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Scholarship established in Peter McConnell’s name

Saturday, 03 January 2009

The University of Maine at Presque Isle's Foundation has received a generous $10,000 gift for a scholarship in Peter G. McConnell's name. The gift was given by McConnell's family.

McConnell and his wife, Helen O'Seep McConnell, were friends of the University of Maine at Presque Isle for many years and Helen McConnell graduated from UMPI in 1950.

"We are so pleased to be able to continue the legacy Peter McConnell established during his many years of service to Aroostook County," President Don Zillman said. "The Peter G. McConnell Memorial Scholarship will provide deserving County students with the kind of education that Peter firmly believed in - learning in order to better serve your community."

Education was always important to McConnell, who was born in Portage on Aug. 7, 1926. After graduating from Ashland High School, he joined the U.S. Navy and served his country during the South Pacific and Korean Wars. On his return to Maine, he attended Bliss Business College in Lewiston and then taught business law, math, and bookkeeping at Presque Isle High School.

In 1964, McConnell served as treasurer to Thomas S. Pinkham, owner of Pinkham Lumber, Inc., and then became comptroller when Great Northern Paper Company in Millinocket acquired the establishment. For several years after that, he worked independently, serving his clients with loyalty, trust, dedication and encouragement.

McConnell also dedicated his time to serving his community. He served on the Presque Isle Recreation and Parks Board for many years - seven of them as chairman. He received national and state awards and recognition for his work in this area. He was appointed by Gov. James B. Longley to the Maine Critical Areas Advisory Board for three years and re-appointed by Governors Joseph E. Brennan and John McKernan for several more years.

He also served as President of the Board of Directors of the A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital, was a dedicated member of the Board of Directors at Maine Mutual Group, served on the Investment Committee of the Foundation of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, chaired the Business Advisory Committee at Northern Maine Vocational Institute, served on the National Socio-Economic Committee, and was a member of the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants. McConnell also was a member and treasurer of the Presque Isle Congregational Church for many years. He passed away in 2007.

The Peter G. McConnell Memorial Scholarship will be available to full-time, upper-class students in good academic standing who are majoring in Business or Accounting. Preference will be given to students from Aroostook County.

For more information or to contribute to the fund, please contact the UMPI Foundation at 768-9525.