Our appreciation runs deep. That’s true among the 295 students who receive scholarships that you, our donors, make possible. And the gratitude is just as strong among the college presidents and community leaders who serve on the board of the Minnesota Private College Fund. Thank you.

As one of our 128 donors, you make a difference. When we look at the last fiscal year, the numbers show it, with gifts totaling $1,359,000. And those 295 students who received scholarships because of your generosity all have stories demonstrating that impact, as the scholarship recipient profiles convey. Consider these three: Kelly Ferguson, Henry Ortiz and Nassima El Kasmi, whose profiles are linked here.

We’re particularly grateful for the 18 donors who have realized this is an investment that is worth sustaining for 50 years and longer. We also have several donors that have distinguished themselves by the size of their gifts. (See the donor listing below.)

Most of the Fund donations fuel scholarships and programs for scholars, with the remainder supporting institutional operations. Curious to know more? You can find details on the 2021 financials, as well as more general information about the Fund, including details on our program scholarships.

Looking back to 2021, it is important to acknowledge that a significant number of donors were recognizing the life and career of former Minnesota Private College Fund president David B. Laird, Jr., who passed away on Sept. 13, 2020. These gifts were directed to the Access and Equity Scholarship Fund, which targets students with financial need who are first-generation, new Americans or students of color. Throughout his career, David was a passionate advocate for all students, especially those less fortunate.  You can see his obituary, as well as excerpts of two eulogies that were shared at his funeral. David had long encouraged donations to the Fund and with his wife Joanne made their own gifts; we are grateful for all the donations that were received in his honor.

As a donor, you are helping maintain access to a high-quality private college education for all students. Thank you for investing in Minnesota’s future.

With gratitude,

Rebecca Bergman
President, Gustavus Adolphus College
Chair, Minnesota Private College Fund Board of Directors

Ann Houser
President, Ann Houser Coaching and Consulting
Chair, Fundraising Committee, Minnesota Private College Fund

Paul Cerkvenik
President, Minnesota Private College Fund

Recognizing our donors

We proudly recognize our corporate, foundation and individual donors from across Minnesota who give to the Minnesota Private College Fund. Their gifts support the more than 56,000 students at our 17 colleges and universities. They fund scholarships that help make college affordable for deserving students and contribute general operating support for our institutions' most pressing needs. We salute all our donors for their generosity and visionary commitment to higher education!

50+ year donors

Many donors support private higher education for the long haul.  Year after year, they remain steadfast, consistently at our side.  In fact, for a growing number, the commitment has endured for 50 or even 60 years.  The donor reaching one of these milestones in fiscal year 2021 was:

60-year donor: Groves Foundation

Groves Foundation is a private foundation, tax exempt since 1955, based in Minneapolis. Over the years, Groves Foundation has provided more than $305,000 in operating support for our 17 member colleges and universities. In addition to supporting higher education through the Fund, Groves Foundation also supports organizations involved in arts and culture, treating and curing heart disease, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the prevention of cruelty to children and animals.

Donors who have been with us for more than 50 years

Generations of students have been helped by the generosity of these donors, and others who have met this milestone. The following donors have been with us for more than 50 years:

Donors of distinction

2020-21 donor list

Elite Circle ($200,000 and up)
DonorYears giving
Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children4
The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota54
Founder's Circle  ($75,000 - $99,999)
DonorYears giving
Securian Financial58
Xcel Energy69
Board’s Circle ($50,000 - $74,999)
DonorYears giving

The Council of Independent Colleges through its CIC/UPS Educational Endowment Fund

John & Karen Meslow23
President's Circle ($25,000 - $49,999)
DonorYears giving
The Graco Foundation61
Helen Harrington Charitable Trust43
Winton Jones Foundation2
Medtronic Foundation Communities Fund57
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation6
Wenger Foundation56
Scholar's Circle ($15,000 - $24,999)
DonorYears giving
US Bank Foundation45
Benefactor ($10,000 - $14,999)
DonorYears giving
BNSF Railway Foundation64
Faegre Drinker Foundation62
Margaret Rivers Fund32
Mary Lynn & Warren Staley23
Patron ($5,000 - $9,999)
DonorYears giving
The Boldt Company17
Boss Foundation27
Paul Cerkvenik & Kathleen Murray23
Groves Foundation60
Bill Lurton22
Marvin Windows & Doors32
Provost ($3,000 - $4,999)
DonorYears giving
Otter Tail Corporation65
Archie D. & Bertha H. Walker Foundation4
Dean ($1,000 - $2,999)
DonorYears giving
Anonymous Donor45
Anonymous Donor2
Dave & Muriel Arnold Family Fund39
Kathleen M. Cooney & Robert J. LaBombard7
David & Kitty Crosby32
Dexter Davis2
Susan M. Eich7

