The Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund was organized in the mid-1950’s by a group of local individuals led by Mario Tonon. Mr. Tonon eventually became Principal at Brunswick High School and later Superintendent of Brunswick Schools. At its first formal meeting, BASAF accepted a total of $5,700 from various local contributors. During its early years, BASAF’s growth resulted primarily from the financial support of local businesses and fund-raising activities by students. More recently, the Fund has sustained its growth from a combination of sound financial and investment management, along with the continued support of local businesses, individuals, estates and trusts.
BASAF’s primary mission is to award scholarships to eligible high school graduates who pursue post-secondary education, not only at four-year colleges and universities, but also at trade schools, technical schools, junior colleges, and similar institutions. BASAF provides all of its scholarships (with the exception of the Mt. Ararat Computer Scholarship Award) on the basis of student financial need using data obtained from the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See our Students page for more information about the scholarship application process and our policies.
BASAF’s secondary mission is to assist grade K-12 students in the served communities with overcoming challenges that interfere with being a productive student, such as assistance with the cost of eyeglasses, clothing, doctors, dentists and other necessities. Such students are discretely identified by personnel in the area schools.
The vision of BASAF’s founders has blossomed into a local student aid fund that annually makes a difference to hundreds of students in the area. The Board of BASAF hopes today’s residents of Harpswell, Brunswick, Topsham, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham, through their support of BASAF, will continue to encourage higher education to our communities’ youth for many years to come. See our Contributors page for information about ways to support BASAF.
Neither of my parents had graduated from high school, much less college, so it was the Brunswick Area Student Aid Fund, along with a lot of hard work, that allowed me to go to the University of Maine which then led to a legal career, ten years as Maine Attorney General and a position now as a teacher at both Columbia and Harvard Law Schools. BASAF changed my life and it will change the life of others. It is the key to a better life for generations yet to come.
— James Tierney, Brunswick High Class of 1965