A year after The Couri Foundation gifted Sky Lodge, a historic sporting lodge located in Maine’s Moose River Valley, to Unity College, the foundation has announced that it is also gifting the College an additional facility in Moose River, Maine.
The latest gift is situated right across the road from the main lodge and will be known as The Elaine and John Couri Welcome Center. The center will serve as the first point of contact for all guests, students, and community members exploring Sky Lodge and the surrounding 150 acres. The Couris initially chose Unity College to receive Sky Lodge because they felt the school’s mission and unique focus on experiential education was a perfect fit with all the lodge offers, including hiking trails and easy access to Maine’s waterways.
“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,” said John Couri, President of the Couri Foundation. “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 onto its traditions while adding value to the community with new programming for students as well as Moose River Valley residents and visitors.”
Since receiving the gift of Sky Lodge, Unity College students and community members have taken part in a wide array of academic experiences and outdoor activities such as fly-fishing, hiking, golfing, biking, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
“By giving us this additional space, we will be able to expand initiatives for both our students and the community,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “In fact, we are getting ready to launch our first-year program TERRAIN, which will bring over 60 students to live and learn for week-long excursions at Sky Lodge. We’re also getting ready to host several major events: the first annual Sky Lodge SwimRun which has attracted athletes from around the world; and next year’s Maine Moose Lottery. 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 to Unity College’s portfolio of educational properties, which also includes its Flagship Campus location in Unity, Maine; the Unity College Center for the Arts, and Field of Dreams recreational park in the Unity town center; as well as the McKay Farm and Research Station, a 20-acre farm with a 32,000 square foot greenhouse facility in Thorndike, Maine; and an additional facility in Portland, Maine.
“Sky Lodge has been an amazing resource for our students,” said Chief Advancement Officer Erica Hutchinson. “With the gift, we have been able to offer unique learning experiences for our students and faculty, at the same time striving to be a major economic driver for the region.”
“I’m incredibly proud as I see all the updates from Sky Lodge, and I see just how these students are using this very special place to enhance their education,” added Couri.
Sky Lodge is also host to the Moose River Valley Center (MRVC), which provides programming for elderly community members and supports state-wide initiatives for aging in place. The center is also available for private rentals and conferences. The main lodge and cabins are available throughout the year for visitors seeking to enjoy outdoor experiences. For more information, visit skylodge.unity.edu.