Waterville’s Thomas College has received the largest donation in its history, to go toward launching new programs and scholarships.
The college announced Wednesday that it has received a $13.5 million grant from The Harold Alfond Foundation. It’s one of several grants totaling $500 million — mostly for higher education — that the foundation announced last week.
Thomas College President Laurie LaChance says the grants will allow the school to launch several new academic programs, including majors in digital media and app development.
“These all fit into the growth of that technological base, which is so critical to the jobs of the future, regardless of what industry you’re in,” she says.
The gift will also help fund “student success” scholarships, which she says provide assistance to students facing financial difficulties in order to keep them on track for graduation.
“And we know if they leave college, even for what they think will be a brief amount of time, it’s very hard for them to get back on track. So our great success is to keep them on track and invest that right money at the right time,” she says. “It pays huge dividends.”
The college will also use the funds to launch new academic programs, including majors in app development and digital media.
Other groups receiving grants from the Alfond Foundation include the University of Maine System, the University of New England and Bar Harbor’s Jackson Laboratory.