Meet Our Donors

We are thankful for those who have made an estate gift to the University of Southern Maine Foundation. Here are their stories.

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A Dream Deferred and Passion for USM’s School of Music Inspires Scholarship

Josh Newton’s own experience as a USM music student, who had to delay continuing his education until he was 30, inspired him to establish an endowed scholarship which will enable future generations of music students to study free from financial obstacles.

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A Selfless Act of Altruism

When Lars Nelson and Susan Carver learned that their mother, Jane Veazie Nelson, had included a very generous bequest in her will for USM that might go unfulfilled after her passing at age 97, they knew exactly what they needed to do to see her original bequest intentions through.

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Bequest Generates Opportunities for USM Students

A. Carolla Haglund '51 was an inspiring lifelong learner who believed in the pursuit of global understanding through education. She wanted to give others the chance to see new places and try new things, as she had done all her life. Thanks to her loyalty and generosity, many more students from the University of Southern Maine will now have that chance.

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An Alumna's Thoughtful Gift Planning

Several years ago, Janet O’Toole communicated her intention to make a planned gift to USM. When asked recently about a specific area that she would like her gift to benefit at USM, Janet said she was comfortable making an unrestricted contribution.

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How a Leap of Faith Became a Legacy Bequest

Don Head and Caron Zand have been long-standing supporters of USM, both volunteers serving with their chosen interests. Don, who sadly passed away in late August 2021, served on the USM School of Music Advisory Board, and was founding chair of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Advisory Board. Caron volunteers in a leadership role for the impactful Promise Scholarship Program.

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A True Passion for Lifelong Learning

Nancy Hill Payne was all about passion. She was a mother, businesswoman, author, painter, state legislator, and community activist. In her 94 years of life, Nancy was radiant with love and contagious energy. She celebrated humanity and changed our world for the better - now her legacy is changing USM.

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Giving Back

A professor of counselor education for 26 years before his retirement from the School of Education and Human Development, Jack Sutton, along with his late wife, Annie, established the John M. and Annie T. Sutton Scholarship. Given annually to a graduate student enrolled in the counselor education program, the scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates promise as a leader in the profession of counseling, as well as proven academic achievement.

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The Gift of Music

Anne Randolph Henry was a quiet and thoughtful woman who loved her family, her friends, and her life in Maine. "Randy," as she was called, also loved the arts - especially music. "It was part of her life," says Anne Stanley, one of Randy's six children, taking piano lessons early in her life and enjoying the symphony in later years.

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Weaving a Legacy

Nurse. Union organizer. Educator. Weaver. Writer. Dr. Nancy P. Greenleaf has played many different roles in her lifetime. Now add USM Donor and Gift Planner. Nancy's association with the University of Southern Maine began shortly after she arrived in Maine with a newly minted doctorate in nursing science from Boston University. She hadn't planned to become an educator, but circumstances got in the way.

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Creating Pathways to Success

Several years ago, Ken Ross, a 1974 graduate of the USM School of Business, came across a statistic that really struck home. "I read somewhere," he said, "that Maine students graduate from college shouldering higher than average debt loads. My wife Susan and I decided we wanted to do something to help."

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A History Lesson

As a high school senior in Massachusetts, Jerilyn Mehaffey Morgan '68 was certain of two things: she wanted to become a teacher and she wanted to attend college out of state. She decided to visit Gorham State Teachers College, located in a small town in Maine. The rest, as they say, is history—or in Jerilyn's case, a history teacher.

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A Celebration of Education Across Generations

On a summer day in Gorham, nearly 75 graduates from USM's predecessor institutions—Gorham Normal School, Gorham State Teachers College, and Gorham State College—gathered to reconnect and reminisce about their shared college experience and their lives since graduation. For some, it was a chance to see classmates for the first time in years and, for others, the annual opportunity to catch up with old friends.

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The Legacy of "Mr. and Mrs. USM"

For those who knew, or simply interacted, with Melissa '52 and Dr. Richard "Doc" Costello, generosity just came naturally to the couple. But their unwavering dedication to their students, the School of Education, the Department of Athletics, the University, and the surrounding communities has crafted a lasting legacy that will not soon be forgotten. 

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College is a Game Changer

Chip ‘90 and Laura ‘87 Foye fully appreciate the value of a college education. As students at USM, they both worked full time, attended classes in the evening and on weekends, and strived to balance the high demands of work, school, and life.

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