Alumni Foundation works to raise money for Founders Scholarship at annual gala

The Alumni Foundation will host the fifth annual Founders Scholarship Gala on Feb. 15.

The Alumni Foundation plans this event with help from faculty and staff in the financial aid, marketing, theater, athletics, IT and event services departments.

“MSUM faculty and staff are very supportive of efforts that help our amazing MSUM students,” Alumni Foundation director of development Jenni Walthall said.

The gala raises money through specific gifts made throughout the year by generous donors. This year’s corporate sponsor from the Fargo-Moorhead community is Bremer Bank.

All proceeds of this event go to Founders Scholarship. The competitive needs-based $2,500 scholarship is named after the founders of MSUM. The founders of MSUM created an educational opportunity that has enriched lives since 1888.

“Long ago our students were affectionately known as ‘scramblers’ because they came from modest means, worked hard and left with a brighter future,” Walthall said.

Since 2009, the Founders Scholarship has been awarded to passionate and talented students. Last year, 10 Founders Scholarships were awarded. Since its inception, more than $60,000 has been awarded to 26 MSUM students.

“MSUM students should know that there a lot of people on our campus and throughout the F-M community rooting for them and who understand there can be some financial struggles during the college years. Many of us have been in that same position and want to show our support of our amazing students,” Walthall said.

One of this year’s Founders Scholarship recipients, Amie Nowacki, is studying biology and said she hopes to become a doctor of veterinary science someday. This summer, Nowacki conducted research in Costa Rica where she was a wildlife biology intern. This experience encouraged her to continue to travel abroad. Nowacki will be speaking at the gala about her experience and how the Founders scholarship has benefited her.

Other Founders Scholarships recipients include Kelsey Amundson, Tyler Anderson, Taylor Esler, Morgan Holmgren, Jordan Maahs, Katelyn McMahan, Andrew Pederson, Aaron Rush and Robert Trefethern.

The Founders Scholarship Gala was first held 10 years ago. Each year, the event entertains its attendees with a variety of speakers and activities. Besides the food, raffle and wine tasting, attendees will be dancing to The Front Fenders, a high-energy rock and roll band. Guests can also look forward to MSUM alumnus and actor Kevin Sorbo making an appearance at the event as this year’s special guest speaker.

Guests of the gala can bid in the silent auction which, includes: Disney Park passes, hotel and restaurant gift certificates, art, an iPad and even the opportunity to be an extra in a Kevin Sorbo film.


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