Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Richard C. Hill, who passed away in July, left an indelible mark on the University of Maine. His work as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dean of the College of Technology and Director of the Department of Industrial Cooperation spanned from 1946 until his retirement in 1992. Even after his retirement, he remained one of UMaine’s most highly recognized and respected emeriti faculty experts because of his extensive knowledge and a communication style that made even the most complex subjects understandable. His writings and speaking engagements around the country brought great recognition and honor to UMaine.
“Many times donors do not realize the broad array of charitable giving mechanisms which can be implemented to achieve their goals. We were very happy to help Dick and Libby with their objectives.”
— Jeff Mills, President/CEO
Professor Hill’s contributions to UMaine are legendary. Beloved by his students, admired by his colleagues and respected by Maine people everywhere, Dick was the first faculty member to receive the Stillwater Presidential Award. His legacy not only includes his body of work in the field of energy, but also endowments that will support programs in perpetuity that Dick and his wife, Elizabeth (“Libby”), cared about across campus. The Collins Center for the Arts, the College of Engineering, the Honors College, the Division of Music of the University of Maine’s School of Performing Arts, the Department of Industrial Cooperation and the Professor Michael H. Lewis Art Scholarship all benefit from Dick’s and Elizabeth’s generosity.
Dick recognized a good idea when he saw one. Back in 1989, he and Libby were wondering what to do with a mutual fund account and looking for a way to help their grandchildren with their college educations. Their attorney suggested that they consider a charitable trust. Dick and Libby placed the account in a charitable remainder trust with a 20-year term and were able to take an immediate income tax charitable deduction.
During those 20 years, the trust income helped their grandchildren pay for their college educations. They attended schools all over the country to study to be a physician’s assistant, a medical doctor, a physical therapist, a teacher, an economist and an engineer. They are incredibly grateful to their grandparents for investing in their futures.
In 2009, at the end of the trust term, the trust’s remainder came to the University of Maine Foundation to be endowed to help the programs Dick and Libby cared about. As a former dean, Dick knew how vital unrestricted support could be to those programs.
Not only can they help grandchildren, but charitable remainder trusts can also provide security, minimize taxes, preserve assets, and ultimately fulfill philanthropic goals. The Foundation would be happy to explore with you and your advisors the possible benefits of including a charitable trust in your financial and estate plans. We welcome the opportunity to be of help.
Danny Williams, Jeff Mills, George Predaris, John Rozos
On the road again. Recently cousins George Predaris of Rye, NH, and John Rozos of Poland Spring, ME made a special delivery of a check for $271,671.80 to the University of Maine Foundation. Foundation President Jeff Mills and Collins Center for the Arts Director Danny Williams were on hand at Buchanan Alumni House to graciously accept the funds. Last summer, Predaris and Rozos handed University of Maine President Susan Hunter and University of Maine Foundation President Jeff Mills a check for $300,000. Both checks were a result of their work to settle their Aunt Helen Skoufis’ estate to benefit the Helen M. and Peter J. Skoufis Scholarship, established in 1996 at the Foundation by the Skoufises. Distributions from the endowed fund will provide endless scholarship assistance for UMaine undergraduate students who are graduates of Bangor High School and John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.
Helen Skoufis and her husband Peter, a member of the UMaine Class of 1941, were longtime supporters of the University of Maine.
“We are very grateful to Helen and Peter for their forethought in planning this generous gift,” Jeff Mills said, “ and to their nephews who so thoughtfully carried out the task of seeing it through.”
Although his work in the U.S.Foreign Service took him around the globe interacting with world leaders, Peter Skoufis never forgot his roots in his hometown, Bangor, Maine, or his alma mater, the University of Maine, where he earned a bachelor of arts in History and Political Science in 1941. Peter Skoufis passed away in 2005, and Helen in 2014.
University of Maine Nickerson Scholarship recipients are, left to right, Allyson Eslin ’17, Madison Waterman ’17, Miranda Roberts ’18 and Jaymi Thibault ’17. Not pictured: Isabella DiPhilippo ’17, currently studying in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Heidi Martinson
The University of Maine Department of Political Science has announced the first awardees of the John M. Nickerson University of Maine Scholarship. The five selected students will each receive close to one year of in-state tuition for the 2016–17 academic year.
