Bequest Generates Opportunities for USM Students

Carolla Haglund '51 provided for future USM students with a gift in her estate.

Carolla Haglund '51 provided for future USM students with a gift in her estate.

A. Carolla Haglund '51 was an inspiring lifelong learner who believed in the pursuit of global understanding through education. She wanted to give others the chance to see new places and try new things, as she had done all her life. Thanks to her loyalty and generosity, many more students from the University of Southern Maine (USM) will now have that chance.

USM president Glenn Cummings recently announced a gift of $485,000 from her estate, designated for study abroad opportunities. Coupled with a grant from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF), the bequest will enable incoming honors students to enroll in a four-week course, the second half of which will take place at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

"Carolla would have been so proud to know her gift will be used for a program that follows her passions of education and international studies," Glenn says.

Renaissance Woman
Carolla earned her bachelor's degree at Gorham State Teachers College (predecessor to USM) and went on to a long career at Framingham State College (FSC) in Massachusetts. She was dean of women at the college, an associate professor in the history and geography departments and she also developed FSC's international studies program.

By all accounts, she was an engaging and supportive teacher and a "campus legend" at FSC. One of her students was teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe, a member of the ill-fated Challenger shuttle crew. The story goes that she was inspired by Carolla's course—The American Frontier—which compared modern space exploration to westward expansion in the 18th century. The two corresponded during Christa's astronaut training.

Carolla was also an accomplished musician and singer, playing both the trumpet and recorder. She studied art, worked in watercolor and became a fine calligrapher. Later in life, she learned Japanese brush painting. She was an avid tennis fan and player, a passionate gardener and an enthusiastic world traveler.

When she retired from Framingham State College in 1983, she moved with her partner, Genevieve Clark, to Brunswick, Maine. She stayed involved with the college in Massachusetts but also connected with her alma mater in Maine.

"One world, built on a firm foundation."
In 1989, Carolla became a member of The Benefactor Society which honors those individuals who have included a provision for USM in their estate plans. At the time, she was quoted as saying, "A firm belief that global understanding through education will become increasingly important in the 21st century led me to designate a portion of my estate to be used for the purpose of enabling students to spend time studying abroad. The better we understand and appreciate the cultures similar to and different from our own, the better we can—through education—help develop one world built on a firm foundation."

Decades later, Carolla's commitment to cross-cultural education has translated into an exciting initiative for USM. The Iceland study abroad program—which kicks off in fall 2017—will build upon the growing relationship between USM and leaders in Iceland, and the many partnerships being developed with a consortium of educational institutions and businesses from Maine.

Educator, musician, artist, athlete, gardener, traveler and all-around Renaissance woman, Carolla Haglund would indeed be proud.

If you would like to learn more about how you can support USM with a planned gift in your estate, please contact Erin Macey at (207) 780-4408 or

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