Ann Houser Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund of the American Center for Philanthropy

Helen & Eldon Jones Fund of the Mankato Area Foundation30
Kuhrmeyer Family Foundation27
Joanne Laird33
Michael & Sylvia Lovett8
Merchants Bank64
Russ & Jan Michaletz13
Teresa Mogensen3
National Checking Company52
J. Thomas & Janet Rajala Nelson Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation25
Laurie Nordquist11
North Shore Bank66
Nuss Family/Nuss Truck & Equipment Donor Advised Fund of the Rochester Area Foundation31
Premier Banks29
Slaggie Family Foundation18
Slumberland/Larson Foundation33
Western Bank53
WNB Financial63
Professor ($750 - $999)
DonorYears giving
James & Chris Green10
Abigail & Paul Pribbenow15
WinCraft, Inc.51
Angela Wordell4
Graduate ($500 - $749)
DonorYears giving
James H. Barnes III & Barbara A. Barnes13
Rev. James P. Burns IVD3
William & Anne Craft7
Goodin Company Foundation62
Carolyn & Patrick Jones7
Kohner Materials45
Dan Loritz5
John & Cherie McDowall35
McGough Construction29
Wm. Miller Scrap Iron & Metal Co.26
May & Vern Nordling36
Jay Olson4
Gregg Peterson1
Philipps Bus Service39
Rapp Strategies, Inc.29
Jim Rustad10
Brian & Nancy Siska Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation18
Smith Foundry Company40
A. Hope Williams2
Baccalaureate ($250 - $499)
DonorYears giving
Anonymous Donor5
4J2R1C Limited Partnership28
Thomas & Rebecca Bergman6
Rev. Brian Friedrich2
Ajay Gupta3
Laurie Hamen1
Lance Hazzard1
Robert & Sharon Mattison17
Barbara McDonald2
Mississippi Welders Supply Co.46
Rand Park11
Dr. Suzanne M. Rivera1
Becky & Mark Roloff5
Stacy Rooney6
Schwab Construction45
St. Paul Linoleum & Carpet Co.36
Douglas Stang5
Julie Sullivan8
Associate (Gifts up to $249)
DonorYears giving
Anonymous Donor6
Ross Allen1
D.J. Bitzan Jewelers21
Gerald D. Brennan2
Norbert Conzemius1
Molly Doran16
Charles A. Flinn, Jr.1
Foussard Hospitality38
Dr. Stanley M. & Luella G. Goldberg29
Dr. John Hartung1
Mr. & Mrs. Charles R. Haugh28
Carolyn W. Herman1
David & Marjorie Hols1
Joanne Kendall14
Mark Kronholm13
Brenda & Tom Lyseng1
Thomas McKeown9
Sara Meslow & Paul Vahle1
Dr. Fayneese Miller5
Marvin W. Peterson2
Gene & Carrie Pfeifer6
Steven Poskanzer & Jane Nofer Poskanzer11
Reasor Family Foundation20
Tom & Susie Ries9
Virginia Ruddy1
Sanjit Sethi - Minneapolis College of Art & Design2
James J. Solem2
Charles & Theresa Standish-Kuon1
Bruce & Kaye Stender17
Kathy & Chris Thomforde6
Dick & Connie Tressel1
Robert Vanasek13
Brad White1
Linda L. Zechmann13
  • Ajay Gupta – in memory of Dr. Sarojini Gupta
  • Lance Hazzard – in honor of Ann Houser
  • Reasor Family Foundation – in remembrance of Jeno Paulucci

In Memory of David B. Laird, Jr.
Past President of the Minnesota Private College Council and Fund

  • Gerald D. Brennan
  • Paul Cerkvenik & Kathleen Murray
  • Norbert Conzemius
  • Molly Doran
  • Charles A. Flinn, Jr.
  • Dr. John Hartung
  • Carolyn W. Herman
  • David & Marjorie Hols
  • Carolyn &  Patrick Jones
  • Joanne Kendall
  • Mark Kronholm
  • Joanne Laird
  • Robert & Sharon Mattison
  • Thomas McKeown
  • John & Karen Meslow
  • Sara Meslow & Paul Vahle
  • Marvin W. Peterson
  • Virginia Ruddy
  • James J. Solem
  • Charles & Theresa Standish-Kuon
  • Kathy & Chris Thomforde
  • Dick & Connie Tressel
  • A. Hope Williams
  • Linda L. Zechmann