University of Maine alumni Phillip and Susan Morse have committed $10 million for naming rights to the new basketball arena planned for the campus in Orono, the school announced.
The significant donation will augment a $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to upgrade and construct athletic facilities on the campus over a 10-year period. As part of the Alfond Foundation gift, UMaine officials pledged to raise another $20 million through private donations over the same 10-year period to complete a planned $110 million investment in athletic facilities.
With the Morse donation, $13.2 million of that $20 million goal has been raised by the University of Maine Foundation.
The first phase of the athletic facilities makeover – construction of the soccer, field hockey and softball stadiums – began last spring.
Morse Arena will be one of the signature projects of the master facilities plan. The 3,000-seat facility will be the home court of men’s and women’s basketball teams and serve as a site for large-scale campus and community events.
“The generous support of Phillip and Susan Morse has made a lasting difference on the UMaine student experience and what Maine’s only Division I athletics program offers communities and fans,” UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said in a news release. “We appreciate their leadership and vision that will impact generations at their alma mater.”
Phillip and Susan Morse, 1964 graduates of the school, have been significant donors to UMaine athletics over the last 25 years. The playing surface at Alfond Stadium was named Morse Field in 1998. The couple has since contributed nearly $2 million for upgrades to the playing surface and for a new scoreboard. They also donated $1 million in December toward the $20 million private fundraising goal from the University of Maine Foundation for the master facilities plan.
Phillip Morse has been a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox for 20 years. He founded a company that grew into NAMIC U.S.A. Corporation, a manufacturer of a wide array of medical devices for interventional cardiology and radiology.