Each of the students was awarded scholarship support after being chosen by the faculty of the UMaine Political Science Department based upon their overall GPA and faculty evaluations.
For the 2016–17 year, the recipients of the John M. Nickerson University of Maine Scholarship are: Isabella DiPhilippo of Scarborough, Allyson Eslin of Bangor, Miranda Roberts of Hermon, Jaymi Thibault of Lisbon and Madison Waterman of Eliot.
“I am so beyond humbled and thankful to have been selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the John M. Nickerson University of Maine Scholarship,” says Allyson Eslin, a third-year student at UMaine. “I am thrilled to be representing a person of such profound integrity, dedication and scholarship as John Nickerson, and am deeply inspired to embody the spirit of public leadership in his memory.”
The John M. Nickerson University of Maine Scholarship was established in 2014 at the University of Maine Foundation with a gift of more than $2 million from the estate of Dr. John M. Nickerson. This endowed scholarship annually supports UMaine students who, among other requirements, study political science, have attained a junior standing, are Maine residents and have made an impact in their communities.
Nickerson also established the John Mitchell Nickerson Professorship of Political Science and the John M. Nickerson Quiet Room to benefit the members, faculty and staff of the UMaine Department of Political Science.
“Dr. Nickerson devoted his life to his work and it was his desire to continue to support a strong political science community in Maine,” says University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery Mills. “The foundation is grateful for his commitment, which will provide significant support to UMaine students for generations.”
Nickerson, a Lewiston native, was a member of the UMaine class of 1959. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in political science, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in 1971 and taught for many years at the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Augusta.
Nickerson authored numerous books and other publications during his career and remained active in the political science community until his death at age 75.
The University of Maine Foundation has received more than $2 million from the Veronica Pendleton estate to fund the Raymond K. and Veronica Pendleton Fund at the University of Maine. Mrs. Pendleton created the fund several years ago with a plan to provide an eventual gift from her estate.
The bequest gift to the Raymond K. and Veronica Pendleton Fund was announced at the University of Maine Foundation’s annual meeting and luncheon Oct. 16 by foundation President Jeffery Mills.
The endowed fund will provide monetary support to students who choose to study forestry, agriculture or marine sciences in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture. It is expected that the fund will provide $100,000 in scholarships annually.
“Our work at the foundation is very rewarding on a day like today, when you have assisted someone in planning a legacy and witness it become a reality,” says Mills. “University of Maine students will benefit from this generosity every semester, in perpetuity.”
The scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need or academic excellence. During even-numbered years, a preference shall be given to students studying agriculture or forestry, and during odd-numbered years to students studying marine sciences.
“The college is delighted to receive the Pendleton bequest. It will assist students who will become future natural resources managers in sectors important to Maine’s economy and quality of life,” says Edward Ashworth, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.
Mrs. Pendleton, who passed away in August 2014, established the planned gift at the University of Maine Foundation. She and her husband, Dr. Raymond Pendleton, who attended UMaine, lived on Islesboro for many years.
Distribution of the fund, which will be administered by the UMaine Office of Financial Aid, will begin for the fall 2016 semester.
Director of Planned Giving
University of Maine Foundation
I recently received a copy of a University of Maine student’s thank you letter to the family of the donor who had created a scholarship fund through her will.
The letter states, in part:
“To receive this level of help from a stranger has been overwhelming to say the least. The scholarship funds will go a long way in easing the financial burden on me so that I can concentrate on my studies. More so than that, though, is the intangible support you have given to me. Your gift has shown me that there are other people out there, who believe my personal goal to be a worthy one. That truly means the world to me, especially at a time when I am far from my family and friends trying to make a home and a better future for myself in a new place.”
Letters like this one remind me of the difference that bequests can make in the lives of students. Many students would not be able to graduate without the assistance that comes from the planned gifts that have been endowed with the University of Maine Foundation. Scholarship support is crucial.
