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, Vol. 25, Issue 2, Fall 2015

S

ometimes I imagine

LRSC to be the “little

engine that could.”

That little red train engine

from my children’s story

book just kept chugging

and chugging. Over and

over, the engine kept say-

ing,

“I think I can, I think I

can…”

until finally, against

great odds, it pulled a big

heavy load to the top of the

hill.

When the North Da-

kota Higher Ed Challenge

Match was announced,

I was excited, but wor-

ried, too, about trying to

pull such a “heavy load.”

How could LRSC and its

foundation raise $2 million

dollars in an 18-month time

window? How could we

do that when, in our best

fundraising year we raised

just under $600,000?

Others worried as well.

Campus leaders, the foun-

dation’s board of directors,

and friends of the college

all were grateful for the

match opportunity but wor-

ried that the hill might be

too high. Still, everybody

agreed we needed to try.

So, like that little en-

gine, we told ourselves,

“We think we can, we think

we can.”

Slowly, gradually,

the momentum built. One

success lead to the next.

One friend of the college

encouraged another. Large

gifts and small began to

arrive. It started to look

like maybe we might come

close. Then it began to look

like we might actually do

it. And then it happened ...

we reached the $2 million

mark!

At the campaign’s end,

LRSC and its founda-

tion reported raising $2.2

million of match-eligible

funds, and we received $1.1

million in matching dollars.

LRSC was allowed to claim

more match dollars than

initially designated because

not all North Dakota col-

leges reached their goals.

Unclaimed remainders

were awarded to schools

that exceeded their goals.

We are still basking in

the success of this exciting

challenge. Throughout the

2015 legislative session,

LRSC was often called

upon to tell its story. We

became known as the “little

campus that did it,” and

our story played an im-

portant role in the legis-

lature’s decision to fund

the ND Higher Ed Chal-

lenge Match for another

18-month campaign.

Credit for this remark-

able success goes to LRSC’s

many friends and stake-

holders. Four hundred and

fifty individuals and busi-

nesses contributed to the

campaign. Their gifts cre-

ated new endowments for

scholarship and program

support and strengthened

many established endow-

ments. Gifts were directed

to support the new Berg-

strom Technical Education

Center. Several private

foundations also invested in

the campaign with gifts to

support financial literacy,

nursing education, and

peace officer training. In

the end, the campaign was

successful because so many

people acted on their belief

that education makes a

difference. They helped the

engine climb the hill. One

by one, they declared,

“I

think I can,”

and together ...

we did it!

Now we are facing a

new challenge ... raise $2

million by December 31,

2016. Can we do it? Yes, I

think we can. Once again,

the hill is high and our little

engine will need to pull

hard. But this time we are

better prepared and more

confident. We will build

on our success, knowing

that the LRSC engine is

stronger and more able to

change lives as it creates

better tomorrows.

n

The LRSC engine did it!

A

n endowment is a wonderful gift that lasts forever!

More than 120 endowments have been established

by individuals or families wishing to support schol-

arships or programs at LRSC. The majority of these pro-

vide scholarships, but a growing number of individuals are

directing their gifts to be used to support programs, library

services, or other special priorities. A gift of $15,000 or

larger is required to establish a new endowment.

We believe two incentives for making gifts to endow-

ments have impacted the large number of new endowment

gifts received by the foundation. 1) Gifts to an endowment

are approved by the North Dakota Higher Ed Challenge

Match, and 2) endowment gifts of $5,000 or greater from

North Dakota taxpayers also qualify for the North Dakota

Tax Credit which returns 40 percent of a gift to the tax-

payer in the form of a tax credit. Once the funds have been

invested for a year, the cash earnings are awarded annually

to support the scholarship or project of the donor’s choice.

The following endowments are new:

Terry Aronson Memorial Endowment—

The Terry

Aronson Memorial Endowment was established to pro-

vide scholarships to those who have personal obstacles

which they have had to overcome. Terry Aronson, a local

insurance agent, believed that Lake Region State College

helps to provide the necessary avenues for success for all

students.

