University of Maine President Susan J. Hunter will receive the 2017 Kenneth M. Curtis Leadership Award from the Maine Development Foundation on Sept. 28. The award will be presented at the foundation’s 39th Annual Meeting and Summit at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

“President Hunter has a distinguished career in research and higher education, capped by bringing her steady hand to guiding UMaine through a challenging transformative period in higher education with growing enrollments, strategic focus and innovative approaches,” says Yellow Light Breen, president and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation. “Her leadership inspires other leaders, both in and outside the university, earning her multiple nominations from fellow Leadership Maine alumni.”

The Kenneth M. Curtis Leadership Award recognizes those who demonstrate exceptional, dynamic leadership in the community and the state, and are an example to others. The award is named in honor of the former Maine governor who “articulated the need for leaders who can influence change in the face of conflict and who has lead by example.”

Maine Development Foundation is a private, nonpartisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for Maine. MDF’s strategic focus is a productive workforce. Its membership of over 250 represents private companies, educational institutions, municipalities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations statewide.

Hunter has been UMaine’s 20th President since 2014. UMaine achievements during her presidency include significant advances in student recruitment, fundraising, and external relations and advocacy with new and existing partners statewide.

As a community leader, Hunter has served on the board of directors of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics and the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, and participated in a planning initiative for the Maine Arts Commission Steering Committee, in preparation for a Cultural Strategic Plan for the state of Maine.

Currently, she serves on the boards of Maine & Company, and the Maine Development Foundation, and on the advisory network for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute.

In 2016, Hunter was inducted into the Deborah Morton Society at the University of New England. And Sept. 16, she received the Collins Center for the Arts Wilma Award for substantial contributions to the center, and to the promotion and enhancement of cultural activities in Maine.


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