A $100 Million Investment Sows Growth in Maine
While some people wait for the future, Mainers help transform it. At the Roux Institute, Northeastern’s innovation hub in Portland, the state’s learners are reimagining their careers and spurring high-growth areas that are revolutionizing life and work. They pursue academics and research in AI, biotechnology, medicine, digital engineering, and computer and data sciences—all in the state they call home.
Founded in 2020 with a $100 million investment by technology entrepreneur and Maine native David Roux and his wife, Barbara, the Roux Institute is propelling learning and economic growth through its educational model and local partnerships. That same year, the Harold Alfond Foundation made a $100 million gift to create the Alfond Scholars Initiative, which enables need-based scholarships, co-op and research employment funding, and personalized career support for Roux students.
Kriston Barnes, Khoury’24, relocated to Maine after earning his master’s degree in policy from John Hopkins University. He first enrolled in a part-time certificate program at the Roux Institute, but after receiving an Alfond Scholarship, Barnes switched gears to become a full-time student in Northeastern’s Align graduate program in computer science.
“The Alfond Scholarship has been one of the major driving forces behind changing the trajectory of my long-term career plans,” Barnes says. “My experience has emboldened me to bet on the Roux Institute and on staying in Maine to attain my career goals.”
Maine native Liz Jerome, CPS’23, returned to the state after graduating from Tufts University, but found her job opportunities limited. Then, she earned an Alfond Scholarship and completed a co-op with Roux Institute employer partner L.L.Bean—and landed a full-time position with the outdoor icon.
“Thanks to the Roux Institute and the Alfond Scholars Initiative, I am on a clear career path at an amazing Maine company,” Jerome says. “The Roux Institute gives me hope for the future of our state—what more could a young Mainer ask for?”
“The Alfond Scholarship has been one of the major driving forces behind changing the trajectory of my long-term career plans.”
—Kriston Barnes, Alfond Scholar
This article was written by Christine Burgermaster.