Maine,” Humphrey told Maine Trails