November 21, 2018
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MCI announces $100,000 matching grant

Community Author: Joe Roberts
Post Date:
Joe Roberts | BDN
Joe Roberts | BDN

PITTSFIELD — Maine Central Institute Headmaster Christopher J. Hopkins and MCI’s Philanthropy Council announced the school has received a $100,000 matching grant from The Edward E. Ford Foundation for the Founders Campaign. The dollar-for-dollar match will double gifts from new donors to the Campaign.

“This grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation is a tremendous endorsement of both MCI and our vision for the School’s future, and we deeply appreciate the Foundation’s generous support,” Hopkins said. “We know how competitive the E.E. Ford Foundation’s grant process is, so to receive the largest award given by the Foundation in the Traditional Grants category is quite an honor for our School. To earn the $100,000 for the Campaign, we’re inviting everyone who has not yet contributed to give now to help MCI meet the match,” added Hopkins.

John Gulla, Executive Director of the E.E. Ford Foundation said, “We are pleased and proud to support Maine Central Institute in its renovation of their historically significant Founders Hall, a building crowned by its memorable bell tower and a symbol of the school as one of the focal points of Pittsfield and Central Maine.  During my visit to campus, it was clear that MCI is serving well both its day and international boarding students and the planned improvements to this facility will benefit the entire MCI community.”

The E.E. Ford Foundation grant will directly support upgrades and major renovations to Founders Hall, the first and oldest building on MCI’s campus. Founders Hall, built in 1870, houses 12 classrooms, the Humanities Department, Academic, College and Career Office, Business Office, Registrar, Maintenance Department, and Powers Hall, the largest of MCI’s four dance studios for the Bossov Ballet Theatre. Renovations to this iconic building will not only address Americans with Disability Act accessibility and space issues, plumbing, heating, ventilation and cooling, electrical and life safety systems, but will also enhance the functionality and interior appearance of Founders Hall for all of MCI’s student body and faculty, returning it to its rightful “pride of place” status at the School.

Norbert W. Young, Jr., President of the Board of Trustees and a member of the MCI Class of 1966 said, “We are overjoyed with the news about the E.E. Ford Foundation matching grant. Alumni, friends, foundations, civic organizations and businesses have stepped up to support this Campaign. Since the public launch at Reunion in August 2016, donors have given $1.7 million to MCI, which means the next $1 million contributed will complete the largest campaign in the School’s history! The E.E. Ford Foundation has offered an exciting incentive to new donors who will help MCI meet the match,” Young added.

The $6.5 million Founders Campaign is the largest fundraising effort in MCI’s history, and is also the School’s first comprehensive campaign. In August 2016, MCI launched the capital campaign as part of the celebration of its Sesquicentennial. According to Hopkins, 309 donors have contributed $5,452,145 to date. A generous $500,000 challenge gift, offered by friends of the School, Tom and Anne Koester of New Jersey, was matched by $500,000 in contributions received through May 4, 2017. The Founders Campaign total of $5.4 million is the largest amount contributed in MCI’s history, and includes the first $1-million-dollar pledge in the School’s history, made by an anonymous donor.

The Campaign supports four distinct areas – academics, the arts, athletics and endowment. Contributions have already been expended to construct three new multipurpose athletic fields on campus, and on the transformation of 58-year old JR Cianchette Hall to create a Visual and Performing Arts Education Center, the new home of all MCI arts programs – music, drama, Bossov Ballet Theatre, and fine arts.

To support the Founders Campaign, visit, or mail a check payable to MCI/Founders Campaign, Office of Institutional Advancement, 295 Main Street, Pittsfield, ME 04967-4502. For more information on naming opportunities, call (207) 487-5915 or email


About E.E. Ford

For over 55 years, The Edward E. Ford Foundation has made grants to independent schools throughout the United States. Over 800 different schools have received over 2,100 different grants from the Foundation totaling well over $120,000,000. The Foundation has long encouraged, and now requires, matching funds to be raised as a part of its application process so as to leverage even greater philanthropic support for independent schools. These matching grants now exceed an additional $110,000,000 in total support generated for members of the National Association of Independent Schools.




About MCI

MCI ( is the secondary school for the towns of Pittsfield, Burnham and Detroit. MCI enrollment includes day students from 14 Maine communities; boarding students from six states and 18 countries. MCI offers accelerated and advanced placement courses in all subjects as well as 18 sports teams and 40 clubs and activities. The school is known for its award-winning arts programs, including visual, vocal, band, drama, and the world-class Bossov Ballet Theatre, a performing company and international pre-professional ballet school with instruction by former and current members of the Moscow Ballet. The school’s sports programming is also strong. In the fall of 2017, the MCI Field Hockey team won the Class B State Championship, and the Football team won the Class C State Championship.