Campus News

Osher Foundation Grants Million in Scholarships to Maine Students

Story posted February 15, 1998


San Francisco -- The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded scholarship endowments totaling $4 million to provide educational opportunities for students from Maine attending Bates, Bowdoin and Colby colleges and the University of Maine System.

Each institution will receive $1 million to be used for undergraduate scholarships. Proceeds from the endowment will provide financial assistance to Maine students, with preference given to those from the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach area and elsewhere in York County. The endowments will enable a number of academically qualified entering students who have demonstrated financial need to enroll in the Maine institutions, beginning in the fall of 1998. The Osher Scholars will be selected by each institution. Those selected will retain the scholarship for all four undergraduate years provided that they maintain full-time status and good academic standing.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was established in 1977 to provide financial support for the arts, education, the environment, health care, and social and community projects. Based in San Francisco, it was founded by businessman Bernard Osher and his family.

Bernard Osher is a native of Biddeford and a 1948 graduate of Bowdoin College. He is the chairman of Butterfield & Butterfield Auctioneers, a San Francisco-based auction house.

"I grew up in Maine, and I know what a struggle it is for many Maine families and their talented sons and daughters to cope with the costs of college," Osher said. "It is gratifying to provide this endowment gift so that future generations will have this opportunity."

Terrence J. MacTaggart, chancellor of the University of Maine System, said the Osher Foundation's gifts will provide tremendous opportunities for Maine students at the University of Maine System and at the three private colleges. "The Osher Foundation's generous contribution to higher education is critical to the University of Maine System and Bates, Bowdoin and Colby," MacTaggart said. "The endowment represents a significant investment and belief in Maine youth and a recognition that despite one's economic situation, capable Maine children deserve a chance to earn a college education. We are grateful to Bernard Osher for helping future generations of students along the same path he took to success."

Barbro (cq) Osher, president of the Bernard Osher Foundation, said, "Maine, with its rugged beauty and hard-working, independent people, needs a new generation of gifted and highly skilled leaders in all the growing sectors of the economy. We are pleased that this endowment gift will open such opportunity through access to excellent education at Maine colleges and universities."

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