ORONO, Maine — University of Maine Foundation President Amos Orcutt announced Monday that he plans to retire next year after more than 22 years at the organization’s helm.
“It’s the right time and I want to go out on top,” Orcutt said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “The foundation is doing well. We’ve had a lot of successes, and it’s time for another person to take it to a higher level.”
When Orcutt arrived in 1990, the University of Maine Foundation consisted of an executive director, secretary and $25 million in assets.
Today the foundation has 10 staffers, a second office in Falmouth and assets of about $200 million, according to Ellen Stinson, chairwoman of the foundation’s board.
“I’ve had a great career,” said Orcutt, who turns 70 in March. “We’ve accomplished a lot.”
Orcutt oversaw construction of the foundation’s base, Buchanan Alumni House in Orono, which Stinson called the “architectural gateway to the UMaine campus.”
The University of Maine Foundation is a volunteer-based organization founded in 1934 that is responsible for soliciting, administrating and investing endowment gifts to benefit the University of Maine.
During the past decade, the foundation raised nearly $99 million and added 685 endowed funds for a total of 1,365 funds, according to Stinson.
Orcutt will continue working until the foundation’s board forms a selection committee and conducts a national search for the group’s next president, a process that will take several months, according to Orcutt.
“I’ll be staying until they find a new Amos or a new Amy,” he said.
Orcutt said he hasn’t thought much about what he’ll be doing in his retirement but he plans on spending more time at his blueberry farm, Great Pond Mountain Farm in Orland.
He said he enjoys winter and Maine’s other three seasons and plans on staying in the state he grew up in.
Orcutt is a Bucksport High School graduate who earned a degree in agricultural sciences from UMaine in 1964.
Orcutt and University of Maine President Paul Ferguson said they have built a friendship in the few months the two have worked together in Orono. Orcutt said he regrets the fact that he won’t have much time to work with UMaine’s new president.
“I have grown to enjoy a deep affection for Amos and a strong friendship with him,” Ferguson said in a press release. “I value his wisdom and advice and I appreciate that well-earned and widespread respect he enjoys, based on his successful, long-term leadership of the UMaine Foundation.”
Orcutt credited other staff at the University of Maine Foundation with helping him build the organization over the past two decades.
“I’m not too smart, but I’m smart enough to hire good people around me,” Orcutt said with a chuckle.
Orcutt said he will continue to serve as the president of another organization — The Maine Whoopie Pie Association — at least until he finds a replacement.