The Bridgton Academy experience is one which stays with our alumni long after they leave North Bridgton. For many, their appreciation for Bridgton is timeless and only strengthens as the years go on: they realize the skills they learned “on the hill” are indeed the tools needed to achieve success and tackle the inevitable challenges that go along with one’s life journey. Oftentimes, however, this gratitude remains private, with the impact of “the Bridgton Academy experience” translated instead into actions or deeds which have an indeterminate ripple effect.
It was therefore especially poignant to recently learn that a six-figure bequest had been created by the widow of an alumnus from our Class of 1951 to honor her beloved husband’s Academy. We learned that, throughout his life, Louis Mathews ’51 often expressed his passion for Bridgton to his wife, Sharon; he felt strongly that it was a foundational part of his life. Upon his death, Sharon decided to create a trust that would allow Louis’s legacy to live on through those organizations that were most important to him, including Bridgton Academy.
The recently established Louis Walter Mathews ’51 and Sharon Jean Mathews Endowment Fund is unrestricted and will support the mission of Bridgton Academy in perpetuity, with earnings utilized as deemed appropriate by the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees. “Planned giving at Bridgton Academy is so important,” says Director of Institutional Advancement, Jessica Priola. “There is no greater honor for our Academy than to have an individual choose to create a legacy here with us. This gift is unique in that Mrs. Mathews did not attend Bridgton Academy—I don’t think she ever even set foot on this campus. When her husband passed several years ago, Mrs. Mathews was left with his estate. As she considered her planning moving forward, she felt it was important for her to honor Louis’s love for Bridgton. We talked about what this could mean, and she put plans into place to implement this wish upon her passing. Not only does this fund now celebrate Mr. Mathews and his relationship with the Academy, but we are incredibly proud to honor Mrs. Mathews in perpetuity as well. She is the force that made this gift happen, and I hope she felt really good knowing all of the positive change she would continue to provide to our students, faculty, and community at large. The Mathews Endowment will support the Academy’s mission for all time, and we could not be more grateful for the belief and support of this couple.”
Planned gifts build a foundation of strength and support for Bridgton Academy. We are tremendously honored by those individuals who choose to include the Academy in their estate plans, whether through a bequest, naming the Academy as a beneficiary of a retirement or life insurance policy, or by other means. To learn more, please contact Jessica Priola (firstname.lastname@example.org / 207-647-3322 ext. 1219)