From Acorns to Oaks: Webber Family Philanthropy

by Daisy Domínguez Singh

In 2007, John Marshall Webber, UMaine Class of 1970 and longtime member of the Friends of the Fogler Library Advisory Board, created the John M. Webber Fogler Digital Library Fund to support the purchase and creation of digital collections. When he passed away in 2022, he bequeathed an additional $1 million to this Fund, making an indelible contribution to Fogler patrons near and far. Mr. Webber also bequeathed $1 million to provide additional scholarship assistance to University of Maine business majors.

Mr. Webber became a benefactor following in the footsteps of his parents, Mr. G. Peirce and Florence Webber, who were long-time supporters of Maine and the University of Maine community. During the Webber family’s recent visit to Fogler, Mr. Webber’s nephew Steven Spetnagel shared his grandfather’s philanthropic philosophy. G. Peirce Webber  thought of the acorn as a symbol for philanthropic efforts. Every little bit counts; planting a small acorn can grow a mighty oak tree. An apt metaphor, since digitization of Special Collections materials will extend our physical shelves like digital branches reaching out to the entire world.