Acorn icon The Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society

A new Alumni giving society comes to life in honor of a Scholar’s passing 

A photo of the late Truc Huynh

At Gala 2022, the Mitchell Institute announced the formation of a new Alumni giving society to recognize Mitchell Scholar Alumni who have followed the example of the late Truc Huynh, a remarkably gifted and altruistic Scholar Alumnus, who passed away at the age of 40 in mid-June of 2022.

“At the time of his passing, Truc was involved with what had become a hallmark of his adult life: raising money for a youth-serving program,” Mitchell Institute President & CEO Jared Cash told a gathering of Gala attendees in announcing the new giving society.

“He was the 2001 Mitchell Scholar from Portland High School and a 2005 graduate of Bowdoin College. He became a prominent leader in greater Portland and was widely known for his gregarious and generous spirit. He was beloved by our organization.”

Cash shared that Senator Mitchell, reflecting on Truc’s legacy, said, “Truc was the epitome of a Mitchell Scholar, a first-generation college graduate who never forgot his roots, worked hard to achieve his dreams, and dedicated his life to giving back to his community.”

While Truc’s history of community service—asking people to join him in serving meals at the Preble Street soup kitchen on his birthdays, steadfastly supporting Camp Susan Curtis, and launching Fishing Across Maine to raise thousands of dollars for Wayside Food Programs—is legendary in the greater Portland area, what may not be as widely known is that he made financial contributions back to the Mitchell Institute at a level that matched and eventually surpassed the entire amount of the Scholarship award that he received in support of his education at Bowdoin College.

Since then, several Mitchell Scholar Alumni have been inspired to do the same. By paying forward the amount of their Mitchell Scholarship, the following Mitchell Scholars have been inducted into the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society:

Malinda Gagnon
Telstar Regional High School 1999
Bates College 2003

Andy Estrada
Hall-Dale High School 2008
Colby College 2012

John-Luke D’Amico
Messalonskee High School 2018
Bentley University 2022

Brian Harris
Penobscot High School 2007
University of Maine 2011

Sean Findlen
Fort Fairfield Middle/High School 1995
Bates College 1999

Wendy Gibbs
Mount View High School 2012
University of Maine 2016

Eric Haskell
Deer Isle-Stonington High School 2000
Saint Joseph’s College 2004

Cody Humphrey
Gray-New Gloucester High School 2009
University of Maine Presque Isle 2013

Emmaly Jurson
Hodgdon Middle/High School 2010
University of Maine Fort Kent 2014

Nathan Kinney
Mount Abram High School 2008
University of Maine 2012

Jason Long
South Portland High School 2001
Bowdoin College 2005

Dawn Madore-Bourgoin
Schenck High School 1999
University of Maine 2003

Michele Martin
Scarborough High School 1999
University of Maine 2003

Paige Piper
Poland Regional High School 2008
Bentley College 2012

Paul Suitter
Southern Aroostook Community School 2005
Bates College 2009

Johann von Hoffman
Orono High School 2002
Colby College 2006

Jacqueline Walker
Van Buren District Secondary School 2002
Bowdoin College 2006

“Each of these Scholar-Alumni exemplifies Senator Mitchell’s vision for the Mitchell Scholars — that they give back to their communities throughout their lifetimes,” Cash said. “We are deeply grateful to the members of the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society and to all Alumni who recognize the role of the Mitchell Scholarship in their own lives by giving to the Institute so we can continue to support current and future generations of Scholars. Their generosity fuels our mission to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieve a college education.”

New and founding members of the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society are invited to attend an annual reception to celebrate their philanthropic commitment to supporting the Mitchell Institute. If you are interested in learning more about the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society and how to become a member, please contact Mitchell Institute President and CEO Jared Cash. And please know that membership can reflect loyal giving over many years rather than a large, one-time contribution to the Mitchell Institute.