Community college foundation welcomes two new board members

Posted Dec. 05, 2011, at 6:17 p.m.
Elizabeth O. Shorr
Elizabeth O. Shorr
Richard Petersen
Richard Petersen

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges has elected two new members to its board of directors with hopes their combined experience in the executive and fundraising sectors will aid the board’s efforts to bring more money into the community college system.

Richard Petersen, president and chief executive officer of Maine Medical Center, and Elizabeth O. Shorr, current president of the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges, were elected recently to the board, according to former Maine Gov. John R. McKernan Jr., the board’s chairman.

The foundation supports Maine’s seven community colleges in various ways, according to a press release. Through a recent effort to raise $11.3 million in the span of 18 months, the foundation purchased equipment and improved technology ($2.8 million), funded capital upgrades ($3.7 million), created new academic and occupational programs ($2 million) and provided student scholarships ($1.5 million), according to its website. The campaign, which is accepting donations, far surpassed its goal of raising $10 million.

Petersen has been Maine Medical Center’s president and CEO since June 2009. Prior to that post, he was MMC’s chief operating officer for 10 years. Petersen graduated from Broome Community College in Binghamton, N.Y., before continuing his education at Ithaca College. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

Aside from his history as a community college student, Petersen’s interest in the foundation is tied to his belief that Maine’s community colleges are a key pipeline for health care professionals, graduating more than 700 nurses and other would-be health care workers in 2010.

Shorr, who became the foundation’s first president in January 2010, previously served as the vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She also has served as the president and CEO of the University of Southern Maine Foundation and as vice president for university advancement for USM.

The foundation accepts gifts in the form of cash, property, real estate, stock and securities, equipment and in-kind services. To learn more about how to help the foundation, call 321-6152.

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