Many of our supporters like you have chosen to create a legacy through a bequest, charitable gift annuity or charitable trust to help students to attain their degrees. Our planned giving staff is ready to help you and your advisors to craft language that will create a legacy for you while helping students to achieve their goals in perpetuity. We exist to assure that our donors’ wishes are adhered to and we have a great deal of experience in protecting our donors’ privacy. Contact us today to explore how planned gifts can help both you and University of Maine students to achieve your goals.
For more information on planned and deferred gifts, or Legacy Society membership,
contact our Planned Giving staff at 207.581.5100 or 207.253.5172.
Jeffery N. Mills, President/CEO of the University of Maine Foundation, Emily Haddad, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, James W. Warhola, Department Chair of Political Science and Jeffrey Hecker, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost accept the bequest from the estate of John M. Nickerson
An endowed scholarship fund and political science professorship have been established at the University of Maine Foundation with more than $2 million in gifts from John Nickerson, a University of Maine alumnus and professor emeritus at the University of Maine at Augusta who died in May 2013.
University of Maine Foundation President/CEO Jeffery Mills made the announcement in UMaine’s North Stevens Hall, where the John Mitchell Nickerson Room was dedicated in honor of the member of the UMaine class of 1959.
“Dr. Nickerson’s gift will forever remind us of his love of higher education and his firm belief in its role in changing students’ lives,” said University of Maine President Dr. Susan Hunter.
“UMaine was fortunate to know him as an alumnus, scholar and teacher. With this gift, Dr. Nickerson will continue to touch the lives of students, this time through his vision and generosity.”
The room, decorated with Nickerson’s collection of fine furniture, artwork, oriental rugs and silver, was his gift to UMaine faculty and staff as a place to relax. Along with that thoughtful gesture to his former colleagues, Nickerson made a generous gift to future UMaine political science faculty and students with an endowed professorship and an endowed scholarship fund. Both will be held at the University of Maine Foundation.
The professorship will be known as the John Mitchell Nickerson Professorship of Political Science and will provide support for an accomplished UMaine political science professor.
The endowed John M. Nickerson Scholarship Fund will make merit awards to UMaine juniors and seniors who are residents of Maine and are majoring in political science or participating in the prelaw program. The fund is expected to generate approximately $100,000 per year for scholarships, starting in 2016.
“This substantial gift will result in one of the largest scholarship funds managed by the University of Maine Foundation,” said Mills. “Dr. Nickerson was a dedicated political science professional and scholar, with this significant and ongoing support for UMaine students and faculty his work will continue to advance in Maine and beyond.”
Although Nickerson was a UMaine alumnus and longtime graduate faculty member, most of his career he taught political science at UMA, where he left a $180,000 endowed scholarship fund, which will be held by the University of Maine System.
“I worked with John for over 14 years, and there isn’t anyone who was more dedicated to his students. He expected a lot from them, and he gave all of himself to his work,” said Brenda McAleer, Dean of Professional Studies at UMA. “The scholarship he has left for UMA could not be a more fitting tribute or legacy to his work here.”
Before he passed away, Nickerson described his life as “devoted to the teaching of his students” whose careers he followed and spoke often of. His gifts were a manifestation of his devotion to education.
Nickerson was born in Lewiston, Maine on July 1, 1937, the son of Elmer Winfield Nickerson and Marion Gertrude Howard. He lived his early life in Auburn, Maine, and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1955.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1959 at the University of Maine, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. While in the Army, he earned a master’s degree from Washington State University in 1966. He was awarded his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Idaho in 1971.
Nickerson was a member of several academic honor societies, including Pi Alpha Alpha and Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor societies for public affairs and administration, and political science, respectively.
He was a member of the many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Political and Social Science; the American Political Science Association; the American Society for Public Administration; the Maine Magistrates Council; the New England Political Science Association; the Northeastern Political Science Association; and The Academy of Political Science.
He was active in the community and was a member and officer of many organizations. He is listed in Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in American Politics; and Who’s Who in the World.
The University of Maine Foundation was established in 1934 to encourage gifts and bequests to promote academic achievement, research and intellectual pursuit at the University of Maine. Currently, the foundation manages more than 1,500 endowed funds that benefit UMaine.