LEWISTON — For the second time this year, Bates College has accepted a $10 million gift from former students.

In February, Bates graduate and chairman of the Bates board of trustees Michael Bonney gave the college $10 million to promote better study of medicine. He and his wife graduated from Bates in 1980, and their three children graduated in 2009, 2012 and 2015.

The second $10 million gift, made recently, is from J. Michael Chu and Elizabeth Kalperis Chu — who met at Bates and were also members of the Class of 1980. Their oldest son, Christopher, is a 2012 graduate — the same class as the Bonneys’ middle child.

The Chu funds are a general gift to the school’s endowment, according to Kent Fischer, media relations director and policy adviser.

In an on-campus ceremony Friday, the two new residence halls at 65 and 55 Campus Ave. were named the Kalperis Hall and Chu Hall, respectively, in recognition of the couple’s gift.

In a written statement provided to the Sun Journal, President Clayton Spencer said, “I am deeply grateful to Elizabeth and Michael for their wonderfully generous gift.”

During the dedication Friday, Spencer said, “Their gift underscores the power of the residential liberal arts model and our conviction that a Bates education, specifically and especially, is rooted in place and in the diversity of human connection.”

“Bates gave both of us a remarkable education that provided the foundation for our lives and careers as well as lifelong friendships that nurture us in so many ways,” the Chus said in a joint statement.

Michael Chu is a Bates trustee emeritus who is the global co-CEO and co-founder of the private equity firm L Catterton. Elizabeth Kalperis Chu, whose career was in the securities industry, serves on community and nonprofit boards. The couple resides in Connecticut.

Kalperis Hall and Chu Hall opened on Campus Avenue in August and house 243 students. The buildings were designed by the Boston firm Ann Beha Architects. Consigli Construction of Portland was the project’s lead contractor.

The two halls face and complement each other across a new lawn at the south end of campus. In addition, Kalperis Hall includes a new Bates College store as well as the college’s post and print center.


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