MMA to launch fundraising campaign

Midshipmen aboard the Maine Maritime Academy's training ship State of Maine wave to family and friends on land as the ship is pushed away from the dock in Castine in 2010.
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Midshipmen aboard the Maine Maritime Academy's training ship State of Maine wave to family and friends on land as the ship is pushed away from the dock in Castine in 2010.
Posted Nov. 11, 2011, at 8:36 p.m.

CASTINE, Maine — Maine Maritime Academy officials are gearing up to launch a major fundraising campaign to help finance a new engineering building, enhance the institution’s endowment and pay for other projects and programs on campus.

Although MMA President William Brennan said fundraising is a year-round affair, academy officials are planning a more aggressive campaign to raise $25 million. The “Hands On” campaign is under way but will ramp up early next year, said Ellie Willmann, MMA’s vice president for advancement.

Willmann told members of the academy’s board of trustees on Friday that more than $1 million has been raised so far this year.

A major feature of the campaign will be to raise money for a new engineering and applied research building planned for the campus. Although design plans are not complete, the three-story, nearly 30,000-square-foot building likely will include at least four laboratories and four classrooms, plus space for expansion, Willmann said after the meeting.

The building is expected to cost around $10 million.

In other news presented to the MMA board:

• Applications for enrollment are up by roughly one-third over last year, which includes an increase in interest from Maine residents.

• The academy is developing a joint degree program with a university in Turkey, with the first group of 20 Turkish students expected to arrive on campus in January 2013.

• The Maine Department of Transportation has notified MMA and Castine officials that it plans additional improvements to Routes 175, 166 and 166A.

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