Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571
ORONO — An extensive Penobscot County Conservation Association (PCCA) scholarship program that began with a $150 donation in 1960 continues to pay dividends for University of Maine wildlife ecology students.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of that first scholarship, UMaine wildlife ecology faculty chair James Gilbert and several current and former scholarship recipients will visit the PCCA on Thursday April 1 to personally extend their thanks. That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the club headquarters on North Main St. in Brewer.
“This support has been instrumental in helping generations of outstanding UMaine students earn their degrees and become prepared for careers in fields where they work to help conserve our natural resources,” Gilbert says “These students’ goals have been shaped by the PCCA’s support, and this enduring relationship has made an enormous, positive difference in the lives of many.”
Since 1960, PCCA total scholarship support exceeds $900,000. The organization currently provides 22 scholarships, each of which is named for one of the club’s members in recognition of good work within the organization.
Former UMaine student and Maryland native Holly Robertson, in a letter to PCAA members, noted that the scholarship support has been instrumental in helping achieve her goals.
“In order for me to pursue the field of wildlife ecology in a more ‘wilderness’ setting, I had to go to school out of state,” she wrote. “The scholarships that I received every year greatly helped offset my cost of school and that support never went unappreciated.”
Robertson, who graduated in 2003, is now working for both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Rainforest Biodiversity Working Group and is considering going back to graduate school.