The University of Southern Maine got an early Christmas present Friday – a $600,000 surprise donation to the university’s School of Music.

And it wasn’t even something university officials asked for.

A representative of the Falmouth-based Bob Crewe Foundation showed up Friday night at the President’s Scholarship Gala, at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel, and sprung the donation on the 300 guests there, according to a news release Monday from USM.

The donation includes $500,000 from the Bob Crewe Foundation and $100,000 from Dan Crewe, Bob Crewe’s brother.

Bob Crewe, who died in 2014 in Scarborough, was a songwriter and producer who co-wrote many hit songs by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, including “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” The Bob Crewe Foundation was founded in 2009 by Bob and Dan Crewe, with a focus on helping those in Maine’s arts and LGBTQ communities.

The announcement of the donation was made at the gala Friday by Reid Crewe, Dan Crewe’s daughter. Dan Crewe, who has lived in Maine for many years, was also in the music business and helped found Gateway Mastering Studio in Portland.


The money from the Crewes will be used for scholarships to School of Music students.

The Bob Crewe Foundation has also had a major impact on another southern Maine college, the Maine College of Art in Portland. The foundation gave $3 million to MECA in 2014 to fund the creation of the Bob Crewe Program in Art and Music. The program includes classrooms, studio space, recording equipment and performance space.



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