Record fundraising $1 million pledge announced by University of Maine Foundation at annual luncheon

The Wards stand with Dana Humphrey and Foundation President Jeff Mills for a photo

On hand for the announcement of the $1 million pledge for the University of Maine Engineering Education and Design Center are, left to right, College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey; donors Debbie Lipscomb and Dr. Denham Ward of Bowdoinham; and University of Maine Foundation President Jeff Mills.

Orono, Maine — Over 230 University of Maine benefactors gathered to celebrate a record-breaking year of fundraising at the annual University of Maine Foundation luncheon on campus Oct. 26 during Homecoming weekend.

Foundation President Jeff Mills announced gifts and pledges totalling $36.9 million for fiscal year 2018. That total is up 115 percent over the previous year and brings the total collected during the current Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign to over $160 million — 80 percent of the campaign goal.

“2017–18 was a tremendous year for fundraising at the University of Maine,” says Mills. “As a result, UMaine’s endowments are now at an all-time high of over $327 million. Private support is providing UMaine students, faculty and staff with crucial resources that enhance their UMaine experience.”

To kick off 2018–19 fundraising, College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey announced a $1 million pledge from the Abbagadassett Foundation to support the Engineering Education and Design Center, UMaine’s top capital priority for the Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign.

“We are pleased to invest in this attractive new engineering center which includes significant space for biomedical engineering,” said Debbie Lipscomb, who co-directs the Abbagadassett Foundation in Bowdoinham, Maine with her husband, Dr. Denham Ward ’69. “That program is close to our hearts and we’re excited to be able to support it.”

Ward and Lipscomb have a long affiliation with the University of Maine. Denham, a native of Clinton, Maine, was an Honors College student who graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He earned a Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.D. from the University of Miami in 1977. Ward is an emeritus professor and chair of anesthesiology at the University of Rochester where they were active members of the UMaine Alumni Rochester Chapter.

Lipscomb is a graduate of Occidental College. The couple also supports scholarships for engineering majors in the Honors College.

For more information about giving to the University of Maine, contact the University of Maine Foundation, 207.581.5100.