In a burst of successful fundraising, the University of Southern Maine has raised $1.5 million since school began this year, including a $600,000 gift earmarked for music scholarships.

“It’s more than the money,” said USM President Glenn Cummings, noting that the college exceeded its $1 million goal for the 80-day fundraising campaign. “It means USM is back.”

The $600,000 is from The Bingham Trust, a private $50 million trust associated with William Bingham II, a Bethel resident who died in 1955. In September, the Bingham Trust gave $600,000 to the Portland Symphony Orchestra to pay musicians and for music education in Portland schools.

Cummings announced the $1 million fundraising effort in late August.

At the time, he announced a $500,000 gift from the Boyne Foundation to an existing scholarship program for nursing students. The foundation was created by Philip J. Boyne, a Houlton native and oral surgeon who later was a researcher and faculty member of the Loma Linda School of Dentistry in California.

On Wednesday, officials said the $1.5 million was raised from a total of 583 donors, mostly alumni.

The Bingham Trust was particularly interested in donating to the USM music program to create endowed scholarships, in part because William Bingham II played violin.

Alan Kaschub, director of the USM School of Music, said the department has doubled its freshman class to 60 students and added three faculty members in the last year. The scholarships will range from $1,000 to $10,000 spread over four years, and USM will award $25,000 to $30,000 per year in total scholarships, starting next year.

“I feel this incredible momentum this year,” Kaschub said. “This investment from the Bingham Trust is just what we need.”