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 2017, scholarship awards totaled $53,250. [See the list of
recipients and amounts awarded.]
Funds for the scholarships arise from donations to the Club by members and friends
of MSU, funds raised at social events, and direct donations to the Club’s Scholarship
Endowment Fund Account (#AF010979) administered by Michigan State University. It
is the intent of the Club that all 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 end of 2016, total contributions to this
Fund stood at almost $96,000. 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 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.
The current goal of the Club is
to provide annually three $1,500.00 scholarships to students who have attended Benzie
County 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 can be expanded.
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].
Students should apply for admission
to Michigan State University. The MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships reviews
all admitted applicants for financial aid and, in conjunction with the Benzie Spartan
Board, will offer the scholarships to worthy candidates using the above Endowment
Agreement selection criteria. Students DO NOT need to submit a scholarship application
to the Club.