by Onize Ohikere
Students will have increased access to scholarships and financial assistance after the MSUM Alumni Foundation enjoyed a record fundraising year.
At the end of the last fiscal year on June 30, the Alumni foundation funds totaled more than $9 million. The foundation raised $1.2 million during Laps for the Long Run during Homecoming last September. It also received a $1 million donation for the artificial turf at Scheels Field.
MSUM Alumnus Rodney Paseka and his wife presented the university’s largest donation of $5 million in February. The donation went towards student scholarships and programs in the Paseka School of Business. In April, an anonymous donor gifted the university with $1.5 million. Current and retired MSUM faculty and staff made an extra $300,000 donation to the total.
Last year, an average of 725 students received scholarships from the foundation. Joy Crouch, director of development at the Alumni Foundation, said the first scholarships from the record year would be awarded in May. She said that, while some of the donation will go toward immediate scholarships, a part of it would go into an endowment.
“It creates interest and every year, a certain percentage of that is allocated to students,” she said.
According to Crouch, some of the donation from the Laps for the Long Run will provide scholarships for students with outstanding grades. It will also finance immersive learning for students who travel for competitions or for study abroad programs.
“It’s such a global world now,” Crouch said. “The more we can give access to our students, the more equipped they will be.”
Faced with a new fiscal year, the Alumni foundation is beginning its fundraising plans. And those plans will include the needs of students.
“We want to give them a bigger advantage,” Crouch said. “So much of what we raise money for is student scholarships.”