“An alumnus has given North Dakota State University a record donation of $13.5 million earmarked for scholarships in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
The Bismarck Tribune reported in “NDSU receives record $13.5 million gift for STEM scholarships” that the gift was given by Harry D. McGovern, a 1966 civil engineering graduate who grew up in Erie and is a bridge and highway contractor. His donation was matched by $1.2 million from the state’s challenge grant program, for a total of $14.7 million.
NDSU’s President Dean Bresciani was grateful, remarking that the donation will improve many lives and benefit North Dakota.
“Harry’s commitment to NDSU and enthusiasm about what is happening here is demonstrated in this generous gift,” Bresciani said in a statement. “Just as his experience as an NDSU student was transformative, his gift will change the lives of students who receive his scholarship.”
McGovern’s gift combines current donations with estate planning, and once it’s fully implemented, the fund will give 50 students full-tuition scholarships each year for the 2017-18 academic year.
McGovern said when Bresciani and he began discussing ways to make a difference for students, the president impressed him with the need to have a scholarship program to attract young people to NDSU. “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,” McGovern said.
The scholarships are to be awarded based on academic achievement and the pursuit of degrees in STEM fields. The NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association said McGovern is not only making an impact now, but leaving a permanent legacy.
McGovern previously donated $1 million to the foundation for the alumni center that opened in 2012 and is named for him. McGovern at the time credited the NDSU for teaching him the skills that allowed him to give back to his school.
Reference: Bismarck Tribune (November 3, 2016) “NDSU receives record $13.5 million gift for STEM scholarships”