On Wednesday, September 27, the University of Southern Maine (USM) marked the official close and unprecedented success of its Great University Campaign with a ribbon cutting and community celebration at the new McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success on USM’s Portland campus.
The McGoldrick Center, adjacent to the one-acre L.L. Bean-sponsored “Bean Green” and newly opened Portland Commons residence hall, is a signature initiative of USM’s just-completed fundraising campaign. Originally planned as a five-year effort, the Great University Campaign reached and exceeded its original $46 million goal for a total of over $50 million in just three years––the most philanthropic dollars raised in the shortest time in USM history.
“The success of the Great University Campaign represents the deep commitment of our USM community––the alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, and employer partners who are investing in the future of this important university,” said USM President Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson. “The campaign raised millions of dollars for scholarships, the arts, key academic programs, and athletics. Beautiful new spaces like the McGoldrick Center and the Center for the Arts, now under construction on our Portland campus, will provide state-of-the-art facilities for our students. These meaningful philanthropic contributions from our community position us well for our next chapter.”
In addition to the record-breaking $50 million campaign total, other notable accomplishments of the Great University Campaign included $14.7 million raised for scholarships and student support programs, the successful endowment of USM’s distinctive Promise Scholarship Program, and more than 4,470 donors who contributed over the three-year period, including 2,300 who made their first-ever gift to USM during the Great University Campaign.
Philanthropic support for the McGoldrick Center came from many well-known Maine companies, including Leadership Donors L.L. Bean, Bath Savings, Oakhurst Dairy, Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods, and the Prentice Organization. More than 15 other employer partners have become Founding Sponsors.
Speaking of L.L. Bean’s contribution, L.L. Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman said, “The new McGoldrick Center, with the Bean Green at its center, will make it easy for busy students to build outside time into their daily routines, and experience the restorative power of nature just outside their door. We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with USM and excited to play a role in bringing this reimagined Portland campus to life.”
The USM Chamber Singers opened the ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by USM Director of Sustainability, Aaron Witham, who delivered the Land Acknowledgement. Other speakers included USM Student Body President Riley Worth, USM Foundation President and CEO Ainsley Wallace, L.L.Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman, Promise Scholar Joseph Inabanza, and President Edmondson.
“Great cities and great regions are anchored by great universities, and that’s what we’re building here at USM,” commented Ainsley Wallace. “With the new McGoldrick Center, Bean Green quad, parking garage, and Portland Commons residence hall at one end of campus, and the new Center for the Arts at the other, we have truly begun a transformation of USM’s Portland campus.”
Carolyn and Richard “Dick” McGoldrick, for whom the new building is named, led the official ribbon cutting. The McGoldricks are longtime champions of student success at USM, through their personal philanthropy, advocacy, and volunteer service. They have been instrumental in helping to raise more than $12.7 million dollars for USM’s Promise Scholarship Program since it launched in 2018.
Following the ribbon cutting, all were invited inside the McGoldrick Center for a celebration of the successful conclusion of the Great University Campaign and what it will mean for students, the University, and the wider region in the years to come. Members of the Development and Design/Build team were on hand to answer questions about the building. These included representatives from Capstone Development Partners, PC Construction, and the lead architects and engineering firms, SMRT Architects and Engineers and Elkus Manfredi Architects.
About the new McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success
The $26.6 million, 41,000 square-foot McGoldrick Center was funded through a combination of private philanthropy, corporate sponsorships, and $19 million in public funding from the voter-approved 2018 University of Maine System Workforce Development Bond. The facility serves as both a thriving student center and the hub of student-employer engagement and career development programming.
The Center’s first floor features the Double L Fireside Lounge, anchored by a monumental fireplace and soaring open staircase, as well as a 254-seat dining area, the Husky Brew Pub, and the University Store. A glassed-in walkway connects the student center to the 580-bed Portland Commons residence hall.
The second floor is home to USM’s expanded Career & Employment Hub, where the employer community intersects with students in the academic community. A large multi-purpose space, divided into three salons, will host career fairs, employer presentations, banquets, and other events. The “Torchbearer Society Donor Wall” prominently lists the names of the hundreds of leading donors who have contributed $25,000 or more to USM over their lifetimes.
The third floor of the McGoldrick Center is devoted to student engagement and leadership, including USM’s Student Government Association office, the Diversity Center, Commuter Lounge, Promise Scholar study lounge, and other spaces for student organizations and interaction.
The McGoldrick Center is among the most environmentally sustainable buildings on USM’s Portland campus. On track to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certification, the Center takes advantage of passive solar heating through the large glass openings facing south in the wintertime. It has a 33.3 kW photovoltaic solar array on its roof and incorporates smart-energy strategies and sustainable building materials throughout.
About the University of Southern Maine
Situated in Maine’s economic and cultural center, the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students taking courses online and at campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston-Auburn. Known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community, USM provides students with hands-on experience that complements classroom learning and leads to employment opportunities in one of the nation’s most desirable places to live.
About the USM Foundation
The USM Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with the University to support the aspirations of students and the strategic vision of USM. Now in its third decade of service, the Foundation is raising the critical funds needed to increase scholarship resources and achieve ambitious goals, as it helps to catalyze transformation at the University of Southern Maine.