MSU Alumni Club of Benzie County

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

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MSU Alumni Club
of Benzie County
P.O. Box 46
Frankfort MI 49635
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Scholarship Recipients

In 2019, the Benzie Spartans are honored to award scholarships on behalf of all Benzie Endowment donors. This year we were able to provide financial assistance to five local students headed to MSU. See our list of scholarship recipients and amounts awarded.

In addition to these scholarship recipients, the Benzie Spartans congratulate William Newbold, a graduate of Frankfort-Elberta High School, who was awarded a full scholarship for four years as an Evans Scholar at MSU.

The Scholarship Program

The Club’s Scholarship Program was inaugurated in 2000 and is the prime focus of the Club’s charitable fund raising efforts. Through 2020, scholarship awards have totaled $77,450.

Funds for the scholarships arise from donations to the Club by members and friends of MSU, funds raised at social events, direct donations, and planned giving are deposited in the Club’s Scholarship Endowment Fund Account (#AF010979) administered by Michigan State University. It is the intent of the Club that the proceeds from events and donations to the Club that are not needed for necessary administrative expenses will be directed to this Fund.

The Scholarship Endowment Fund was inaugurated in 2013 to assure adequate long-term funding for scholarships (see
Scholarship Endowment Fund). Early donor support to this Fund has exceeded expectations. By the middle of 2019, total contributions to this Fund stood at almost $125,000. Current yield distributions from this Fund enable the Club to award, for example, three $1,500.00 scholarships annually. Donations to the Fund are tax-deductible under IRS provision 501c(3).

Club scholarships are named to honor three distinguished local Alumni members for their service to the Club and the University: the late Len Blewett, one of the original founders of the Club; the late Terry M. Herban, an early founder and sustainer who was instrumental in building the Endowment Fund; and the late Donald W. Nugent, a Club member who served on the MSU Board of Trustees for sixteen years and who was also instrumental in building the Endowment Fund.

Scholarship Awards

The current goal of the Club is to provide annually at least three $1,500 scholarships to students who have attended Frankfort-Elberta and Benzie Central High Schools. In any given year, the amount of each award will vary according to the number of applicants and available funds based on interest earned on the endowment. As the Endowment Fund grows, along with the return on investment, the number of scholarships offered and/or the amount of each scholarship will be expanded.

Selection Criteria

Michigan State University’s Office of Admissions and Scholarships, in consultation with the Club Board of Directors, selects the students who will be offered scholarships. The Endowment Fund Agreement between the Club and Michigan State University establishes the following three-stage criteria for making awards:

“The scholarship is intended for students from Benzie County. First preference will be given to incoming freshmen who attended Benzie County high schools.  If there are no incoming freshmen, the preference will be given to all students who transfer to MSU from another college or university, and if there are no transfer students, scholarships may be given to students currently enrolled at MSU. The scholarship awards may be renewable until graduation as long as the students remain in good academic standing.” [Endowment Fund Agreement, paragraph 4a].

Application Procedure

Students should apply for admission to Michigan State University. Once students have been accepted, MSU’s Office of Admissions and Scholarships will notify the Benzie Spartan Board of qualifying students and the Board will send a letter to those students requesting additional information. Once deposits have been paid by the students to MSU, the Board, in conjunction with the Office of Admissions and Scholarships will review all admitted applicants for financial aid make the selection of scholarship recipients using the above Endowment Agreement selection criteria.

Students who have questions about attending MSU should feel free to contact Board Members for additional information. Board members can either answer questions or put students in touch with people who can.

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