College is a Game Changer

Chip and Laura Foye

Chip and Laura Foye

Chip ‘90 and Laura ‘87 Foye are two people who fully appreciate the value of a college education. As students at USM, they both worked full time, attended classes in the evening and on weekends, and strived to balance the high demands of work, school and life.

Chip and Laura, who met while working at Casco Bank, faced similar challenges: they needed four-year degrees to advance their banking careers. Fortunately, Casco Bank provided generous tuition benefits and USM provided the necessary flexibility and support. Both factors made it possible for them to achieve their goals.

On the other hand, both Chip and Laura felt they missed out on many important aspects of college life. Chip explains, “After working all day, I can’t say that night school was something I enjoyed! As a non-traditional student, there was just one focus: Get the degree in my chosen field.” Now, Chip and Laura want to make sure future students don’t miss out on the full college experience either.

“I believe the traditional college years are a sweet spot in one’s life,” says Chip. “They should be enjoyed, while at the same time setting the foundation for a successful career.”

After 28 years together, these two long-established members of the Maine banking community have made a generous planned gift to USM that will endure for generations. The Foyes have designated USM as a beneficiary on certain retirement assets, which some day will be used to establish a named scholarship fund for business students.

“College can be a game changer for kids,” explains Laura. “USM was there for me and I want it to be there for others.”

Gratitude Comes Full Circle

Laura grew up in South Portland and was the only one of seven children to go to college. Remembering the challenges of that time, Laura says, “I know how difficult it can be for families to pay for college and I feel very fortunate.”

Today Laura is Regional Vice President in the Commercial Lending Group at TD Bank and actively involved in both the Southern Maine community and her alma mater, having served as Chair on USM’s Board of Visitors. Laura and Chip also served as co-chairs for USM’s 2005-2006 Annual Fund, which broke the $1 million mark for the first time in the University’s history.

Chip’s circuitous route to USM took him to Boston University and The Ohio State University, and offered first-hand experience with crushing college debt. After returning to Maine, he got the break that “changed my life.” He began working at Casco Bank and set out to complete his degree at USM.

Exposure to a high-cost private institution made Chip a big proponent of public universities. “USM provided me with a lower-cost educational option that was at least partially responsible for my financial success and I want to give back.”

Chip recently retired from a 38-year career in commercial banking, which culminated at TD Bank.

A Planned Gift for the Next Generation

The Foyes’ gift of retirement assets will make a difference in the lives of many aspiring business students.

In Chip’s words, “It gives me great pleasure to know that my gift will someday enable a USM student with limited family financial support to focus on academics and the ‘college experience’ without having to work his or her way through school, and without having to graduate with significant student debt.”

In other words, the Foyes’ planned gift may be a “game changer” for a new generation of students.

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