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The Governor’s Academy Announces Lead Gift for the Construction of a New Environmental Studies Building on the Banks of the Parker River

The Governor’s Academy recently celebrated the launch of the most ambitious comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history. The highlight of the evening was the announcement of a leadership gift from The Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation for the construction of a new environmental studies building on the banks of the Parker River. The gift was announced by Head of School Peter H. Quimby, Ph.D. ’85 and Board of Trustees President Jim Pierce ’72 in front of more than 400 alumni and friends of the Academy.

The Parker River Environmental Studies Center, a new state-of-the-art research and academic building, will be located on the north end of the Academy’s campus overlooking the Parker River and the Great Marsh. Quimby said, “For over a decade our teachers have imagined how such a facility might transform our science curriculum. This gift represents a significant step forward in turning that vision into a reality. Not only will we have state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching spaces, we’ll be able to offer our students a curriculum that takes advantage of our unique location in one of the most important ecosystems in New England.” The Academy’s location on the Parker River and the Great Marsh, the largest salt marsh in New England, offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to engage in original scientific research on the local environment and learn sophisticated field research skills in an exceptionally  pristine and biodiverse ecosystem. Working in partnership with the esteemed Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the building’s design will feature indoor and outdoor classrooms and wet lab space. Additional funds still need to be raised, but thanks to the Alfond family’s leadership, the Academy hopes that construction might begin in the spring of 2020.

The Alfond family has been a philanthropic leader at the Academy for decades. Bill and Joan were early supporters of the recently announced With True Courage campaign, and their decision to support this exciting campaign-related capital project brings the Alfond family’s total campaign giving to $7 million.

The Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation supports a number of charitable institutions in Maine and Massachusetts. At The Governor’s Academy, Bill has served as a trustee for many years, and together he and his wife, Joan, have played a significant role in some of the school’s major capital projects, including as lead donors for a major dining hall renovation, a new turf field and fitness center, and most recently, a track renovation. Bill and Joan also have a long history of generously supporting several other key initiatives at the school including faculty housing, financial aid, and the annual fund.

With True Courage, the Campaign for Governor’s is a comprehensive fundraising campaign that has objectives of significantly enhancing the school’s endowment, growing its annual giving program (The Governor’s Fund), and raising funds for four targeted capital projects such as The Parker River Environmental Studies Center. During the official campaign launch celebration last month, the Academy announced that $36 million has been raised to date, with a goal of reaching $75 million by June 2021.