2017-02-02 / Community News

UNE president to receive chamber award

University of New England President Dr. Danielle Ripich will receive the Robert R. Masterson Economic Growth Award from the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce. The award, which will be bestowed at the chamber’s annual Imagine Portland event on Jan. 26, will recognize Ripich for her leadership in UNE’s many contributions to the region’s education and economic expansion.

Ripich, who has guided UNE through a period of unprecedented growth during her tenure as president, increased enrollment from 4,000 to more than 10,000 students and generated an economic impact of more than $1 billion in 2016. Under her leadership, UNE has expanded dramatically, adding new colleges, centers, educational and recreational facilities, residential halls, an innovation hub and a study abroad campus in Tangier, Morocco. She also restored Alumni Hall and many other buildings on both Maine campuses. In addition, UNE acquired an Atlantic island to serve as a field station to its budding marine scientists.

Ripich said that she was honored to receive the award but noted that UNE’s achievements have been the result of a team effort.

“Ten years ago, when I assumed office, I challenged UNE to ‘steer for the deep waters,’” she said, “and the university met that challenge tenfold. The students, faculty and staff have all played a crucial role in our bold voyage.”

Portland Chamber CEO Chris Hall praised Ripich. “Leadership is all about having a vision and finding a way to make that vision a reality,” he said. “Danielle Ripich embodies the best qualities of leadership, and her vision, implemented by her great team at UNE, has brought our region remarkable benefits. Great jobs, exciting new opportunities and the highest quality educational experiences only begin to describe what President Ripich’s leadership has meant to our community. We are deeply grateful for her leadership, and for the legacy she has helped UNE create.”

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