NDSU receives record commitment for STEM scholarships
Posted on 11/3/2016
NDSU has received a record-setting gift to provide full-tuition scholarships for students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Harry D. McGovern, a 1966 civil engineering graduate who grew up in Erie, North Dakota, has committed current gifts and estate planning of more than $13.5 million to establish the Harry D. McGovern Scholarship. A portion of the current gift has been matched by $1.2 million from the State of North Dakota Challenge Grant program, resulting in a total investment in students of more than $14.7 million.
NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani expressed appreciation for the largest single gift commitment in NDSU history and the state's matching funds combining to substantially improve the lives of individuals and citizens of North Dakota. "Harry's commitment to NDSU and enthusiasm about what is happening here is demonstrated in this generous gift. Just as his experience as an NDSU student was transformative, his gift will change the lives of students who receive his scholarship. Prestigious full-ride McGovern Scholarships will be synonymous with excellence and will make the attainment of an NDSU degree a reality for deserving students."
NDSU's commitment to meeting the state's needs by increasing emphasis on STEM studies began with the recently-completed STEM classroom building, now named for former mathematics professor A. Glenn Hill. "Our innovative new STEM building is a student-focused environment made up entirely of classrooms, labs and study areas, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, designed for hands-on learning that is a differentiator in the educational environment at NDSU," Bresciani said. "Our commitment to serve our citizens is stronger than ever, and is enhanced by the combined efforts of state support, private sector philanthropy and student success."
When fully implemented, the unprecedented scholarship program will provide approximately 50 students with full-tuition scholarships each year. Awards will be offered to incoming freshmen who qualify, based on academic achievement and pursuit of degrees in STEM fields. The award is renewable for four years, assuming satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
The first class of McGovern Scholars will enroll for the upcoming academic year.
"When President Bresciani and I began talking about ways to make a difference for students, he impressed upon me the need to have a signature scholarship program that would attract young people to NDSU," McGovern said. "I wanted to make an impact on as many students as possible, particularly for students pursuing STEM degrees, and he said full-tuition scholarships could accomplish that."
The gift is being made through the NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association. John Glover, President and CEO, said philanthropists like McGovern are seeking ways to maximize impact today, while leaving a permanent legacy for tomorrow. "The gift's structure is such that Harry will enjoy the impact of having nearly 50 McGovern Scholars pursuing their educational dreams today, while his long-term plan is to permanently endow the scholarship for future generations," Glover said.
McGovern, who now lives in California, said he has been amazed at how NDSU's reputation and national distinction has grown in recent years. "President Bresciani has been an outstanding leader for my alma mater," McGovern said, "His vision and goals are exactly what NDSU needs today and tomorrow, and it's with this belief and confidence that I am honored to help our students."
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.