Beginning next year, a new endowed scholarship will be available for veterans attending the University of Southern Maine.
The scholarship is being created through a $500,000 gift from Joe and Sheri Boulos of Falmouth to the University of Southern Maine Foundation and will be available in the fall of 2020.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this Monday’s Veterans Day than by setting up an endowed scholarship fund to help our veterans complete their degrees,” said USM President Glenn Cummings. “Long after the parades are over, this incredibly generous gift will help us celebrate and honor our veterans in an enduring and important way.”
“Joe served our country as a Marine Corps pilot in Vietnam. Joe is an American success story who gives back to his community. He and Sheri have shown a deep commitment to higher education, veterans and mental health issues in Maine,” added Cummings. “We are deeply grateful to Joe and Sheri for their extraordinary generosity and for their commitment to helping veterans to continue their education. This is an amazing gift that will change lives for the better.”
The new Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship Fund will provide critical financial support to help veterans complete a degree at USM. The fund will also support a graduate assistantship for a veteran to work with the USM Promise Scholarship Coordinator to supplement career and other support services provided by USM’s Office of Veterans Services.
The Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship is an expansion of USM’s Promise Scholarship program, which is designed to help students, often the first in their families to attend college, overcome the financial and other barriers to completing a degree, while also helping students graduate with little or no debt.
“It is our hope that our gift will help veterans get the education they seek and deserve,” said Joe Boulos, chairman of Boulos Asset Management and founder of the Boulos Co. “They have given so much of themselves in service to our country and Sheri and I are pleased to be able to give something to them in return.”
USM is able to launch the new program next year thanks to an additional pledge of $100,000 from an anonymous donor.
Applications will be accepted in the spring of 2020 for the upcoming academic year. Veterans who have been enrolled at USM or at least one year, with demonstrated financial need and a solid record of academic performance, will be eligible to apply.
USM anticipates awarding approximately five scholarships for 2020-2021.
The Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship Fund focuses on helping veterans overcome hurdles to earning their degrees and will bring together both financial and academic resources for veteran scholars, coordinated through the USM Promise Scholarship program. Working with USM Veterans Services, the new program may also partner with organizations such as the federally funded Veterans Upward Bound program, located on the Portland campus.
USM has the largest cohort of student veterans in Maine, and has been nationally recognized for its support of those who have served.
“Transitioning from the military to the classroom can be a significant challenge for some veterans and for many, there are setbacks along the way,” said Lorrie Spaulding of USM Veterans Services. “This scholarship and the additional supports it will create for veterans will have a tremendous, positive impact on students who have served their country in the military.”