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Maine Technical College System

News Release
Ross Technology Fund Receives $100,000 Gift From Long-Time Friend

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, November 28, 2001
CONTACT: Alice Kirkpatrick
Tel: (207) 767-0116, ext. 3

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Maxine L. Wright, a long-time friend and active supporter of Southern Maine Technical College, has donated $100,000 to The Ross Technology Advancement Fund. The Fund was created to honor Wayne H. Ross, who retires in January after presiding at the college for 23 years.

The gift was announced this afternoon at a meeting of the Maine Technical College System Board of Trustees at Southern Maine Technical College. Mrs. Wrightís gift was made in honor of Wayne Ross and his wife Betsy.

"Betsy and I are deeply touched by this gift. Maxine has been a dear friend of ours, and of the college, for many years. Her generosity will leave an indelible mark on the college," said President Ross.

Mrs. Wright has been involved in the college for over a decade. She played a key role in establishing the SMTC Foundation and has served on the Foundation Board for the past three years. Her past gifts to the college have supported student scholarships and the renovation of the Peter A. McKernan Hospitality Center, a historic building now serving as a fully-functioning educational facility for hospitality students. A suite in the Center is named for her late husband Frank E. Wright.

Employee contracts endorsed

Also at the meeting, trustees endorsed new, negotiated contracts for three of the System's five bargaining units. The contracts for the Maine Education Association (MEA) Faculty and Administrators units, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) unit cover the period of July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2003.

The contracts include negotiated cost-of-living increases of three percent each year, effective July 1, 2001 (retroactively) and July 1, 2002. The contracts cover about 460 employees, representing roughly sixty percent of the Maine Technical College System's workforce.

The two remaining contracts, for the Maine State Employees Association (MSEA) Supervisory Services and Support Services units, are still pending ratification by the union.

Paraprofessional Education Program Approved for WCTC

Trustees also approved today a new Paraprofessional Education program at Washington County Technical College in Calais. Students will have the option of pursuing a one-year Certificate or two-year Associate in Applied Science or Associate in Science credential. The program prepares individuals for employment as education technicians.

With credits transferable to the baccalaureate level, the new program provides a career ladder for people interested in pursuing a teaching career. College officials hope it will help address a shortage of teacher aides in local school districts.

Trustees thank out-going board members, welcome new member

At the Board meeting, trustees bid farewell to two long-time board members, James W. Donovan and Elizabeth (Beth) O. Shorr. Donovan, who is president of Maine Partners Health in South Portland, was first appointed to the Board in 1990. He served as Chair in 1994 and 1995, and also chaired the Finance and Facilities Committee, and served on the Boardís Executive Committee.

In the early 1990ís, Donovan chaired the Nursing Curriculum Taskforce which played an integral role in the development of articulation agreements between the technical college and university system nursing programs.

Beth Shorr, who was first appointed to the Board in 1994, served as Chair of the Board from 1996 to 1999. She also chaired the Educational Policy Committee, and served on the Boardís Executive Committee and Finance and Facilities Committee.

The meeting was the first for new board member Dennis P. King. King is President and CEO of Spring Harbor Hospital in South Portland, and Vice President of Behavioral Health at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He was appointed by Governor King and confirmed by the Maine Senate earlier this fall.