ORONO — A pledge from University of Maine alumna Karen Boudreau and her husband, Thomas Jensen, M.D. will rename North Stevens Hall on campus in honor of the former Brewer, Maine resident and now San Diego-based attorney.
Karen L. Boudreau, Esq. Hall will be dedicated on July 14. Expected to participate in the ceremony are UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy; Susan Pinette, professor and director of Franco American Programs at UMaine; and Gigi Georges, author of the 2021 book “Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America.”
Boudreau and Jensen say they hope that naming this building for a French-Canadian woman will provide the confidence to women and those of French-Canadian heritage to pursue their dreams.
“As a first-generation college student and a Franco-American woman, my path was not easy, particularly when I lived in Maine,” Boudreau says, “I want those who follow me to understand that regardless of the hurdles put in front of you, success is very achievable if you set clear goals, work hard and seek out great mentors.”
The two-story Boudreau Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is part of the Stevens Hall complex. It houses the Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service, the Political Science Department and the School of Policy and International Affairs, and the offices of Equal Opportunity and International Affairs.
“Karen’s academic excellence at the state’s flagship university and her successful law career are an inspiration,” says Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine. “For Karen to recognize her alma mater with such a gift also honors her Franco-American heritage and the value of public higher education in Maine. We appreciate the opportunity for generations of UMaine students to know her story.”
The gift will support some much-needed refurbishment of this existing campus space, says Jeffery Mills, president of the University of Maine Foundation that facilitated the pledge. “We are very grateful to have donors like Karen and Tom who recognize the importance of our historic buildings.”
Boudreau graduated from John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, Maine. At UMaine, she worked to support herself and paid all her own expenses while pursuing a double major in political science and broadcasting. She graduated with high honors and highest distinction in three years in 1980. She was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa honor society. After receiving her Juris Doctorate with Honors from George Washington University, Boudreau was a law clerk for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
In her 35-year legal career, Boudreau has represented numerous large international corporations, including IBM, Gap, Marshalls, UNUM, Sony and Accenture, both as in-house counsel and in her own practice, focusing on technology and employment matters. She holds bar admissions in six states, including Maine, New York and California, as well as admission to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. Boudreau has been named an Attorney of Distinction and one of America’s Most Honored Lawyers.
Boudreau and Jensen live in San Diego and summer on Hopkins Pond in Mariaville, Maine. Boudreau is involved in a variety of community activities including serving on the boards of John Bapst, Angels Foster Family Network and the San Diego Chapters of the Lincoln Club, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Federalist Society.