Belfast. Mr. Charles M. Cawley was the founder of MBNA, the credit card giant that expanded into Maine in 1993, offering good jobs and expanding Maine’s economy in critical regions. At its peak, MBNA employed 5,000 Maine citizens.
Under Mr. Cawley’s leadership, MBNA donated millions of dollars to Maine schools, hospitals and nonprofit institutions. The University of Maine has benefited significantly from MBNA’s generosity, most notably through the partnership that led to the creation of UMaine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast, but also including several noteworthy donations in support of the arts, library
and student services.
Mr. Cawley’s affection for Maine and its people began at an early age. Growing up in New Jersey, he spent summers visiting his grandfather, Camden and Belfast business owner Edward J. Walsh. Mr. Cawley has described how those summer visits led to his earliest lessons about business and civic involvement, learned at the side of his beloved grandfather. He also gained a lifelong appreciation for the people of Maine, especially midcoast Maine, for their work ethic and commitment to their communities. In 2009, UMaine named the Hutchinson Center’s extensive new addition, “The Edward J. Walsh Wing” in memory of Mr. Cawley’s role model.
The expanded facility now offers a wider, even more comprehensive array of university-based educational opportunities for people who live near Belfast and beyond.
A visionary leader dedicated to supporting higher education, Mr. Cawley served on the University of Delaware Board of Trustees for 12 years. That institution recognized his contributions with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree in 2008. It is with honor and pride that the University of Maine awarded Charles M. Cawley the Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 2010 Commencement.
The Hutchinson Center Advisory Board, staff and students are very proud to recognize Dr. Charles M. Cawley with this very prestigious award.