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Husson University Unveils The Edward O. and Mary Ellen Darling Learning Center

Published on: October 7, 2013

Edward O. Darling and his wife Mary Ellen

Prominent Bangor-area executive and alumnus Edward O. Darling and his wife Mary Ellen were honored today at a ceremony on the campus of Husson University. In recognition of the Darlings' contributions to the success of the educational institution, Husson has renamed the first floor of their Living/Learning Center building in their honor. Going forward, it will be known as the Edward O. and Mary Ellen Darling Learning Center.

“Alumni like Ed and friends of the university like Mary Ellen are some of Husson’s greatest assets. Their support has been instrumental in transforming our four campuses into some of Maine’s most energetic and dynamic learning environments,” said Dr. Robert A. Clark, CFA, president and chief executive officer. 

Edward O. Darling is best known in central and eastern Maine for his contributions to the automotive industry. In the Bangor area, residents know him as the owner of Down East Toyota-Scion in Brewer. 

Ed began his automotive career in Connecticut, Lincoln and Norridgewock, Maine in the service and parts divisions of his family’s company. In 1968, he returned to Bangor to run his father’s auto dealership. Five years later, Ed moved their operations to Brewer. Today, the prominent central Maine dealership features a 30,000 square foot display room, an office building and an adjoining repair shop. Recognized as a leader in the automotive industry, Ed was a member of the National Toyota Council – an organization representing 72 New England auto dealerships. 

When asked why he chose to support Husson University, Ed said, “A degree is more than just four years of education and a diploma. It is the foundation of all your future success. It’s knowledge and insight into life that you take with you wherever you go. The success I’ve experienced in my career and in my life is the result of the education I received at Husson University.”

Both Ed and his wife Mary Ellen believe in giving back to the community. Their community service includes stints as the chair of the St. Joseph Hospital Board of Directors and volunteer work on the church councils of St. John’s in Bangor and St. Joseph’s in Brewer. As part of this effort, Ed served as co-chair of the restoration campaign at St. John’s. In November of 1997, Ed received the Mother Angela Award in recognition of exemplary service to the community and to St. Joseph Healthcare. Eight years later, Ed received the Norbert X. Dowd Award, the highest honor the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce can bestow, in recognition of his community service.

Mary Ellen has served for several years on the Board of Directors at John Bapst Memorial High School.

The Edward O. and Mary Ellen Darling Learning Center will provide advanced educational facilities to both Husson University and New England School of Communications (NESCom) students. As a campus educational nexus, the Center will promote advanced scholarship, learning and the pursuit of excellence.

In considering the significance of the Darling’s gift, President Clark remarked, “Ed and Mary Ellen are superb examples of the character and values that have become associated with Husson University graduates. Not only do they achieve personal success through dedication and hard work, they go on to make important contributions to their communities - all in an effort to help others achieve success in their lives. The Darlings’ vision and generosity of spirit will impact countless students in the coming decades,”

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in South Portland, Wells and Presque Isle provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies, science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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