Houlton native leaves $4.8 million to endow local scholarship funds for students

Houlton Native Leaves $4.8 million

to Endow Scholarship Funds at MaineCF


ELLSWORTH & PORTLAND — A Houlton native has bequeathed nearly $4.8 million to the Maine Community Foundation to endow two scholarship funds for students in Aroostook and Washington counties.

Through Sally Stetson Tongren’s estate, scholarships in her name will be established for Aroostook and Washington counties. The two scholarship funds will benefit students when they graduate from high school and will begin making awards in 2017.

“We are honored to be able to help fulfill Sally Tongren’s legacy,” said MaineCF CEO and President Steve Rowe. “These scholarships will provide a financial boost to Aroostook and Washington county students as they head for college.”

Tongren, who was 88 when she died in 2014, was the daughter of Albert K. and Hazel Hewes Stetson. Her father was the owner and publisher of the Aroostook Pioneer, the first weekly newspaper in The County.

Tongren attended Houlton schools, graduated from Oak Grove Academy in Vassalboro, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. She had a keen interest in animals – she was a docent at the National Zoo and published several books about animals. She and her husband, Hale N. Tongren, lived most of their adult lives in Virginia, where he taught at George Mason University in Fairfax. They are survived by one son, Eric.

A statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation partners with donors and educators to provide Maine students access to educational opportunities. MaineCF manages more than 500 scholarship funds. For more information about the foundation and its scholarships, visit

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