Skoufis Nephews Deliver Additional Gift

Skoufis check presentation

Danny Williams, Jeff Mills, George Predaris, John Rozos

On the road again. Recently cousins George Predaris of Rye, NH, and John Rozos of Poland Spring, ME made a special delivery of a check for $271,671.80 to the University of Maine Foundation. Foundation President Jeff Mills and Collins Center for the Arts Director Danny Williams were on hand at Buchanan Alumni House to graciously accept the funds. Last summer, Predaris and Rozos handed University of Maine President Susan Hunter and University of Maine Foundation President Jeff Mills a check for $300,000. Both checks were a result of their work to settle their Aunt Helen Skoufis’ estate to benefit the Helen M. and Peter J. Skoufis Scholarship, established in 1996 at the Foundation by the Skoufises. Distributions from the endowed fund will provide endless scholarship assistance for UMaine undergraduate students who are graduates of Bangor High School and John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.

Helen Skoufis and her husband Peter, a member of the UMaine Class of 1941, were longtime supporters of the University of Maine.

“We are very grateful to Helen and Peter for their forethought in planning this generous gift,” Jeff Mills said, “ and to their nephews who so thoughtfully carried out the task of seeing it through.”

Although his work in the U.S.Foreign Service took him around the globe interacting with world leaders, Peter Skoufis never forgot his roots in his hometown, Bangor, Maine, or his alma mater, the University of Maine, where he earned a bachelor of arts in History and Political Science in 1941. Peter Skoufis passed away in 2005, and Helen in 2014.

Foundation Member Meets Scholarship Recipients

Edie McVay and Student

Pictured: (left-right), Laura Horowitz ’17, Edie McVay King ’67, Alexis Bowman ’16, Mason Crocker ’16

University of Maine Foundation Member Edie McVay King ’67 had the chance to meet current recipients of her Edie McVay King Scholarship at a recent scholarship reception hosted by the University of Maine Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences at Buchanan Alumni House.

King, who graduated from UMaine in 1967 with a degree in bacteriology, created the endowed scholarship fund specifically for students with a major in her field. Her gift is awarded annually to UMaine students, supporting new professionals in her area of expertise.

The Stephen E. King Chair in Literature Endowment Fund is Established at the University of Maine Foundation by the Alfond Foundation

Stephen King

An endowed chaired professorship in literature named in honor of best-selling author and University of Maine alumnus Stephen King will be established at his alma mater with the help of a $1 million award from the Harold Alfond Foundation.

The Stephen E. King Chair in Literature will support a faculty position in the Department of English in honor of King’s “substantial body of work and creative impact.”

The endowment for the faculty chair position, the first for the English Department, is held at the University of Maine Foundation. A search to fill the position is expected to begin this fall.

An event celebrating the King Chair is being planned for later this year.

“The Harold Alfond Foundation is delighted to make this grant in honor of Stephen King and in support of Maine’s flagship university,” said Greg Powell, chairman of the Alfond Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “This chaired professorship is a tribute to Mr. King’s outstanding literary accomplishments and his deep commitment to Maine.”

University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter called the endowed chaired professorship “an exceptional gift that honors the tremendous literary legacy of UMaine’s most well-known and beloved alumnus.”

“Stephen and Tabitha King have been generous supporters of their alma mater for many years,” said Hunter. “It is now particularly rewarding to have a prestigious gift such as this that will inspire and influence current and future generations of readers and writers.”

The endowed chaired professor will help UMaine recruit and retain a faculty member who is an accomplished teacher and a scholar of literature, according to UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Emily Haddad.

“This gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation recognizes both Stephen King’s extraordinary career and the importance of literature in the public sphere. The King Chair will expand the UMaine English Department’s leading role in literature, creative writing and the humanities. Building on the recent successes of the University of Maine Humanities Center, the King Chair will continue to engage students, fellow scholars and the public in the study and appreciation of literature,” Haddad said. “King is an inspiration for students who are fascinated by literature and its contributions to human culture. The opportunity to study with the King Chair gives them one more reason to choose UMaine.”

