The University of Southern Maine announced Monday that it will establish a $15 million scholarship designed to support 100 disadvantaged Maine students annually.
So far, the Promise Scholarship campaign has raised more than $4 million. The first group of scholars will be selected for the next academic year.
“This particular Promise Scholarship is at the center of what USM stands for. It’s an opportunity for us to find students from across the state who have incredible ability but very few resources,” says USM President Glenn Cummings.
Richard McGoldrick and his wife, Caroline, conceived and now co-chair the campaign and are among the lead donors who helped bring in the $4 million in initial funds. He says he and his wife had already been sponsoring a student anonymously, when Cummings asked them to expand their giving.
“And we thought about it and we said, ‘Boy that would be something.’ So they said, ‘We’re going to raise $12 million and we’ll be able to send 100 kids a year to school on $5,000 scholarship.’ And I quickly did the math and said, ‘No, you’re going to need at least $15 million,’” McGoldrick says.
He says the $15 million campaign goal is merely a starting point, and wants to see the program grow.