MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

December 10, 2016 

Million-dollar gift continues to change lives


In November of 2011, Mayville State received a gift of $1,000,000. Designated for the purpose of providing student scholarships, the gift is the largest single monetary charitable contribution ever received by Mayville State University. The donor of the gift has chosen to remain anonymous.

The million-dollar donation was used to establish the Nelson Family Endowed Scholarship Fund. Each year, a percentage of the endowed fund is used to provide scholarships that help non-traditional students achieve their goals. The first scholarship allotment of more than $40,000 was awarded in the 2012-13 academic year. The scholarship is geared especially toward those individuals who may be changing their paths in life or those pursuing changes in careers. A special emphasis of the scholarship is to promote the concept of volunteerism, leadership development, and out-of-classroom experiences for the scholarship recipients.

This year, there are four Mayville State students receiving scholarship assistance through the Nelson Family Endowment. One of those recipients is a freshman pursuing a degree in sports management, along with coaching and sociology. He plans to pursue further education and work at the university level or with a sports team after graduating, and is grateful to have this important monetary assistance as he pursues a new career path.

This student enjoys the friendly atmosphere at Mayville State and the fact that the professors are helpful. The student to teacher ratio and small classes, along with people who want to help students succeed at Mayville State brought him here.

He says that great things come out of great opportunities. “I am very grateful, honored, and appreciative of receiving the Nelson Family Endowed Scholarship. I hope that one day I can pay it forward to someone who would be in need.”

The Nelson Family Endowed Scholarship is intended for non-traditional aged students, 25 years of age and older. The recipients must be full time, degree seeking students who are pursuing courses in residence at the Mayville State campus. Eligible students must demonstrate a need for funds as evidenced by information submitted through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The scholarship may be awarded to those in pursuit of associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Preference is given to females, but both males and females are considered. The scholarship is renewable to students who maintain a 2.0 grade point average or greater. With each term, there is an expectation of improvement.

During this season of gift-giving, it seems that we all are in search of the perfect gift. It seems that Mayville State’s historic million-dollar gift has made that mark. Through the donor’s generosity, lives are being changed for the better.  

To find out how you could change lives through your gift to Mayville State University, contact Director of Development John J. Klocke at 701-788-4787 or North Dakota residents can make their gifts to a permanent endowment and qualify for a 40% North Dakota tax credit, as well as a federal tax deduction on gifts of $5,000 or more. In addition, “The Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics,” an amazing program created by the 63rd North Dakota Legislative Assembly is providing a 50% match for each and every gift designated for scholarships through the Mayville State University Foundation until December 31, 2016 for as long as funds are available. Contributors can also make a pledge of up to seven years and have the entire pledge amount matched. This month is the last opportunity to have gifts considered for a match as these funds will no longer be available in 2017. Contact Klocke to learn more.