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September 20, 2023

With USM students now filling McGoldrick Center, Portland developer adds a 'founding sponsorship'

Building exterior Photo / Courtesy USM The University of Southern Maine formally inaugurated the McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success on the Portland campus at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

A week before the University of Southern Maine formally inaugurates a 42,000-square-foot student center at its main campus in Portland, the school announced that it has received a $250,000 founding sponsorship gift from a local business, the Prentice Organization.

Led by CEO Casey Prentice, the organization is an investment and development firm focused on the real estate and hospitality sectors. Its holdings include the Chebeague Island Inn, a catering company called 58 Culinary, Twelve and Evo restaurants, as well as the Foreside Development Co. that is transforming Portland's East End. Recently completed projects include the $24 million Sun Life building.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new USM building, the McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success, is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Man sitting
File photo / Tim Greenway
Casey Prentice

“The McGoldrick Center stands as a testament to USM's dedication to student success,” said Casey Prentice, who also is a member of the University of Southern Maine Foundation's board of directors. Prentice is a 2009 graduate of Middlebury College, where he studied political science and government.

“Providing students with the opportunity to pursue a meaningful career is a hallmark of a great university and a key element of the promise a university makes to their students,” he added. “We are thrilled to support USM’s commitment to their students’ post-graduation success and we invite others to join with us in shaping a promising future for the thriving city of Portland and our region." 

In recognition of the gift, USM will name the Prentice Board Room on the center’s second floor, which is home to the school’s s expanded Career and Employment Hub. The facility includes large, multipurpose meeting spaces to host career fairs, employer presentations, banquets and other events. 

“We deeply appreciate Casey Prentice’s leadership, both as a Founding Sponsor of the new McGoldrick Center and as a valued contributor on the USM Foundation Board,” said Ainsley Wallace, president and CEO of the USM Foundation.

"The McGoldrick Center offers our students unmatched opportunities to meet and engage with employers in our community. It's a win-win for students, employers and Maine’s future workforce.”

Elsewhere in the new building, the McGoldrick Center includes a 300-seat dining hall, the Husky Brew Pub, University Book Store, Double L Fireside Lounge and other public spaces on the first floor.

The third floor is dedicated to cultivating student leadership opportunities and connections with spaces set aside for USM’s Diversity Center, student organizations, Promise Scholars and the Student Government Business Office.

Environmentally friendly

The McGoldrick Center is among the most environmentally sustainable buildings on USM’s evolving Portland campus, according to the school, which is part of the statewide University of Maine System.

The three-story building is on track to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certification. The building will overlook the new campus quad, named the “Bean Green,” and sits adjacent to Portland Commons, the first residence hall on USM’s Portland campus. 

More details about the building will be shared at next week’s ribbon-cutting event. While USM has received a number of other private donations for the project, a spokesman for the school was unable to provide details on the total received so far or the total cost. 

The McGoldrick Center's general contractor was PC Construction, with offices in Portland and South Burlington, Vt., and design was by Portland-based SMRT Architects & Engineers along with Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects.

Center's namesake

USM's new center was named in honor of USM benefactors Richard (Dick) and Carolyn McGoldrick, who are credited with championing student success at USM through their personal philanthropy, advocacy and volunteer service.

Dick McGoldrick co-chaired USM’s 2004-08 Transforming USM campaign, which funded the creation of the Abromson and Wishcamper centers on the Portland campus.

In 2017, the McGoldricks launched the USM Promise Scholarship Program and fundraising campaign, which now annually serves 100 first-generation USM students from Maine, who have been recommended by youth-development organizations statewide.

More recently, the McGoldricks made a $2 million philanthropic commitment toward student support programs at USM and have leveraged their own giving to help raise nearly $10 million for the Promise Scholarship Program, USM announced in 2022.  

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