To the Northeastern University community,

Last January, I shared with you that Barb and Dave Roux had made a transformational gift of $100 million for the foundation of the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland. It was a visionary initiative to establish Maine as a hub for technological innovation in advanced life sciences and experiential artificial intelligence. This morning, I am delighted to announce an equally historic gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to create the Alfond Scholars Initiative at the Roux Institute.

The Alfond Foundation’s $100 million investment in the people and communities of Maine represents an immense expansion of support for financial aid, co-ops, and post-doctoral research in key areas driving the global economy. With this gift, the Roux Institute will attract more world-class innovators to Portland, expand the talent pool for Maine employers, and power up economic opportunity throughout the region. The impact of the Alfond Foundation’s generosity will resound today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.

As we have all seen during the pandemic, the world needs innovative solutions. People from all walks of life seek a future that is healthy, resilient, and prosperous. By directly funding financial aid and career support for learners and their families, the Alfond Foundation is empowering the people of Maine to discover solutions, build agile, successful companies and careers, and create a safer, more vibrant future for their communities.

As we continue to advance Northeastern’s global university system, I have no doubt that the Roux model will serve as an inspiring blueprint for regional partnerships between higher education, philanthropy, and industry to catalyze economic growth. This is an exciting and important initiative, and I wish to thank everyone involved in realizing it. Your commitment and creativity are changing lives for the better.



Joseph E. Aoun