The Lunder Foundation

We want the tradition of art in Maine to continue and we want it to continue at MECA where we believe in the leadership, your programs, your faculty and your staff.

Peter and Paula Lunder established the Lunder Foundation in 1988 to support educational, arts and health care organizations. Paula joined MECA&D’s board in 2003 and served as co-chair of The Campaign to Advance Maine College of Art & Design in the late 2000s. Widely recognized for their gift to Colby College of more than 500 works of art and lead funding for the museum’s Lunder Wing, scholarship support of Maine students remains at the core of their philanthropy.

There are Lunder Scholars endowments at several Maine colleges and MECA&D is proud to be one of the early recipients. Asked why they support MECA&D, Paula responded, “The history of the arts in Maine is strong, as is the tradition of artists seeking inspiration in Maine. Peter and I recognize that it is MECA&D’s mission to educate young artists, especially those from Maine whose aspirations often need financial encouragement to attend college.”  She continued, “The opportunity for Maine students to have the choice of a nationally recognized art college in their home state where they can work with other students from across the country is important to us. We know that over 50% of MECA&D graduates remain in Maine, thus continuing the legacy of our state as a special place for artists to live and work.”

At MECA&D, Lunder scholarships are given to children of former Dexter Shoe Company employees and to students from central Maine. In academic year 2014–2015, fourteen students are the beneficiaries of $48,000 in scholarship support from the Lunder’s endowed fund.

During The Campaign to Advance Maine College of Art & Design, the Lunders challenged MECA&D to double the college’s endowment and pledged a gift of $500,000 to increase their scholarship fund to $1M when another $2M was raised.  Peter notes, “Endowment is what it takes for all colleges to ensure stable programming, now and in the future.” The campaign concluded in 2010 with $5.8M raised in capital and $4.2M in endowment.

Heeding Peter’s words, and recognizing that the fundamental path to financial sustainability of any strong academic institution is an endowment at least triple the operating budget, President Tuski made increasing MECA&D’s endowment to $20M one of two goals of the current five-year strategic plan (2013–2018).

Asked why they continue to support MECA&D, Paula responded, “It is because of all that you are accomplishing to fulfill the dreams of the students at MECA&D that we are following you and are delighted with your success. We want the tradition of art in Maine to continue and we want it to continue at MECA&D where we believe in the leadership, your programs, your faculty and your staff."

*Gifts to the Annual Fund are used to provide scholarships, expand our community programming, and support our future artists, designers, and thinkers. Can you help us continue our success?