Campus News

Noyce Philanthropy Awards Bowdoin Million

Story posted October 15, 1998


Oct. 29, 1998, BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Bowdoin has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Portland-based Libra Foundation. The grant will be used to help fund the renovation of existing theater and dance facilities and the construction of new theater space.

Established in 1989 by the late philanthropist Elizabeth B. Noyce of Bremen, the Libra Foundation makes grants to charitable organizations, activities, operations and purposes within the Maine. Noyce, who died in 1996, has been called "Maine's most celebrated modern philanthropist" by the Maine Sunday Telegram. During her lifetime, she gave away an estimated $50 million to Maine colleges, museums and non-profit groups.

"Bowdoin College is grateful to the Libra Foundation for this significant gift," said President Robert H. Edwards. "Betty Noyce's desire to support those organizations that work to preserve and strengthen community -- a philosophy called 'catalytic philanthropy' by Libra Foundation President Owen Wells - will be honored at Bowdoin as we improve theater facilities for the College and for this community. We are proud to be in the company of the organizations the Libra Foundation has chosen to support."

Bowdoin's theater renovation and construction project includes a complete refurbishment of Pickard Theater, which was constructed in 1955 inside Memorial Hall. It also includes the construction of a new 150-seat experimental theater in a connecting structure. The $9.55 million project is expected to be completed in January 2000.

Pickard Theater and the new experimental theater will provide updated and expanded facilities for the College's Department of Theater and Dance, which has outgrown its rehearsal, production and meeting space. The 610-seat Pickard Theater is also used by the Maine State Music Theatre, which has brought over 300 shows to Brunswick in the last 40 years. This past summer, the Maine State Music Theatre entertained nearly 60,000 patrons in Pickard Theater.

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