Exterior of Carlson School of Management building

News & Notes: Spring 2023

Friday, April 21, 2023

Bentson Scholarship Benefactors

John* and Janet Bohan 
Thia Breen and Laurie Dowley 
William J. Caldwell 
Steven H. Eklund 
Jody Gunderson 
Philip and Carole Hildebrandt 
Marilyn S. Hughes 
Todd Johns 
David Katkov and Patricia Wyffels 
Catherine Mathis and Robert Burchell 
Peter and Denise McCormick 
Judd T. and Melinda Nystrom 
Thomas G. and Meredith D. Olson 
Joan Prairie and Thomas Geisen 
Ty R. and Susan J. Silberhorn 
C. William and Karen J. Snedeker 
Esta Eiger Stecher 
Ms. Lynda J. Swenson 
Darla Tufto and Dale* O’Donnell 
James M. and MaryEllen Weber 
Katherine Wilson and Neil Sell 

* deceased

Update on the Bentson Scholarship Challenge

Launched just three years ago, the Bentson Scholarship Challenge has already had a major impact on the lives of 32 students at the Carlson School. Under the challenge, newly established endowed scholarship gifts benefiting Pell Grant-eligible students are matched by the Bentson Foundation, amplifying the impact of a gift, and reaching even more students.

The Bentson awards are designed to bridge the gap between what a Pell Grant covers and what qualifying students can afford—costs that may include tuition and fees, textbooks, and housing. These awards amount to between $3,750 to $10,000 a year, substantially decreasing students’ potential debt load after graduation.

With around 300 undergraduate students qualifying for Pell Grant-funding annually in recent years, there is still an unmet need in this area, but also an opportunity to help. A current recipient of a Bentson scholarship, a first-year student who long dreamed of being part of the Maroon and Gold family, called the award life-changing for their academic experience.

“Through high school, I worked 25 hours a week on top of schooling and participating in extracurricular activities. This was all in an effort to be able to afford college and even then, it wasn’t guaranteed that I could afford it. As a first-generation college student, I am eager to provide for my family and pass down the ability to go to college for future generations.”

Matching funds from the Bentson Foundation are still available if you are interested in supporting these promising students with great financial need. The Carlson School extends great thanks to the 22 benefactors who have taken advantage of the Bentson Scholarship Challenge.

Scholarship Gifts Celebrate Jennifer Houle's Legacy

Jen Houle headshot
Jen Houle

To celebrate their daughter Jennifer’s 30th birthday on November 11, 2022, John and Diane Houle made a special appeal for the Jennifer Houle Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship at the Carlson School
during Give to the Max Day 2022. The scholarship benefits talented female students and honors Jennifer, who passed away in 2015 while a student, and her love of the University of Minnesota and the Carlson School.

By personally matching every gift made on Give to the Max Day, John and Diane inspired more than 60 donors, raising an additional $25,116 for this fund. As the fund grows, the amount of each scholarship award grows, ensuring that the Houle Scholars receive an elite education on their way to becoming the business leaders of tomorrow with a lower financial burden.

The Houles share: “We are thrilled that the success of this appeal means Jennifer continues to make an impact not only on the eight women who have already been Houle Scholars, but on all of those who will carry on her legacy far into the future.”

Spring 2023 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Spring 2023 alumni magazine

Underpinning growth is innovation and courage.

The Carlson School community shares their leaps of faith and the results.

Spring 2023 table of contents