The benefactors who enriched Unity College’s offerings with a historic hunting lodge and 150 acres a year ago have added a welcoming center to Sky Lodge that, according to Elaine and John Couri, of the Couri Foundation, will serve as a starting point for all visitors to the Moose River property.

The Elaine and John Couri Welcome Center stands directly across from Sky Lodge.

Unity College caught the interest of the Couris because of its focus on experiential education which, in their eyes, was a perfect match for the amenities the lodge and its surrounding environment offers such as hiking trails and access to waterways. The Couris have been pleased with how the college has put the lodge to use this past year and decided to give the school the welcome center.

“We have been extremely happy with how Unity College has been stewarding the gift of Sky Lodge and decided it was time for us to include this facility, where Elaine and I would stay when we traveled to the Moose River Valley,” John Couri said. “Elaine and I have long had a very special place in our hearts for Sky Lodge, and Unity College has been working hard to hold on to its traditions while adding value to the community with new programming for students as well as Moose River Valley residents and visitors.”

Unity College students and faculty members and the local community have used Sky Lodge for an array of educational and outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hiking, golfing, kayaking and whitewater rafting. With the addition of the welcoming center, the school expects to expand these activities.

“By giving us this additional space, we will be able to expand initiatives for both our students and the community,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “In fact, we are getting ready to launch our first-year program TERRAIN, which will bring over 60 students to live and learn for weeklong excursions at Sky Lodge. … These are great opportunities for us to help put the Moose River Valley on the map as a premier outdoor destination.”

The latest gift from the Couri Foundation adds a seventh educational property to Unity’s holdings, which include the flagship campus in Unity, the Unity College Center for the Arts, the Field of Dreams recreational park in the Unity town center, McKay Farm and Research Station, a 20-acre farm in Thorndike and a property in Portland.

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