A gift of $500,000 will allow the University of Southern Maine to establish an endowed scholarship for veterans starting in the fall of 2020.

The gift, from Falmouth developer and philanthropist Joe Boulos and his wife, Sheri, will fund the Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship Fund, the university announced Monday.

“We are deeply grateful to Joe and Sheri for their extraordinary generosity and for their commitment to helping veterans to continue their education,” USM President Glenn Cummings said in a news release. “This is an amazing gift that will change lives for the better.”

The scholarship will focus on helping veterans overcome hurdles to completing their degrees and will bring together both financial and academic resources coordinated through the USM Promise Scholarship program.

It also will provide for a graduate assistantship to supplement career and other support services provided by the USM Office of Veterans Services.

“It is our hope that our gift will help veterans get the education they seek and deserve,” said Joe Boulos, a former Marine Corps pilot who served in Vietnam. “They have given so much of themselves in service to our country, and Sheri and I are pleased to be able to give something to them in return.”

The fund also has received an additional $100,000 from an anonymous donor. Applications for scholarships will open this spring with the university anticipating naming five recipients for the 2020-21 school year.

“Transitioning from the military to the classroom can be a significant challenge for some veterans and for many there are setbacks along the way,” Lorrie Spaulding of USM Veterans Services said in Monday’s release.

“This scholarship and the additional supports it will create for veterans will have a tremendous, positive impact on students who have served their country in the military.”

 

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