MSU President's Newspaper Column

December 4, 2021

Scholarship opportunities open doors

In November of 2011, Mayville State received a gift of $1,000,000 designated for the purpose of providing student scholarships. 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, six 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.

Awardees of the Nelson Family Scholarship are non-traditional students who are 25 years of age or older. The scholarship is renewable, based on grade point average. With each term there is an expectation of improvement. The eligible student must demonstrate need for funds and maintain a full time status with the university. Scholarship recipients will work with the Career Services and Internships Director to find volunteer opportunities in an organization on campus or in the community that suits their future goals. This will assist the student in earning a well-rounded education. The scholarship award may be used by individuals pursuing associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.  Students who have achieved an associate’s degree will be encouraged to work toward a bachelor’s degree. Tuition, books, and minor necessities may be covered.

This is a wonderful time to check out the exceptional opportunities available to students at Mayville State University. Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student, or you are interested in taking classes on campus or online, Mayville State is the place to be. If you or someone you know could benefit from what Mayville State has to offer, visit to learn more. During the month of December, it’s free to apply because the application fee is being waived. See all the details at

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.

In addition, the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Grant opportunities afforded by the North Dakota legislature are having a huge impact on the scholarship funding available to Mayville State University students. Through the Challenge Grant program, private gifts designated to academic scholarships are matched at a rate of 50%. Starting July 1, 2021, Mayville State University had a total of $700,000 in Challenge Grant funding available. Academic scholarship gifts will be matched at the 50% rate until Dec. 31, 2022 or until the $700,000 grant pool has been exhausted. Scholarship gifts made at this time will make an even greater impact for students in pursuit of their educational goals and dreams.

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