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A long and generous history of philanthropy

Darling horse barn and farmhouse in 1969

The Darling Marine Center was established in 1965 when Ira C. Darling donated his Walpole farm to the University of Maine with the expressed intent of establishing a marine laboratory on the shore of the Damariscotta River Estuary. To help maintain and improve the property, Mr. Darling also created the largest trust in the university’s history, which included endowments for two chaired professorships.

DMC Archives Professor John Dearborn aboard the R/V Hero in 1968

Other significant contributions followed. The waterfront property and cottage of Mr. George Willett now accommodates visiting researchers; the building that housed the first classroom and lecture hall, now part of the library, was a gift from the Kresge Foundation; Betty Noyce supported expansion of our first flowing seawater laboratory; and Professor John Dearborn and his wife Bethel created a trust to support capstone research and other educational opportunities for Darling Marine Center students.

Additional philanthropic donations to strengthen DMC programming and student research comes from many alumni, friends, foundations, and corporations and we are grateful to each and every one. Without ongoing support, our work would not be possible.


How to support the students at the Darling Marine Center 

The Darling Marine Center invites you invest in the DMC Student Research and Experiential Education Fund. Gifts will support undergraduate research and experiential education programs at the DMC.

We welcome financial gifts of any amount and appreciate any support you can provide. You can give by: 

  • Using the University of Maine Foundation’s online giving portal and specifying Darling Marine Center as the recipient.
  • Mailing a check to the University of Maine Foundation, designating Darling Marine Center on the memo line and mailing to:

University of Maine Foundation
Two Alumni Place
Orono, ME 04469

If you would like to discuss additional giving options please contact the DMC Director at 207.563.8144,, or visit the University of Maine Foundation’s overview on “how do I give?”

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Thank you for considering our students as a recipient of your gift.