WATERVILLE — A Portland developer who is a Colby College alumnus and his wife have committed to donating $10 million to the college toward a new athletic complex slated to open in about three years.

The gift comes from Joe Boulos, founder of the CBRE/Boulos Brokerage Asset Management and Boulos Development, and Sheri Boulos, his wife. Boulos graduated from Colby in 1968. The couple is known for their philanthropy in Maine and their donations to Colby, the $10 million gift the largest so far, according to the college.

The gift includes naming the college’s new athletic complex the Boulos Family Fitness Center, which is slated to open in 2020. Joe Boulos is a life trustee and former chair of Colby’s board of trustees.

The existing athletic complex is a hub of activity on campus that attracts high numbers of students, according to a news release from Colby College, and the new complex will accommodate the campus as well as the surrounding Waterville community.

In a statement, Joe Boulos said he and his wife were thrilled to be able to help Colby with this gift.

“The college has ambitious plans for its future, and we are all in,” he said.


About 40 percent of the college’s students are varsity athletes and about 80 percent participate in organized athletics in some form, the college said.

Colby College President David Greene said the new facility will extend the school’s ability to serve Waterville by “providing local teams the opportunities to practice and compete in world-class athletic facilities and state-of-the-art fields.”

In an interview Wednesday, Greene said the Boulos’ gift will go toward creating a 13,000-square-foot strength and conditioning center in the athletic complex, essentially tripling the current size of 4,500 square feet. Greene said this was all part of a larger expansion of the athletic complex, which will increase from 210,000 square feet to 350,000 square feet.

Greene said college officials haven’t yet priced out what the total expansion project will cost, but expect to know more in the spring. He said the current athletic buildings were constructed in the 1960s, and health and fitness have changed significantly since then.

“We’re really creating an athletic center we hope will be helpful in terms of supporting the broader community as well,” Greene said.

He said the expanded athletic complex could be a hub for the area by being a venue for training, local games and community events.


In addition to the $10 million donation, the Bouloses also committed $350,000 to the Colby Fund, which goes toward the college’s operations and accelerates key college strategic initiatives. It also provides funding for financial aid.

In 2007 the couple funded a program that replaces student loans with grants in financial aid packages for Maine students. That same year, Joe Boulos was named the Colby College Philanthropist of the Year. In 2008, under the leadership of Boulos, the board of trustees extended the program to all students. In addition to many other statewide accolades, in 2003 he was named the Colby College Alumnus of the Year, and in 2009 he received an honorary law degree from Colby.

Boulos, who served as a U.S. Marine pilot during the Vietnam War prior to founding his company, was raised in Portland and South Portland. He became a Colby overseer in 1991. He joined the board of trustees two years later and served as chair from 2005 to 2009, and in that time the college conducted a $376 million campaign.

He now oversees the strategic direction of the management company for his business. Boulos has developed and built more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial property in the Portland area.

The couple has supported the college in the past, including the existing Boulos Family Fitness Center as well as the Harold Alfond Stadium and the Colby College Museum of Art. They created the Boulos Family Scholarship program that has provided 310 Maine veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 with scholarships of $10,000 each. In honor of his father, they contributed the lead gift for the Boulos Stadium at Cheverus High School in Portland, from which Boulos graduated.

Greene praised the philanthropy of the Bouloses, highlighting the work they have done for the Colby Museum and now for athletics, but also for their charitable work all over Maine. He said Boulos “loves Maine and wants to give back to Maine” and called him “an extraordinary leader.”


“They are people who really love the state and really want to make sure the institutions thrive and the people thrive,” he said.

Greene also praised Boulos as a positive, smart and energetic person, someone who inspired others by example.

In the Colby release, Boulos said they have focused their philanthropy on education in Maine, veterans and mental health issues, citing Westbrook’s Spring Harbor Hospital as being particularly important to them.

“This opportunity for a major gift in support of Colby’s new athletic complex aligned perfectly with our priorities,” Boulos said.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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