$2 Million in Gifts from John M. Webber to Benefit Business Students and Library at Husson University
March 07, 2023
$1 million will support scholarships for deserving accounting or finance students. The other million will enhance the collections of the Sawyer Library.
BANGOR, MAINE – March 7, 2023 – Husson University announced today that it has received $2 million in gifts from the estate of philanthropist John M. Webber. The first $1 million-dollar gift will be used to create the John M. Webber Husson University Business Scholarship Fund. This fund will provide financial support to deserving Husson University College of Business students, with a preference given to those majoring in accounting or finance.
“We’ll be forever grateful to Mr. Webber for creating this endowment. His support will help keep education affordable for the next generation of financial talent here at Husson,” said Dr. Robert “Bobby” Duron, an associate professor and the director of the University’s School of Accounting. “His endowment will also benefit members of Maine’s business community. The knowledge and expertise they receive from the financial professionals produced by Husson’s College of Business will continue to provide benefits to our region’s non-profit and for-profit organizations, thanks to John’s generosity.”
The second $1 million gift is being used to create an endowment called the John M. Webber Husson University Library Endowment Fund. This fund will help support purchases that enhance the W. Tom and Bonnie Sawyer Library’s collections.
“The Sawyer Library plays a vital role in supporting the wide array of intellectual pursuits here at Husson,” said Shelly Davis, MLIS, the University’s head librarian. “Mr. Webber’s magnanimous gift will help ensure that Husson students continue to have access to high-quality information resources, which is key to their development as both knowledgeable professionals and engaged citizens.”
John M. Webber was no stranger to philanthropy. His family has a long history of supporting education at Husson and other institutions. His father, G. Peirce Webber, was the lead donor responsible for creating the G. Peirce Webber Campus Center and the G. Peirce and Florence (Pitts) Webber Scholarship at the University. Webber’s father also donated the initial research equipment for Husson's marine science and research and education center. In addition, he established the “Acorn Fund” which was instrumental in the institution's success in the late 1980s.
G. Peirce Webber, John’s father, became the fourth generation to take over Webber Timberlands, the largest private owner of commercial woodland in the state. He donated significant funds to Husson, the YMCA, and the University of Maine. In addition, G. Peirce Webber was a member of the Board of Trustees at the YMCA, Husson University, Eastern Maine Charities, the Good Samaritan Agency, UMaine, and the Katahdin Area Council. His name can be found on buildings at Husson University and Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, as well as the YMCA’s G. Peirce Webber camp.
"From an early age, my Uncle John appreciated the positive impact a university education and experience could have on engaged students,” said Steve Spetnagel, Webber’s nephew. “He loved nothing more than interacting with students and administrators both on and off campus throughout his life. Stimulating conversations gave Uncle John an opportunity to share his insights and take in the opinions of others. Making sure that college resources at quality schools like Husson remain robust, plentiful and current was always a John Webber priority.”
“The past gifts my uncle made to Husson University show how important scholarship assistance was to him. These two new million-dollar gifts from his estate will make sure Uncle John’s passion for assisting students and desire to provide aspiring scholars with top-notch educational resources will continue well into the future."
Dr. Marie Hansen, dean of the College of Business at Husson University shares John Webber’s passion for education. “A college education not only opens doors to career opportunities in the business world, it also makes personal growth possible. Education helps students think critically and consider issues from multiple perspectives.”
“That’s why the John M. Webber Husson University Business Scholarship Fund is so important,” continued Hansen. “It will help students pay for a college education that can open their minds to new possibilities. Our university remains one of the most affordable colleges and universities in New England because of what donors like John Webber make possible.”
Husson President Robert A. Clark, PhD, CFA, feels that bequests from family and friends of the University play an important role in supporting the institution and students’ education. “Besides helping us to further our mission, bequests allow donors to create a legacy that lasts in perpetuity,” said Clark. “Donors often make large gifts through a bequests that further their legacy through the charitable organizations that mean the most to them. John Webber was one such person and the endowments he created will benefit Husson students for generations to come.”
For nearly 125 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.
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Eric B. Gordon, Executive Director of Communications
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