Dr. Dottie Martin, right, presents outgoing NMCC Foundation Chairperson Connie Sandstrom with a plaque of appreciation honoring two years of service as chairperson of the Foundation. (Courtesy of NMCC)

PRESQUE ISLE — After another year of unprecedented scholarship and grant disbursements,  and exciting campus renovations, the Northern Maine Community College Foundation recently celebrated these and other successes during the annual dinner, held on the Presque Isle campus. In addition to celebrating the year’s accomplishments, the evening also marked the conclusion of Connie Sandstrom’s tenure as chairperson and the transition of leadership to the new chairperson, Ryan Bushey, the Foundation’s previous vice chairperson.

The reception highlighted students from the early childhood education and medical assisting programs, who demonstrated coursework from their respective fields of study.  Students from the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society shared  information on the organization and the work of the NMCC chapter. Also sharing during  the event was David Raymond, author of the newly published “A Brief History of Northern Maine Community College 1961-2021.” Copies of the book were on sale with all proceeds going to the Foundation’s General Scholarship fund. 

Prior to the dinner, the audience received a message from Michael Marquis, a 2018 and 2019 graduate of the business administration and accounting programs. Marquis, who is now employed by Thompson Financial Group of Presque Isle, addressed the audience via ZOOM, since he was in Washington, D.C. for business. Marquis shared his NMCC story and how his experiences in college assisted in preparing him for his career. 

During the program portion of the dinner, Foundation Executive Director Dr. Dottie Martin presented an overview of the Foundation’s accomplishments over the past two  years, since the gathering was not held in 2020, due to health and safety precautions.  

Chairperson Sandstrom thanked those in attendance for their continued support to the  Foundation and the College. She specifically emphasized that over $122,000 in scholarships and grants were awarded to students in 2020-21 and encouraged everyone to review the 2021 Annual Report, available on each table. 

Incoming Foundation Chairperson Ryan Bushey was not present but sent a message of his  appreciation for the opportunity to continue the collaborative spirit of the Foundation to  proactively meet the needs of students and create an education environment that fosters  success.

Rachel Brewer, a second-year nursing student, shared her family’s story and how financial support from the Foundation is assisting her in achieving the long-held dream of  becoming a nurse. Rachel and her husband Jayson have two adult children who are both  in chosen careers and a high school daughter who plans to follow in her mother’s  footsteps to become a nurse. 

The evening concluded with NMCC President Timothy Crowley thanking the Foundation  members for the commitment to ensure NMCC’s students have the opportunities to achieve their goals of excellence through scholarships and program support. He ended his  comments by announcing a new family support initiative which will provide on-campus  family housing and construction of a new childcare center and “lab school.” This new  facility will house on-campus childcare for students and NMCC employees while enhancing the early childhood education curriculum by providing another site for  students to complete the 450 field-experience hours required for the state of Maine Child Development Associate credential.