Phillip and Susan Morse of UMaine's class of 1964 have donated $10 million toward the university's new multipurpose arena, which is part of a $110 million athletic facilities makeover at UMaine. Credit: Courtesy of the University of Maine

A pair of University of Maine alumni have donated $10 million toward the university’s new multipurpose arena that’s part of a $110 million athletic facility makeover on the Orono campus. 

The gift, from Phillip and Susan Morse, guarantees the donors that the new arena will bear their name and helps push the university and the UMaine system closer to the $20 million it is required to raise to match a $90 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. 

The grant from the Alfond Foundation is one of the largest ever for athletics at a public university in New England and is supposed to propel a 10-year plan to overhaul UMaine’s athletic facilities

So far, the university has raised $13.2 million of the $20 million it’s supposed to match, according to university spokesperson Margaret Nagle. 

The Morses’ $10 million gift follows a $1 million donation from the couple last December to support the athletics facilities master plan. In addition, Morse Field at Alfond Sports Stadium is named for them after they donated money for that project as well, alongside the Alfond Foundation.

The Morse family gave another $1 million in 2007 to upgrade Morse Field’s playing surface. In 2013, the Morse family gave UMaine athletics $800,000 to install the high-definition video scoreboard on Morse Field.

The Morses graduated with UMaine’s class of 1964.

As UMaine embarks on the first round of projects that are part of the $110 million facility makeover, there have been substantial cost increases, requiring more money upfront for the work than UMaine originally planned

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...