Special Initiatives

Chair in Computational Science — $2.5 million

College of the Atlantic seeks to establish a new academic discipline in Computational Science.

A knowledge of computer science and the ability to write code for computer programs is an increasingly important skill across many disciplines and careers. Adding a computer science faculty position will increase the relevance and value of a COA education. Students will gain a technical skill that is fast becoming essential for work in many areas of science and business.

There are three areas of quantitative science and mathematics which are important for students wishing to work in the natural, physical, and social sciences: statistics, applied mathematics, and computer science. Students will need strong training in each of these areas in order to bring to bear the full power of mathematics and quantitative methods. COA will construct a novel curriculum in which these three areas — frequently taught in separate departments at colleges and universities — are taught across the curriculum and in a unified way.

Performing Arts Chair — $1.25 million

COA seeks funding to establish an endowed faculty chair in the performing arts. A Performing Arts chair at College of the Atlantic will synthesize various disciplines and strengthen student skills in public speaking and presenting, self-awareness and confidence, Improvisation and creative problem solving, community building, creating works for the theater, knowledge of cultural histories. We also anticipate that this position will help increase recruitment and retention, as the arts have a proven, unparalleled popular appeal.

Island Institute Collaboration — $2 million

Island Institute and College of the Atlantic seek to establish a partnership that would broaden our individual capacities, build visibility and brand recognition for both institutions in new geographic areas, attract new investors to our organizations, and enhance work in key areas where our missions overlap.

Initial goals of the project are to create and implement a range of programming related to agriculture and food security, energy security, education, adaptation to climate change, and island ecology, which will be focused initially on the communities of Mount Desert Island, Matinicus, Monhegan, Swans Island and Frenchboro. In so doing, we hope to create a new model for doing community development and higher education and, through that model, raise the public profiles of both II and COA and inspire a new generation of philanthropy in support of coastal Maine.

Gardener and Gardens — $50,000 annually or $1 million endowment

From the humble organic community garden school to the formal and historic Turrets Seaside and Beatrix Farrand Gardens created in Bar Harbor’s gilded age, the COA gardens provide beautiful, scenic, academic, and gathering spaces for the COA community as well as the tens of thousands of visitors that come to campus every year. Classes in gardening, botany, horticulture, cultural history, landscape design, as well as art, science, and biology take place in the many gardens on campus.

To care for these living assets, COA needs a head gardener to develop and execute a work plan, supervise work study students, and teach classes. This person will be responsible for maintaining and managing the existing formal gardens, while assisting with the planning and development for any new gardens, and for the planting of new trees, shrubs and other perennial landscape plants on the campus.

Hatchery — $150,000 for 3 years ($1 million endowed)

COA’s Sustainable Business Program emphasizes business as a force of social, environmental and economic change. An important and unique feature of this undergraduate business program is the Hatchery, a new venture incubator that links classroom learning with real world experiences.

The Hatchery provides office space, equipment, and professional services, to support the early growth stage of student-launched businesses and non-profit ventures for up to one year after graduation. Students must develop a business plan which includes a budget with revenue forecasts and contingencies, “pitch” the project to an advisory group, and have an implementation plan. The Hatchery sows the seeds of sustainable enterprises and non-profit ventures and has served as a model to other educational institutions through ASHOKA and other conferences, talks, and meetings.