USM launches historic $46 million fundraising campaign

Full recording of the Great University Campaign event on Wednesday, September 21.

The University of Southern Maine has launched the third and final year of the Great University Campaign, the largest and most comprehensive fundraising initiative in its history. With $39 million raised to date, the University has made unprecedented progress toward its $46 million campaign goal and is now inviting public participation to help cross the finish line.

“The success of this campaign will transform the student experience at the University of Southern Maine,” said USM’s new president, Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson, speaking at the campaign launch event on Wednesday, September 21, on USM’s Portland campus.

President Jacqueline Edmondson shares a laugh with the audience at the kickoff to the Great University Campaign.
President Edmondson sets a celebratory tone as the Great University Campaign kicks off its third year.

“With its focus on raising funds for scholarships, key programs of excellence, and innovative facilities for learning and community engagement, the Great University Campaign is fueling the future of USM and helping to build the great university our students, our community, and our region deserve.”

Already, big changes are evident on the USM Portland campus, where major construction projects are under way. These include Portland Commons, the first-ever residence hall on the Portland campus; a new, green campus quad, named the “Bean Green” in recognition of a campaign donation from L.L.Bean; and a striking new campus center for student and employer engagement. 

At the launch event, President Edmondson revealed that the new campus center will be named the “McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success,” in honor of Carolyn and Richard (Dick) McGoldrick, two extraordinary benefactors who have championed student success at USM through their personal philanthropy, advocacy, and volunteer service.

During the kickoff to the Great University Campaign, Dick and Carolyn McGoldrick hear about the many cutting-edge features of the new student center bearing their names.
Dick and Carolyn McGoldrick watch a presentation about the new student center bearing their names.

Dick McGoldrick co-chaired USM’s 2004-08 Transforming USM campaign, which funded the creation of the Abromson and Wishcamper Centers on the Portland campus. In 2017, the McGoldricks launched the USM Promise Scholarship Program and fundraising campaign, which now annually serves 100 first-generation USM students from Maine, who have been recommended by youth-development organizations statewide. Recently, the McGoldricks made a $2 million philanthropic commitment toward student support programs at USM and have leveraged their own giving to help raise nearly $10 million for the Promise Scholarship program. 

“No one has done more to support student success at USM than Carolyn and Dick McGoldrick,” said USM Foundation President and CEO Ainsley Wallace. “The new McGoldrick Center will be the beating heart of the Portland campus and we are proud that it will bear the name of these two incredibly generous and passionate friends of the University.”

Emmanuel Mutshaila charms the audience as co-host of the kickoff to the Great University Campaign.
Emmanuel Mutshaila describes the opportunities that were opened up for him as a Promise Scholar.

The campaign launch event at the university’s Abromson Center featured several USM students and alumni, including award-winning mezzo soprano Megan Marino ’05, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2013 and has returned every season since. She performed for the crowd at the launch celebration and joined with USM student and Promise Scholar, Emmanuel Mutshaila ’22, to emcee the program.

Megan Marino pauses after singing to acknowledge her pianist at the kickoff to the Great University Campaign.
Megan Marino pauses after singing to acknowledge her pianist, Ed Reichert.

During the event, Ainsley Wallace unveiled the Great University Campaign and its funding priorities, starting with a video on the campaign’s theme, “Great Takes Grit.” The video introduced five students, whose personal stories of resilience and perseverance are typical of many in the USM community. 

“Our talented and tenacious students are often the first in their families to attend college; they are balancing school, family, and jobs, dealing with financial challenges, and taking every opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Wallace. “They have the grit to be great and this campaign is all about helping them get there.”

Wallace expects the campaign to reach and exceed its goal before June 2023. The public is encouraged to learn about and donate to the campaign by visiting a newly launched campaign website,

An artist's rendering shows what the McGoldrick Center for Career and Student Success will look like once construction is completed.
An artist’s rendering shows what the McGoldrick Center will look like once construction is finished.

About the Great University Campaign

Initiated in July 2020, USM’s $46M Great University Campaign is the largest, most comprehensive fundraising campaign in the University’s history. The campaign focuses on four fundraising priorities:

  • $11M for Scholarships and Student Support, building the financial resources and meeting essential needs that help students thrive
  • $25M for a new Center for the Arts, fulfilling the dream of a new home for USM’s renowned Osher School of Music, and integrating music and the visual arts on the Portland campus
  • $5M for Programs of Excellence, supporting key academic and athletic programs and facilities across all USM departments
  • $5M to complete the newly named McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success, a green, energy-efficient center that will put career readiness and community at the heart of the USM student experience

For more information about USM’s Great University Campaign, visit