January 24, 2018
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SMCC Foundation receives $253,000 bequest to help students

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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A former college librarian has bequeathed more than a quarter of a million dollars to the Southern Maine Community College Foundation to help students in financial need pay for college.

The Foundation last month received a gift totaling $253,000 from the estate of Franklin Talbo of Portland, who died in June at the age of 89.  The donation is among the largest gifts the foundation has ever received.

In his will, Talbot bequeathed money to establish the Franklin Talbot Scholarship Fund. The fund will be used to award one or more annual scholarships to SMCC students from Maine. The scholarships will be awarded based on financial need.

“The generosity of Mr. Talbot will allow students to pursue their dreams and achieve success,” said SMCC President Ron Cantor, in a college press release. “These funds will lessen the financial impact on students in need and reduce the amount of money they have to borrow. Mr. Talbot’s gift also demonstrates the positive impact of philanthropy.”

The independent, nonprofit SMCC Foundation is composed of business and community leaders committed to advancing the mission of SMCC by raising money for academic programs, classrooms and equipment, and scholarships for deserving students. People can support the Foundation by calling the Foundation office at 741-5559 or through its website, www.smccMe.edu/foundation.

Michael Bourque, chairman of the Foundation board of directors, called the donation a “remarkable gift” to future students.

“A gift of this magnitude can provide scholarships for several students in perpetuity,” said Bourque, senior vice president for external affairs at Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co. “It’s a wonderful legacy to leave to our community. ”

In his will, Talbot left money to many worthy causes related to education, music and organizations devoted to helping youth.

Talbot worked for years as a reference librarian at the University of Southern Maine and had no immediate family in Maine,  said a former co-worker who worked with him until his retirement in the late 1980s.

Talbot had a big heart and often gave to people in need, once giving money to a young man so he could attend SMCC, she said.

Southern Maine Community College is Maine’s largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland and Brunswick campuses, at 10 community satellite locations and online. SMCC has the lowest tuition and fees in New England and offers more than 45 degree programs.