SMCC student Zahra Abukar and six other Maine community college students were awarded scholarships in honor of Leon A. Gorman at a ceremony held May 15 at L.L.Bean’s Corporate Headquarters in Freeport.
This is the third year the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship has been given and the second year it has been awarded to a student from each of the seven community colleges. Each Leon A. Gorman Scholar receives an award equal to a full year of tuition at a Maine community college.
The Leon A. Gorman Endowed Scholarship was established in 2014 by the children of Leon and Lisa Gorman in honor of Mr. Gorman’s 80th birthday. The scholarship supports Maine community college students who demonstrate strong academic achievement, financial need, and a commitment to community service, a hallmark of the scholarship’s namesake.
“My father was proud to support Maine’s community colleges and its hardworking students. He would have been honored to be associated with these outstanding recipients, their educational aspirations and their dedication to their families and communities,” said Jennifer Wilson on behalf of her family.
The 2018 Leon A. Gorman Scholars are:
- Tyler Tibbetts (Jay, ME), life sciences, Central Maine Community College;
- Monica Hardy-Torrey (Ellsworth, ME), nursing, Eastern Maine Community College;
- Natachia Lovering (Waterville – formerly Damariscotta), early childhood education, Kennebec Valley Community College;
- Rachel Driscoll (Washburn, ME), business and accounting, Northern Maine Community College;
- Zahra Abukar (Portland, ME), business administration, Southern Maine Community College;
- Jeremy Tilley (Ashland, ME), mechanical technology, Washington County Community College; and
- Travis Richards (Moody, ME), liberal studies, York County Community.
“Leon Gorman was passionate about the state of Maine. His investments in Maine’s community colleges exemplified that passion. He understood that Maine’s community colleges not only positively impact the lives of many aspiring individuals and their families, but also have a positive economic impact. Quite simply, he believed that well-educated community college graduates forge a bright future for the State of Maine,” said Derek Langhauser, President of the Maine Community College System, in remarks at the awards ceremony.
Leon Gorman, the longtime president and CEO of L.L.Bean, was deeply committed to the people and places of Maine. Recognizing the power and potential of Maine’s community colleges to transform people’s lives, Mr. and Mrs. Gorman worked quietly behind the scenes supporting the colleges. The couple was central to the 2009 establishment and success of The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges, for which Mrs. Gorman continues to serve as vice chair.
Photo: SMCC student Zahra Abukar with her family, the Gorman family, SMCC President Ron Cantor (left) and Maine Community College System President Derek Langhauser (right).