Maine Maritime Academy

Category: Education
Year of Last Grant Award:2022

The Harold Alfond Foundation is a long-time supporter of Maine Maritime Academy. This support has included grants to help build athletic facilities and student and academic centers, and establish scholarship funds. Most recently, the Foundation awarded a $3,400,000 grant to expand the engineering program, help fund the construction of the ABS Center for Engineering and Applied Research, and create a scholarship fund for engineering students. The grant included a “matching challenge” requiring the Academy to raise significant funds from donors, including its alumni — a challenge met by the Academy in 2020.

More information as provided by our partner:

aine Maritime Academy (MMA) and the Harold Alfond Foundation began a philanthropic relationship in 1993. The first gift from the Foundation to MMA resulted in an important upgrade to Ritchie Field, the Academy’s athletic field, updating the playing surface from grass to artificial turf. The old, carpet-style turf was the first of its kind being used in northern New England.  Ritchie Field is home to MMA football, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. On a yearly basis, approximately 175 varsity athletes and 50 club athletes compete on Ritchie Field. Each summer, about 400 soccer campers play on the field. Ritchie Field is also home to 60 elementary students from the Adams School for physical education classes.

Over the next 27 years, the Harold Alfond Foundation continued to support the Academy, and the Foundation was one of the largest benefactors of the first new academic building built on the Castine, Maine campus in 30 years. The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Center for Engineering, Science, and Research opened for classes on January 12, 2015. The three-story, 30,000-square-foot facility provides state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, student study spaces, faculty offices and workrooms at the center of the campus.  Nearly 625 students per day utilize the classrooms and labs for hands-on learning, a hallmark of an MMA education.

In addition to supporting brick-and-mortar projects, the Harold Alfond Foundation created the Harold Alfond Engineering Scholarship Fund in 2015.  The scholarship fund is available to first-year engineering students with a preference given to Maine residents and those who are the first in their family to attend college. The award may be up to $10,000 annually and is renewable for eight to ten semesters, depending on a student’s major.  Nearly 80% of MMA students are on some form of financial aid, and the Harold Alfond Engineering Scholarship Fund assists students in defraying their educational expenses.

A relationship that started in the early 1990s continues to grow.  The Harold Alfond Foundation has impacted Maine Maritime Academy and its students by supporting the athletic and academic programs as well as scholarships to enable students to attend this unique, prestigious Maine College.  We look forward to this relationship continuing well into the future.