MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

November 24, 2018

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, five Mayville State students are receiving scholarship assistance through the Nelson Family Endowment. Receiving the scholarship dollars is no doubt having a tremendous positive impact in their lives. Using past history as an indicator, these folks will do their best to pay this generosity forward when the opportunity presents itself.

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. Priority consideration will be given to those who are pursuing the majority of their courses in residence at the Mayville State campus, but online students are encouraged to apply as well. 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 their first associate’s or bachelor’s degree. 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, 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.  

Are you considering a gift to the scholarship fund at Mayville State University? This is a great time to make that gift. Tax benefits related to your charitable giving are a possibility. Please check with your tax advisor to learn the specifics.

To find out how you could change lives through your gift to Mayville State University, contact John Klocke, Executive Director of the MSU Foundation, 701-788-4787 or