Dean and Heidi Bittner Family Endowment—

Students

in health care, agriculture, and wind energy programs will

benefit from support the Dean and Heidi Bittner Fam-

ily Endowment provides. Dean, a Lake Region farmer,

and Heidi, a local physician, understand the dynamics of

health care delivery and business operations. This gift as-

sists LRSC’s work to prepare students for careers in these

critical fields.

James and Linda Gibbens Endowment—

Jim and Linda

Gibbens are advocates for rural communities, for small

colleges, and for entrepreneurship. Their endowment

will provide new resources for LRSC faculty seeking to

strengthen their programs with innovative teaching re-

sources.

Armen and Connie Hanson Endowment—

Involvement

in the community is important to Armen and Connie

Hanson. Realizing the importance of Lake Region State

College to the Lake Region community, this endowment

will help support and strengthen technology in the agricul-

tural, auto, and health care programs at LRSC.

James and Virginia LaBarre Endowment—

Both Jim and

Virginia attended Lake Region State College and used their

education as a foundation for advanced dregrees and produc-

tive careers. The scholarship endowment they established will

assist students pursuing careers in business, agri-business, and/

or technology.

Glenn and Donna Lannoye Family Endowment—

Grow-

ing up in the Lake Region, Glenn and Donna Lannoye

believe that education combined with personal commit-

ment and willingness to serve is the key to success. Their

family established this endowment to promote and support

leadership programs and activities at LRSC.

Mary E. Lundy Program Endowment—

Encouraging

wellness has always been a point of passion for Mary

Lundy, who operates a physical therapy practice in Devils

Lake. The endowed fund she established will provide re-

sources each year to strengthen the Fitness Trainer Techni-

cian program at LRSC.

Michael and Daniel Tufte Endowment—

Colette Tufte

established this endowment to honor the memory of her

sons, Michael and Daniel, and to remember her husband,

Dennis. In fact, it was Dennis who first expressed interest

in such a gift before his passing. The Tufte Endowment

will provide scholarship support for exemplary students

who are North Dakota residents.

New endowments ...

a gift that lives forever!

I

n the grand scheme of history, 75 years is

a blink of an eye, but for Lake Region

State College it’s a lifetime! The college

is gearing up to celebrate its

colorful 75-year history and

the many milestones that

mark its progress.

I am excited to be work-

ing with a team to plan 75

th

anniversary

celebrations.

Planning gives permission

to reflect about just how far

this college has come. It also

provides opportunity to ap-

preciate the work and sacri-

fice of so many to assure the

college’s continuance. We

will be searching for person-

al stories to share during the

celebrations. Your insights

are welcome!

We also look forward to the next 75

years and beyond. LRSC has distinguished

itself with its ability to be nimble when

necessary, effectively building partnerships

and identifying education/training needs.

LRSC’s future is bright! And once

again, the college has an opportunity to

assure its promise through investments that

look to the future. The recently re-autho-

rized North Dakota Higher Ed Challenge

Match became available July 1, 2015, and

ends December 31, 2016.

This is the second time the

state has funded a challenge

match for North Dakota’s

higher education institu-

tions. We met the challenge

during the first round (See

The LRSC engine did it!

above) Can we do it again?

I believe the answer is YES!

We CAN meet the new

challenge because LRSC

lives its motto, “We change

lives!” Alumni and friends

of the college who believe

in the life-changing power

of a good education are in-

vited to invest in the future

with a gift that grows larger with matching

funds. To learn more about how you can

make a gift that provides keys to opportu-

nities for bright futures, please give me a

call, contact a foundation board member,

or call the Foundation Office. Together we

can build the foundation for the next 75

years of education excellence at LRSC!

n

We’re planning a celebration

CCF Executive Director

Laurel Goulding