Through the years, Harold Alfond and the Harold Alfond Foundation have made more than $19 million in gifts and pledges to the University of Maine, including naming gifts for Alfond Sports Arena and Alfond Stadium, and the creation of the annual Alfond Challenge to benefit UMaine football. Thousands of students, fans and other members of the UMaine community have benefited from the philanthropy of the Alfond Foundation and Harold Alfond, according to University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery Mills.

Last fall, the Alfond Foundation also awarded a $3.9 million gift to complete the W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center on campus. The $13.8 million facility is named in honor of the philanthropist.

Similarly, generous support for UMaine has come from the Kings and the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, which is devoted to promoting, strengthening and supporting Maine communities.

King is a 1970 UMaine graduate who was awarded a National Medal of Arts last September as one of the world’s best-known authors. He and his wife, author Tabitha King, also a UMaine graduate, both received honorary degrees from their alma mater in 1987. As a UMaine English major, King’s mentors included professors Burton Hatlen, Edward Holmes and Jim Bishop. Stephen King’s most recent book is the story collection “The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.”

Special Collections in UMaine’s Fogler Library holds the Stephen Edwin King Literary Papers, available by request with certain access restrictions.

Estate bequest of over $2 million to fund UMaine scholarship

Mrs. Veronica PendletonThe University of Maine Foundation has received more than $2 million from the Veronica Pendleton estate to fund the Raymond K. and Veronica Pendleton Fund at the University of Maine. Mrs. Pendleton created the fund several years ago with a plan to provide an eventual gift from her estate.

The bequest gift to the Raymond K. and Veronica Pendleton Fund was announced at the University of Maine Foundation’s annual meeting and luncheon Oct. 16 by foundation President Jeffery Mills.

The endowed fund will provide monetary support to students who choose to study forestry, agriculture or marine sciences in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. It is expected that the fund will provide $100,000 in scholarships annually.

“Our work at the foundation is very rewarding on a day like today, when you have assisted someone in planning a legacy and witness it become a reality,” says Mills. “University of Maine students will benefit from this generosity every semester, in perpetuity.”

The scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need or academic excellence. During even-numbered years, a preference shall be given to students studying agriculture or forestry, and during odd-numbered years to students studying marine sciences.

“The college is delighted to receive the Pendleton bequest. It will assist students who will become future natural resources managers in sectors important to Maine’s economy and quality of life,” says Edward Ashworth, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Mrs. Pendleton, who passed away in August 2014, established the planned gift at the University of Maine Foundation. She and her husband, Dr. Raymond Pendleton, who attended UMaine, lived on Islesboro for many years.

Distribution of the fund, which will be administered by the UMaine Office of Financial Aid, will begin for the fall 2016 semester.








Westbrook Businessman Honors Son with University of Maine Endowed Professorship

Saunders Family

University of Maine Foundation President/CEO Jeffery Mills has announced that Westbrook businessman Henry Saunders has created the Kenneth W. Saunders and Henry W. Saunders Professorship in Engineering Leadership and Management at the University of Maine to honor the memory of his son, who passed away in January 2014.  

The gift of $250,000 to the University of Maine Foundation, from Saunders and his daughter, Leslie S. McManus will encourage a legacy of support for future engineers at the the university.

Henry Saunders grew up in his family’s business, Saunders Brothers in Westbrook, Maine. As a former president and business owner, he knows the value of leadership and management skills, and understands the value of the technical expertise he acquired as a 1950 engineering graduate of UMaine.

Saunders’ son, Kenneth, passed away suddenly in 2014 from viral pneumonia. Kenneth’s engineering career spanned almost 30 years, starting at MIT Lincoln Labs in Massachusetts. He was an acknowledged leader in various projects for NASA, including aircraft collision avoidance, the so-called “Star Wars” development for destruction of enemy missiles, and other government and private entities. For the last five years of his life, he was an engineer at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Kenneth received numerous awards for his achievements and academics, the latest of which were two New Mexico State University Research Achievement Awards for his work with rocket telemetry at White Sands Missile Range. Kenneth’s passion for engineering, learning and his natural leadership skills carried over into everything he did.

