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Hebron Academy Gets $10 Million Gift

A Maine private school has received a $10 million grant — the largest gift in its 212-year history — from the Albert Lepage Foundation.

The foundation was started by Albert Lepage. Lepage, who hails from the Lewiston-Auburn area, made his fortune in his family’s baking company, Lepage Bakeries. Part of the foundation's gift to Hebron Academy will be used to finish converting an old gymnasium into a comprehensive arts center that already bears his name.

But more than half of the money will go to support diversity at Hebron, says John King, who just retired after 15 years as head of the school.

“And in particular to endow both faculty salaries to improve our minority faculty recruitment and retention, and to support programs for diversity, for diversity of thought, both racial and socioeconomic diversity to keep the kind of cultural liveliness that is so attractive about our school,” he says.

King says the endowment should generate $200,000-$300,000 dollars per year to support minority hires and help families afford the $59,000 tuition to the school. Currently, some 60 percent of students pay reduced tuition. Students at Hebron come from 28 countries and 18 states.

King says architects are already considering designs for the completion of the art center and work will begin as soon as possible.