$5 Million Dollar Gift For Thomas College
The biggest day in the 117 year history of the school. That’s what officials at Thomas College said about on Tuesday. It’s because of something that was, until Tuesday morning, one of the best-kept secrets in the school’s history. “We knew a week ago that there was an unprecedented event,” said senior Mallorie Blakney. “We didn’t know what it was about. It was still a surprise.”Dozens of students, faculty, alumni, and VIP’s like Waterville Mayor Dana Sennett and State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, packed the Harold Alfond Athletic Center here at Thomas College. Only a select few did know what the big news was. Then Greg Powell, from the Harold Alfond Foundation, let the cat out of the bag. A $5 million commitment to Thomas College. Of that $5 million $4-million of it will be used to build the Harold Alfond Academic Center. A 35,000 square foot complex that will house a high tech library, 10 new classrooms, new faculty offices, and a common area and cafe for students. The other $1 million will be a matching grant with Thomas alumni. For every dollar alumni gives to the annual fund the Alfond Foundation gives a dollar to a scholarship endowment to help Thomas students. “It’s a challenge to build an absolutely critical building, to expand our scholarship endowment, and indeed to put new life into our general fund,” says George Spann, President of Thomas College.The folks at the harold alfond foundation say thomas college was a logical choice. “What other schools do you know in the country that offer students a job, guarantee them a job after they graduate?” asks Powell.For the seniors here today is a bitter sweet day. “I’m very happy, I’m sad that I’m gonna be out of here but I live close enough so I can come back and look and see the great progress,” said Blakney. “Now we truly are poised for a transformational change at the college and this could very well be the centerpiece what makes it happen,” Spann said.Officials here say they’re hoping the new Harold Alfond Academic Center will open it’s doors around the 2013 academic year.