ORONO, Maine — Brewer native and University of Maine alumna Karen L. Boudreau pledged to gift the university $1 million along with her husband, Thomas Jensen, M.D. A dedication ceremony was held Thursday to recognize the renaming of North Stevens Hall to Boudreau Hall in her honor.
Boudreau, who lives in San Diego and works as an attorney, said she is proud to know her French-Canadian name will be displayed on a building at the school's campus.
"The reason I wanted a French-Canadian name on a building at the center of the mall where everybody has to walk by is so that young women and French-Canadians can know, 'Look, if she can do it, I can do it.' And they can," Boudreau said.
Among those in attendance was UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, professor and director of Franco-American Programs at UMaine Susan Pinette, and Gigi Georges, author of the 2021 book, "Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America."
Former Maine governor and gubernatorial hopeful Paul LePage was also in attendance with his wife, Ann. LePage, also a French-Canadian descendant, expressed his gratitude and admiration for a Franco-American's name to be displayed on a building at UMaine.
Boudreau Hall, located on the campus mall, is one of the oldest buildings on the school's campus. It houses the Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service, the political science department, the School of Policy and International Affairs, and the offices of Equal Opportunity and International Affairs.
The $1 million gift will be used to refurbish parts of the historic building.