FARMINGTON, ME (January 24, 2019)—Eric C. Brown, interim president of the University of Maine at Farmington, is proud to announce that the University has received a generous gift of $3.225 million from two anonymous donors.
This historic contribution is the second largest donation UMF has ever received.
The gift creates the Catalyst Fund at UMF, which will provide the financial resources needed to implement and expand initiatives that bolster financial aid, stimulate student success, advance graduate education programs and more.
“On behalf of the entire UMF community, I am deeply grateful to the donors for making this transformative and exceedingly generous investment in the University and the success of our students,” said Brown. “Their gift provides us with an infusion of vital resources for debt-relieving scholarships, our successful graduate school offerings and programs that promote student persistence. By making UMF a philanthropic priority the donors have signaled their strong belief in our values, our mission, and our institutional goals. We are incredibly fortunate to have their leadership and this magnitude of support.”
Among the initiatives that will receive Catalyst Fund support is a new Persistence Scholarship Program that will provide students with a merit scholarship for being on track to successfully graduate in four years. In addition to their financial aid packages, full-time students with a 2.75 grade point average in their second, third and fourth years will receive annual scholarships. This initiative, focused on student success, has been crafted to encourage timely degree completion, thereby helping to reduce student loan debt upon graduation—a national problem. It will begin in the fall of 2019.
In addition, a designated number of full-time students with unforeseen financial hardship will be eligible to receive an emergency grant to help them remain at UMF and complete their degree.
The Catalyst Fund will also support an expansion of graduate-level professional development, certificate and master’s degree programs that align with UMF’s mission and strengths and speak to Maine’s ongoing need for career-ready, skilled professionals.
“All of the student-focused initiatives that will receive investments through the Catalyst Fund will help our students pursue their intellectual interests, achieve their career goals, and add to the human capital of the Maine economy,” said Jared Cash, vice president of enrollment and external affairs. “The legacy of the donors’ gift will be increased achievement, well-being and career readiness among our students.”
Interim President Brown said the effects of the donors’ philanthropic leadership will be felt as early as the coming months with the awarding of Persistence Scholarships and the plans to increase first-year student enrollment in the University’s successful Summer Experience, a program that helps students prepare for the transition from high school to college.
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Photo Caption: UMF Merrill Hall
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations