University of Maine Foundation President Jeffery N. Mills has announced a matching gift program in honor of the Foundation’s upcoming 90th anniversary on June 9, 2024. The 25% match will encourage the establishment of new scholarship endowments and gifts to existing scholarship endowment funds for the benefit of the University of Maine.

This match is made possible by a generous gift to support scholarships from the Judith and Robert Blake Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. Robert E. Blake was a member of the Class of 1962.

Donors Peter ’61 and Gail Berry ’61 were the first to respond to the matching challenge. They initiated a scholarship to support the education of new teachers from Washington County. Gail is one of three sisters, all UMaine graduates and teachers. “We are delighted to initiate a scholarship for Washington County students who want to pursue a teaching career,” stated Gail McLain Berry and Maj. Gen. Peter T. Berry (Ret.). “Teaching is a noble profession, critical to our country and democracy. We want to thank the Blake family and the UMaine Foundation for their support in this endeavor.”

Minimum gifts of $8,000 ($2,000 match) and maximum gifts of $80,000 ($20,000 match) will be matched per donor. Commitments may be paid over five years 2023-2028. New and existing endowed scholarship funds will be matched on the same basis. 

The entry-level to establish a named scholarship fund is $10,000. With this matching program, donors can create a fund with only $8,000. The matching gift offer will be in effect until June 9, 2024; however, there are limited funds available for the match. The Foundation reserves the right to discontinue the program at any time. Matching funds will be applied annually on December 31 of the year that the total gift is fulfilled. All gift installments must be received by December 31, 2028 to qualify for the match.

The last matching gift program created by the Foundation was completed in 2020 as part of UMaine’s Vision for Tomorrow comprehensive campaign, led by the University of Maine Foundation. That program raised over $3.8 million in new scholarship support in addition to the $1 million donation by an anonymous donor which provided the matching funds.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 90 years of successful fundraising and transformational giving,” says Mills. “Robert’s generous gift will be amplified by this program and ultimately, UMaine students will benefit from this collaborative effort for generations to come.”

The University of Maine Foundation was officially incorporated on June 9, 1934, but much preliminary activity dating back to July 1930, preceded the organization. The Class of 1909 has the distinction of making the first gift to the Foundation. They presented University of Maine President Dr. Harold S. Boardman a check for $1,000 that night, June 9, 1934, at the Annual Alumni Banquet, designating it as the first gift to the Foundation. The Foundation will celebrate its 90th anniversary on June 9, 2024.

More information about the 90th Anniversary Match is online at