ORONO — A $7.9 million gift from the estate of a University of Maine graduate, the third-largest single gift given the school, will primarily support maintenance projects on campus.

The University of Maine Foundation received the gift from the estate of Thomas Hosmer, who graduated in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering and had a career working for Massachusetts-based companies. Hosmer died in May 2011.

Ninety percent of his estate’s gift will support maintenance and repairs that would not otherwise be done due to budget limitations. The remainder is designated for an endowed scholarship and an endowed lab to benefit UMaine’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson says he’s overwhelmed by Hosmer’s generosity.