Kenneth was valedictorian of the Class of 1978 at Westbrook High School, graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and received a master’s degree from Purdue University.

Dana Humphrey, dean of the UMaine College of Engineering, has been named the first Kenneth W. and Henry W. Saunders Professor, serving a five-year term. The focus is on helping engineering students go beyond technical competence to prepare for leadership roles in their fields.

Henry Saunders stresses the importance of developing stronger leadership skills in business and in government. These skills require improvements and greater competence in human relations, technical knowledge and managerial abilities; they include stronger levels of trust, greater courage and vision, and the ability to execute these seven leadership skills. He especially believes that UMaine Engineering students will gain a huge advantage in their careers by learning these skills in leadership and management and thinks Dean Humphrey is an excellent choice.

“Dean Humphrey is not only an accomplished academic leader, he is passionate about teaching leadership,” says UMaine Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jeffrey Hecker. “He developed a minor in engineering leadership and management and teaches the foundational course in the curriculum. Funds such as the Saunders Professorship are important for UMaine because they provide awards to retain the best faculty and the support needed for them to continue to excel. The advantage of an endowed fund such as this one, is that the support is ongoing.”

Pictured from left, are the late Kenneth Saunders and his parents, the late Marjorie Saunders and Henry Saunders. Henry Saunders and daughter, Leslie S. McManus gifted $250,000 to the University of Maine Foundation to support future engineers at the University of Maine.

Professor Ed Grew Establishes Funds to Benefit School of Earth and Climate Sciences

Ed Grew Photo

Photo courtesy of UMaine

Professor Ed Grew has invested in his discipline in many ways. Grew has been at the University of Maine since 1984 as a research scientist and an educator and mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students.

In November 2014, he established two funds for the benefit of the department to which he has devoted his life’s work. The Edward Sturgis Grew Earth Sciences Endowment will be used to support the educational and research activities of students in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences. Funds will be available for educational field trips, field experiences and field camp, research, internships and networking events. The Edward Sturgis Grew Professorship in Petrology and Mineralogy will support a new tenure-eligible faculty position in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences.

Grew describes the motivation for his gift, “I would like to keep up the tradition of mineralogy and petrology at the School of Earth and Climate Sciences for which the School is renowned. The School has excellent and well-maintained analytical instrumentation for studying minerals such as the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope, which are available to students and faculty alike. In addition, supporting a professorship is a family tradition since I have common ancestors with both founders of the Sturgis Hooper Professorship of Geology at Harvard University. I hope to set a precedent to other faculty in the School to come forward and donate funds to further the internationally recognized research within the School.”

Grew received a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He served in post-doctoral positions at the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Los Angeles before joining the research faculty of the University of Maine in 1984. His distinguished career in mineralogy and metamorphic petrology have included fieldwork in southern India, Siberia’s Aldan Shield and Tajikistan, as well as 9 trips to Antarctica with expeditions supported by the U.S., Japan, Australia, and the former Soviet Union, including a winter-over at its Molodezhnaya Station. This research was funded by 24 research grants and has resulted in over 160 peer-reviewed publications, two edited volumes, and numerous presentations at national and international scientific conferences. Grew has also brought significant international recognition to the University of Maine through his contributing to the discovery of 17 new minerals. Two new minerals have been named in his honor; edgrewite and hydroxyledgrewite. In 2007, Grew was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in recognition of distinguished research on the role of lithium, beryllium and boron in metamorphism at high temperatures and pressures, with emphasis on the Precambrian of Antarctica.

The Edward Sturgis Grew Earth Sciences Endowment is held at the University of Maine Foundation and the Edward Sturgis Grew Professorship in Petrology and Mineralogy is administered by the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.

“Dr. Grew’s gift is another fine example of UMaine’s faculty giving back to support and enhance ongoing learning for students,” says Foundation President/CEO Jeff Mills. “Along with the financial support, it is a tribute to the scholarship at the University of Maine.”