Mike Doss, President and CEO of Graphic Packaging International (GPI), recently made a generous donation to the UMPPF, followed by a visit to campus with his leadership team to meet with UMPPF students, faculty, and to learn about the research in pulp and paper being done at UMaine.

At the most recent Paper Days event in April 2021, Mr. Doss surprised attendees with a pledge of $50,000/year for the next five years to the UMPPF scholarship fund. UMPPF is extremely grateful for the generosity of this donation and intends to use the funds to support UMPPF’s growth toward having 150 students participating in the scholarship program annually.

In September, Mr. Doss returned to campus to speak with students and learn more about UMaine’s programming around pulp and paper. He was joined by members of his leadership team which included, GPI’s VP of Recycled Mills Scott LeBeau, a ’92 UMaine Electrical Engineering Graduate; GPI Senior Manufacturing Manager John Patterson, a ’92 UMaine Mechanical Engineering Graduate; Mark Kaestner, VP of Talent, Learning, Diversity and Inclusion at GPI; and Joanna Goodstein, University and Military Talent Program Manager at GPI.

The visit began with a luncheon and discussion with members of UMaine’s Society of Women Engineers and the Student Chapter of Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). The visitors then went on to meet with members of our esteemed faculty including Dr. Tom Schwartz, Dr. Doug Bousfield, Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi, and Dr. Will Gramlich. Later in the day, sophomores were invited to participate in a Q & A with the leadership team. The engaging conversation went from career pathways in engineering and the industry to what efforts GPI is making to engage in sustainable packaging solutions to replace single-use plastics. Afterward, the team made their way to the Process Development Center where Dr. Colleen Walker demonstrated UMaine’s pilot capabilities, and then onto the world-class nanocellulose production factory. The day concluded with an information session and dinner at the Wells Conference Center.

Many thanks to Mr. Doss, GPI and the leadership team for the generous donation to UMPPF and for taking a vested interest in our programming and students!