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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Husson University’s New College of Business Building

Published on: August 26, 2021

Ribbon cutting at the new Harold Alfond Hall
Pictured, l-r: Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, Dean of the College of Business and New England School of Communications; College of Business Student Tyler Smith ‘22; President Robert Clark, PhD, CFA; Gregory Powell, CEO and President, Harold Alfond Foundation; Heather Johnson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Economic Community Development; John Rohman, Chair of Husson’s Board of Trustees

Husson University marked the official opening of Harold Alfond Hall, the new home of their College of Business, on August 26, 2021 at 1 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the building. Harold Alfond Hall is located at 62 Kagan Drive on Husson University’s campus in Bangor, Maine. Self-guided tours of the new facility were provided at the conclusion of the ceremony.

“This new building has created important new synergies between our College of Business and the business community in our region,” said Robert A. Clark, PhD, CFA, the president of Husson University. “In addition to providing students with a best-in-class business education, Harold Alfond Hall is now the place where community partnerships are developed that foster economic growth here in Maine.”

Harold-Alfond-Hall-sm.jpgThe building is named after Harold Alfond, an American entrepreneur who founded the Dexter Shoe Company and created the nation’s first factory outlet store. In 1993, Alfond sold the Dexter Shoe Company and its affiliates, Pan Am Shoe and Ocsap Ltd., to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway for $433 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock.

Following the sale of Dexter Shoe, Alfond and his wife Bibby made significant contributions to a number of charitable organizations here in Maine through the Harold Alfond Foundation. As an avid sports fan, many of Alfond’s gifts supported the construction of athletic facilities and playing fields at colleges and universities – including the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex at Husson University. He also supported a variety of capital projects that enhanced educational opportunities for students. Upon his passing, Harold Alfond committed nearly all of his wealth to the Harold Alfond Foundation, which continues to support charitable causes in Maine today.

Harold Alfond Hall was made possible, thanks in large part, to a $4 million matching gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation. When the gift was announced in 2017, it was the largest outright gift ever made to Husson University.

“Our goal was to create the best experiential learning space possible – and I can affirm we achieved our objectives. Our physical footprint now reflects our status as the premier College of Business in the state,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business and New England School of Communications (NESCom) at Husson University. “This new building serves as a lasting and commanding physical monument of the importance the College of Business has had over the past century, and will continue to have for the next 100 years. The College of Business students I have spoken with are excited to begin classes this fall in this new location.” 

IeXCenter-sm.jpgTyler Smith, a student in the School of Innovation and Technology is one such student. “For me Harold Alfond Hall represents opportunity. My class and future generations of Husson College of Business students will enter this building with lofty dreams, and exit as educated professionals who can make those dreams come true. I’m grateful to everyone who helped make this building, and all of the opportunities it offers, possible.”

Many of the opportunities students can access come from the modern educational facilities present in Harold Alfond Hall. These include the Ronan Center for Financial Technology. This facility is set up in a 360-degree configuration with touch screens, stock tickers and more.  

In addition, student engagement with professors has been enhanced through the addition of a tiered classroom. The classroom improves the sight lines for all students to all instructional materials. A large classroom for the School of Legal Studies that can be converted into smaller rooms for break out groups or presentations is also available. A criminal justice simulation room is assisting students in studying crime scenes or participating in mock trial events while the forensic science laboratory, located in this building, is providing students with a more convenient location for collecting, examining and processing evidence.

haroldalfondhall-sm.jpgThe School of Technology and Innovation is working with students in the new iEX Center. This Center is comprised of an integrated workspace, combined with an extended reality lab and a control room. It’s devoted to teaching and creating immersive interactive experiences. In this location, virtual reality, augmented reality and other immersive technologies are being created, studied and developed in order to solve real-world business problems.

Harold Alfond Hall features private areas where students and peer tutors can meet. This will increase the level of academic success in all College of Business programs. The new College of Business building also features agile workspaces where faculty, students, and members of the business community can all come together to address organizations’ business issues.

Harold Alfond Hall will make the College of Business at Husson University the center of an innovative ecosystem. It will bring new businesses and new ideas together in ways that will lead to job growth in Maine. Husson University’s goal is to create a supportive community that makes 

Central Maine an attractive place to start a business, or for out-of-state organizations to move their business.  

Finally, the five different schools of the College of Business located in Harold Alfond Hall each have their own “neighborhoods” within the building. This enhances a sense of identity and purpose within different programs by giving them a place to call their own.

“Husson University provides education that leads to jobs and long-term career success,” said Lynne Coy-Ogan, EdD, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Husson University. “That’s why 96% of students who complete undergraduate degrees here at Husson are employed or in graduate school within one year of graduation.”   

“More students choose to get their MBA from Husson University than any other college or university in the state,” continued Coy-Ogan. “The addition of Harold Alfond Hall to our Bangor campus has given our College of Business a new home that befits its stature as Maine’s premier business educator.” 

Husson University’s College of Business offers an array of certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is dedicated to preparing students for a variety of careers in the public, private, corporate and non-profit sectors. With the addition of Harold Alfond Hall, the College of Business is ready to start a new era. The classrooms and labs that make up the School of Accounting; School of Business and Management; School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management; School of Legal Studies; and the School of Technology and Innovation, will all be together under one roof and ready to transform students’ lives.

For 123 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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