WASHINGTON — The Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. Foundation (the Foundation) has announced administrative changes to unite its scholarship program with its sister organization, the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., and the closure of the foundation. The changes include the establishment of a new endowed scholarship fund at the University of Maine Foundation, to which charitable contributions can be made, and the launch of the 2021 scholarship application for eligible students at schools across Maine, according to a news release from the Foundation.

The Foundation was incorporated in 1989, with a Board of Directors led by 12 members of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. In line with its mission, the Foundation established a scholarship program in 1990 to recognize and support Maine students attending Maine colleges and universities. Over the course of 30 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $242,000 in scholarship funds to more than 200 students. These scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $2,500, were awarded to full-time students who completed at least one year of undergraduate courses at a four-year degree granting, nonprofit institution of higher learning in the State of Maine. Scholarships were funded by generous donations from members of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., and other lovers of the state of Maine and supporters of tomorrow’s leaders.

In 2020, the Board of the Foundation decided on a new administrative path to preserve and continue the legacy, mission, and spirit of this work. The scholarship program will continue to be run as it has been, but as a new committee within the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. A new endowed fund held at the University of Maine Foundation will significantly reduce administrative responsibilities, which will allow volunteers to focus on managing the scholarship program. The Foundation’s mission to support scholars at schools across Maine will continue unchanged despite this administrative transition.

The current Foundation President, Sarah Conroy, said, “This decision is the product of a full year of great deliberation and effort. I am grateful to the entire Board for their contributions and I look forward to continuing to be involved with the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. and the scholarship program for years to come,” according to the release.

The Marjorie Pearson Memorial Scholarship will continue to be awarded on the basis of superior volunteer leadership, as well as a passion for the State of Maine. The named scholarship honors the legacy of Pearson, who was a dedicated supporter of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. and one of the original directors of the Foundation.

D. Jeffrey Hollingsworth, past president and current Foundation Board member, said, “As a member of the initial Board of Directors that started the Foundation, I am pleased that the Board has set a course forward that honors the past and ensures the mission will continue no matter what the future may bring,” according to the release.

The 2021 scholarship application is open and submissions are due on the anniversary of Maine’s statehood on March 15. Information about the 2021 scholarship application, as well as the link to apply, can be found on the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C website at mainestatesociety.org.

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