SMCC Foundation receives $50,000 donation for student scholarships

A longtime supporter of Southern Maine Community College has made a donation of more than $50,000 to the SMCC Foundation in support of student scholarships.

A philanthropic organization in February donated shares of an investment fund that, when liquidated, were worth $50,914. Of that total, $5,000 is earmarked for scholarships for students in SMCC’s Culinary Arts program, with the remainder allotted for students in SMCC trade programs such as construction, plumbing, machining or electrical.

The organization president, who asked not to be publicly identified, said he made his first contribution to SMCC in 2011 after a grocery store seafood clerk explained to him how to differentiate between fresh Maine scallops and frozen scallops in the store.

The clerk told him that he learned about scallops while studying Culinary Arts at SMCC, but that he had to leave school because he was working two jobs and didn’t have the money to continue college. Impressed by the young man’s knowledge of food, but saddened by the financial obstacles he faced for a college education, the organization president decided to create a $1,000 scholarship for a student in the Culinary Arts program.

He has increased donations every year since, peaking with this year’s generous contribution.

“It comes from my own upbringing when I was helped out by others. My schooling was made possible by scholarships, grants and the generosity of others who helped me afford my education, and I was very thankful for that help,” the donor said.

The SMCC Foundation raises money from businesses, civic groups, community leaders and individuals for academic programs, classrooms and equipment, and scholarships for deserving students. People can support the Foundation by calling the Foundation office at 741-5559 or through its website,