Thursday October 28, 2010 | 10:53 PM

A group of the University of Southern Maine's top supporters gathered in the Glickman Family Library tonight to see the results of their latest endeavor. With its Campaign for Maine Scholarships, the USM Foundation raised $890,000 to fund yearly grants of either $1,000 or $5,000 given to nine top students from across Maine. 

The reception and dinner took place in the library's penthouse party room. This function hall has some of the best views in the city. Day or night, the oversized windows show off a panoramic view of Portland's downtown skyline. It was the perfect spot for the university to thank its most committed donors.

Against this dramatic backdrop, we all enjoyed a lovely dinner followed by dessert and a few remarks. Here Meg Weston, the president and CEO of the USM Foundation, hands the mic to freshman Kim Lim from South Portland who received one of the first Presidential Scholarships. He told us about moving to Maine from Cambodia in 2008, so he and his siblings could get a better education. He knew little English when he arrived, but two years later - after acing pre-calc and American lit - he graduated in the top 10% of his class at South Portland High.

When USM President Selma Botman took to the podium, she offered her appreciation for the generosity of those in the room.

We even had some unexpected excitement during the party. Shortly after 6 p.m. and well into the cocktail hour, the fire alarms began to squawk. I felt nostalgic for my college days as we evacuated down seven flights of stairs. Luckily it was unusually balmy outside, and the firefighters arrived as soon as we exited the building. It only took them a couple minutes to declare it all clear; nothing more than a little too much steam and heat from the caterers.

I'll have all the details about the meal and who was there to enjoy it in the Nov. 7 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Until then, I hope to see you out and about.

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Avery Yale Kamila dishes about southern Maine's hottest parties.

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