The NDSU College of Business and the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth held the first Distinguished Scholarship Recognition program Oct. 7 in the Louise S. Barry Auditorium. The event, celebrated during NDSU’s Homecoming Week, honored student scholarship recipients and distinguished donors.
This year, distinguished donors contributed $160,000 to fund scholarships in the College of Business and the Challey Institute. This was in addition to more than $285,000 from other donors to support business students.
“These scholarships showcase the commitment of NDSU’s alumni and donors to the entire student body,” said Sophia Carlsen, a freshman in business administration. “It shows the investment and the dedication NDSU is willing to put into your future.”
The program recognized students receiving scholarships through the philanthropy of Ronald BS ’62, and Kaye Olson, Sheila and Robert, BS ’67, Challey and supporters of the President Jim Ozbun endowment for entrepreneurship.
One of those scholarships is a new award for all incoming first-generation students enrolled in the College of Business. The program is supported by the Ronald and Kaye Olson Deanship fund and the Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth.
“As the first person in my family to go to college, I have firsthand experience with the challenges of being a first-generation student,” said Scott Beaulier, dean of NDSU’s College of Business. “I also have tremendous gratitude for the opportunity higher education has afforded me. Through philanthropy, the Olson and Challey families are helping us reach every first-gen student in the College of Business, and, in so doing, they are making education more affordable and improving the lives of so many.”
“Without these generous donors, college would have seemed farfetched for me and my family,” said Carlsen, a first-generation student. “For me, these scholarships were an added incentive going into a university rather than a technical or community college. They made four years of schooling seem less intimidating.”
In its first year, the First-Generation Business Scholarship was awarded to 42 students. Recipients are expected to attend the Menard Family Distinguished Speaker Series at NDSU, a program that hosts renowned thought leaders whose ideas explore ways to improve the human condition and create economic opportunity.
“Our donors are making a huge difference in the lives of students at NDSU,” said John Bitzan, Menard Family Director of the Challey Institute. “Not only are they providing generous scholarships to help students attend NDSU, they’re also providing unique opportunities for students to hear from well-known thought leaders from around the world.”
The Ronald and Kaye Olson endowed deanship fund was established in 2019, thanks to a $3 million investment. The deanship helps support student scholarships, innovative teaching and unique learning experiences in the College of Business.
The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth launched in spring 2019 with leadership philanthropy from Sheila and Robert Challey and other benefactors. With initial gifts of more than $30 million, the Challey Institute represents the largest collection of philanthropic support focused solely on supporting faculty and student scholarship in NDSU’s history.
The entrepreneurship endowment, named in honor of former NDSU President Jim Ozbun, was established in 2016 with an anonymous donation of $4.5 million. The endowment supports a chair of entrepreneurship in the College of Business. Ozbun was the university’s president from 1988 to 1995.
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