The University of Maine at Augusta established the Alicia Rae Bessey Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2021 with a generous gift received from her family and friends. The scholarship honors the memory of Alicia Rae Bessey and her significant contributions to the University of Maine-Augusta Bangor campus. While awards will be made each spring for the following academic year, an inaugural $1,000 award will be made to a qualifying UMA Bangor student for the 2022 spring semester.
Alicia was a force for good in everything she did. While she faced mental health struggles throughout her education, she persevered and took life one day at a time, acting as a resource and model for students struggling with similar challenges. Her memory lives on at UMA Bangor, in the hearts and minds of her friends and family, and with this scholarship, the goal is to help students like Alicia pursue their passion for social justice through education.
Alicia provided leadership, comradery, and support in a variety of roles including in her work with the UMA Bangor Garden Club, the Student Government Association, TRIO, the People for Positive Action club, and in her general community and campus organizing. Alicia co-founded the inaugural “Rainbows for UMA-Bangor” LGBTQIA+ student club and helped evolve this club into a group for students, staff, and faculty as “Rainbows Across UMA.” Pursing an interdisciplinary degree, Alicia created her own major in LGBTQ and Sexual Education Advocacy bringing together sociology, psychology, and women’s and gender studies.
During her time at UMA Bangor, Alicia was awarded the WICCD (Women Invigorating Curriculum & Cultivating Diversity) Student of the Year and she was twice awarded the Bangor Campus Garden Student of the Year. She was also awarded the Liberal Studies Associate of Arts Student of the Year and the Bangor Campus Student of the Year award.
Contributions to the Alicia Rae Bessey Scholarship Fund are still being accepted.