Malaga 1912 Scholarship Fund

Students enter the Malaga Island school, circa 1910. Photo courtesy Peter K. Roberts

History of the Fund

In 1912, Maine Gov. Frederick Plaisted oversaw the eviction and destruction of a mixed-race community on Malaga Island, a 42-acre island in Phippsburg, Maine. About 40 people were removed from the island, houses were moved and burned, the cemetery was exhumed, and eight residents were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble Minded.

In 2010, the Maine State House passed a joint resolution that expressed regret for the action. Later that year, Gov. John Baldacci spoke at a gathering of descendants and apologized for the eviction. In 2012, at the opening of the Maine State Museum’s “Malaga Island: Fragmented Lives” exhibit, Gov. Paul LePage apologized to descendants and promised to open a scholarship fund to support descendants. The funding for that scholarship was awarded by the state in 2014 and the fund began making awards in 2015. The Maine Community Foundation handles administration of the fund.

The Malaga 1912 Scholarship will continue until funds are expended. 

Visit this page for more information on the history of Malaga Island.

Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

Eligible individuals will be descendants of those families evicted from Malaga Island in 1912 and proof of ancestry will be required. Please see the list of eligible families and documentation below. Scholarship awards will be based primarily on meeting proof of ancestry and merit. Financial need is not a primary consideration. Merit is defined as satisfactory academic progress, or minimum GPA of 2.0.

Applications will be considered for all stages in life and post-secondary education: college preparation, adult-learner preparation, adult re-entry and/or workforce retraining. Individuals with learning disabilities may apply for tutoring or other certified support. In addition to two- and four-year colleges, eligible programs will include credentialed certificate programs, CNA and nursing programs, and technical training.

Awards will vary based on program and committee discretion. Awards are renewable based on minimum required thresholds and availability of funds.

Descendants do not need to be residents of Maine to apply.

Download Scholarship Application

Supporting Documentation

As part of the application, it is the duty of the applicant to provide legal documents verifying direct connection to person(s) evicted from Malaga Island in 1912. Eligible documentation includes (but is not limited to): birth certificates and marriage certificates. We do not need certified copies of these documents; a simple photocopy is acceptable.

List of eligible families

If you need assistance locating the necessary documentation, please email Kate McBrien, Chief Curator for the Maine Historical Society or call her at ( 207) 653-5682.

How to Apply

Deadlines for the fund are quarterly: March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15. Recipients will be notified within 45 days of the deadline.

Recipients of the Malaga 1912 Scholarship in good academic standing are encouraged to submit an application for renewal consideration for the upcoming academic year. Please submit a completed application, essay and transcript (you do not need to submit proof of ancestry for renewal) by one of the deadlines. Applicants are eligible to receive one scholarship from the fund per academic year.

E-mail or mail your completed application to:

Malaga 1912 Scholarship Fund
Maine Community Foundation
245 Main St.
Ellsworth, ME 04605

For more information, contact Director of Educational Initiatives Cherie Galyean, (207) 412-2017