As a new year begins, we are thrilled to report three extraordinary gifts that will help further our mission to educate confident thinkers, compassionate leaders and purposeful change makers. These gifts honor our rich legacy and represent a spectrum of giving inspirations and backgrounds with one common thread—supporting the education and empowerment of the next generation of strong women in Maine.
The J. Eileen and Anne C. Conroy Scholarship Funds
The Maine Girls’ Academy is receiving a gift close to $600,000 from the estate of J. Eileen Conroy, Cathedral High School 1950 alumna and longtime supporter. The gift is, in fact, the largest gift in the history of the MGA, Catherine McAuley High School, St. Joseph’s Academy and Cathedral High School communities. Ms. Conroy passed away on July 10, 2016. In her yearbook Eileen Conroy was described as “always ready to lend a helping hand,” which she certainly did through her long and accomplished nursing career. Through her bequest, she will continue “lending a helping hand” through the J. Eileen and Anne C. Conroy Scholarship Funds.
Eileen was grateful for the all-girl education that she and her sister received. She recognized that through her bequest she could make a difference that would last beyond her lifetime—to leave a transformational legacy to support girls’ education. The newly established scholarship fund will provide merit-based scholarships to local eighth-grade girls who show promise as outstanding leaders and contributors to the community. Scholarship application details will be available at the MGA Winter Open House on January 12th and at mainegirlsacademy.org thereafter or by contacting the school directly.
The Wildflower Fund
The Wildflower Fund recently made a first-time gift of $50,000 that will support tuition assistance. This gift reflects the interest of several Maine women in supporting girls’ education and leadership, particularly for those from underserved communities. The donors are not alumnae of our predecessor schools, yet the women of The Wildflower Fund believe in the crucial importance of all-girl education and in the extraordinary possibilities that MGA can offer. Their gift is a vote of confidence in the school’s future, and we welcome them into our community.
The Maine Community Foundation: Leadership Learning Collaborative
The Maine Community Foundation (MCF) and Leadership Learning Collaborative program awarded MGA a $15,000 capacity-building grant to expand MGA’s signature girls’ leadership and empowerment opportunities. These funds will support MGA’s Community Outreach Evenings and a two-part conference to train and empower girls to be leaders in their communities. The Leadership Learning Collaborative was a pilot program for MCF and selected nine organizations statewide to reflect on and explore current and future leadership programs. Heidi Osborn, MGA Board of Trustees Chair, and I represented MGA and are honored to now be selected as a grant recipient. Heidi Osborn notes, “This leadership grant will allow us to reach and impact even more girls of broader age ranges beyond our student body and marks an exciting beginning to new initiatives at the school.”
We express our deepest gratitude to our alumnae, donors, volunteers and friends who have supported us through this pivotal time in the school’s history. The last few years have been challenging as the school faced many important decisions, yet our commitment to the girls of Maine never wavered. Times change, yet this school and its mission are as needed and relevant today as they have ever been.