Colby College in Waterville has received just over $100 million from the Harold Alfond Foundation, one of the largest gifts in the school’s history.
Colby President David Greene says the money will be used to support two recent initiatives: $80 million for the recently opened Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center.
Greene says this is the best Division 3 facility of its kind in the country and will be an important community asset.
“So, when youth groups and others are skating in this hockey rink, even in the summer when it will be open, or they’re in the only Olympic-size pool in Maine, I think it will just be something that helps to inspire young folks to be able to imagine how they can achieve their potential,” he says.
The school wil also use $21 million for completion of several projects that are part of Colby’s downtown revitalization effort.
“It includes the new Lockwood Hotel that will be opening next year. It includes an arts collaborative building that will be opening in April, the Schupf Arts Center that will be opening in a couple years and will be in construction on that next spring,” Greene says.
He says because of COVID-19, the new Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center is not currently open to the public.
The gift to Colby is one of several grants totaling $500 million — mostly for higher education — that the Harold Alfond Foundation announced last week.
The Alfonds have extensive ties to the area. Dorothy “Bibby” Levine Alfond, Harold’s wife, was from Waterville and a member of the Colby Class of 1938. The school says the Alfonds’ first gift to Colby was its first ice rink in 1955. And the Alfonds resided in Waterville.