Maine Shootings

A man walks by flowers and a sign of support for the community Oct. 28 in the wake of the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

LEWISTON — Victims of the Oct. 25 mass shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation bowling alley and Schemengees Bar & Grille restaurant will be able to attend any University of Maine System campus through the system’s new waiver.

The Lewiston Strong Tuition Waiver is available to eligible victims who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree at any of Maine’s public universities. Gov. Janet Mills asked University of Maine System leaders to establish a scholarship fund for those directly impacted by the tragedy.

Chancellor Dannel Malloy developed the waiver, according to a news release issued by the university Wednesday.

“I thank the University of Maine System for establishing the Lewiston Strong Tuition Waiver and Scholarship Fund, which will ensure that the cost of higher education will never be a barrier for those directly impacted by the tragedy in Lewiston,” Mills is quoted in the university’s statement. “Through their boundless generosity, Maine people are demonstrating that our state will stand by those who were injured and the families of those who were killed in the months, years and decades to come.”

More than 80 people are eligible for the waiver, according to the release. They include spouses and biological children, adopted children and stepchildren of the 18 people killed in the shootings. The 31 people who sustained physical injuries in the shootings are also eligible.

“By all accounts, those who were tragically killed were deeply devoted to their families and working hard to provide them a strong future,” Malloy said. “While nothing will bring them back, the University of Maine System believes that the best way we can honor the memories of those taken too soon is to ensure their loved ones can easily access postsecondary education and opportunity.”


The waiver will help provide ongoing assistance and more possibilities for the victims, survivors and those affected, who are still navigating their way through recovery, Community Concepts CEO Jim Martin said in a statement Wednesday.

Community Concepts manages the Maine Resiliency Center that opened this month at 184 Main St. in Lewiston. The center will partner with the University of Maine System to help those qualified for the waiver take advantage of the benefit.

“We are humbled to see the amount of support and love that has been provided to the families that need our continued care and help because of this senseless violence,” Martin said. “The support from the University of Maine System is another example of the kindness that is in the hearts of our communities and state.”

Lewiston officials see the waiver as a testament to Gov. Mills and Malloy’s leadership and compassion, City Administrator Heather Hunter said in a statement. The initiative, and others like it, honor the memory of victims and highlights the ways in which education can facilitate resiliency and hope in the face of adversity.

“By investing in education as a means of healing and progress, we affirm our collective determination to persevere and triumph over the lingering shadows of this tragedy,” Hunter said.

The Lewiston Strong Scholarship Fund, which will be managed by the University of Maine Foundation, will help alleviate other costs including room, board and books. Preference for this fund is given to those eligible for the waiver. To donate visit

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