Donor Stories

Donor Stories
Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to our organization and others.

Tom and Peg Jack
Tom Jack passed away on December 2, 2010, in Dubuque, Iowa. For 30 years, Tom and Peg Jack were involved with Bismarck State College and the BSC Foundation. During that time the Jack's benevolence created opportunities that touch and shape the lives of many, establishing a true legacy that will continue to impact future generations of students and employees at BSC. The Jack Science Center is aptly named for Tom and Peg's generous lead gift in BSC's first major capital campaign project in 1994. That gift kicked off a very successful campaign, transforming the appearance and stature of the college. In 1998, the Jacks proposed establishing an endowment that would help fund additional education and training for BSC employees. By donating $250,000 to endow the Jack Fellowship, Tom and Peg provided an incredible opportunity for BSC employees to apply for an annual fellowship award in the amount of $25,000. The award provides recipients with the funds and incentive to pursue degrees and training that also benefit the college and students. Nine BSC employees have received Jack Fellowship grants allowing them to pursue higher education opportunities. It is exceptional for a community college to have fellowship funds available to help employees reach their goals, and a testament to Tom and Peg's commitment to education. After Peg's passing in 2000, Tom continued to build upon a legacy of generosity and vision by establishing a scholarship fund to encourage and support the grade school students of a small Arizona town to graduate from high school and further their education. Tom felt influencing the current generation would have a profound impact on future generations. The fund was established to award scholarships to the students as they graduate from high school, providing resources for their next level of education. Those students are just starting to graduate, and if the first thank you letters received are any indication, Tom's vision is working. In addition to the scholarship fund, Tom personally provided funding for a new playground at the grade school. The appreciation the students showed for "Mr. Jack" demonstrated that he was on the right track and was a great inspiration. The BSC Foundation administers the scholarship fund, with any remaining assets added to the Jack Fellowship. The Jacks also established a charitable remainder trust with the Foundation to provide income to Tom and Peg, their children and a daughter-in-law. At some future time, the remainder of the trust will add to their financial legacy at BSC. Tom was an active member of the Foundation Board of Trustees and continued as a Trustee Emeritus after they retired to Arizona. The Jacks commitment to BSC was recognized on a national stage in 1999 when they were honored as the Council for Resource Development Region VIII Benefactor of the Year. As he accepted the award, Tom – humble as always – stated that their involvement with the college "had given them a lifetime of joy." The Jacks commitment, support and involvement with BSC and the BSC Foundation created a true, lasting legacy that will endure for generations. Students and employees will continue to benefit from their vision and leadership. Tom's and Peg's smiles will be with us for a long, long time.
Ken LaMont
Ken LaMont was a great teacher, mentor and role model to the hundreds of students he guided during his years at Bismarck State College. His enthusiastic and positive outlook inspired many BSC students to complete college and embark on successful careers. He wanted to make certain that every student had an opportunity for success. It is a legacy that will endure for decades as these graduates bring a little bit of Ken's personality to their jobs. Ken retired in May 2008 after teaching 12 years in the Hospitality Management program as assistant professor. When he came to BSC in 1996, he left a 35-year career in the restaurant and hospitality business. He believed in teaching his students community service, as well as skills for the hospitality industry, and volunteered his students to assist with BSC and community events. He served as mayor of Mandan from June 2000-2008, and is credited with several major achievements for the community during his tenure. Ken LaMont passed away in January 2010. His wife, Diane, and children, Jill and Mike, started the Ken LaMont Memorial Scholarship to ensure the memory of Ken will live on forever.
LeRoy M. Nayes
Through leadership and industry, LeRoy M. Nayes excelled as a loan officer for the Farmers Home Administration during his 27-year career with the US Department of Agriculture. He began work at county offices and progressed to the state office in Bismarck and the national office in Washington, DC. He spent his last 10 years as North Dakota chief of farm programs. A scholarship recipient himself, LeRoy graduated from North Dakota State University (then
ND Agricultural College) and earned his master's degree from the University of Minnesota. LeRoy and his late wife, Lillian, had a connection to BSC for many years. Two of their children, Larry and Linda, graduated from BSC. Their third child, Lee, attended BSC as a high school student for college credit courses. Lillian also taught enrichment classes at BSC. "My entire family has made use of BSC and benefited from scholarships to obtain degrees," LeRoy says. "Scholarships helped me and I wanted to give back." In addition to the scholarship at BSC, LeRoy has established scholarships at NDSU and Concordia and has funded scholarship portfolios for each of his six grandchildren.
Lyle and Charlene Schuchard
Lyle and Charlene Schuchard have enriched many lives as leaders, mentors and caring supporters. Lyle, a Napoleon High School graduate, started his 40-year career with the ND Department of Transportation (NDDOT). He helped initiate the NDDOT's formal mentoring program and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprises contract policy. Lyle was named Employee of the Year in 1996. In 2000, he received the Walter R. Hjelle Award, the highest award given by the NDDOT. Lyle served two years active duty in the US Army and 26 years in the US Army Reserve, retiring as sergeant major. Charlene was born on a farm near Tappen. She earned a degree from then Bismarck Junior College and studied education at Valley City State University. Charlene taught for a year before beginning her 37-year career at BSC in 1963 as assistant librarian. She became secretary to the president and was named the college's first financial aid director in 1976, a position she held until retiring in 2000. Their children, Barry, Rick and Tracy, all graduated from BSC. Barry and Sue Schuchard established this academic excellence scholarship with the BSC Foundation in 2010 as a surprise for Lyle and Charlene's 50th anniversary. Funds benefit sophomore students in pre-engineering.
Jennifer Gladden
Jennifer Gladden was afforded the opportunity to obtain a quality education by her parents Leland and Gelora Ribb, providing the framework for a successful and extensive professional career. After elementary and high school in Donnybrook, ND, where her mother was a teacher, Jennifer left the state for Cottey College, an all-women's school in Nevada, MO. She obtained an associate degree from Cottey before attending the University of Arizona, where she received her bachelor's and master's degrees. In Arizona, she met her former husband, Ted Gladden. Jennifer and Ted moved back to North Dakota to raise their family and she began her professional career as a counselor at the state penitentiary. She later enjoyed a 13-year career at BSC (then BJC), first as the Community Services Coordinator, then Dean of Student Services. Jennifer left BSC in 1992 to pursue new opportunities with Ted in Minnesota, returning in 1995 when Gov. Ed Schafer appointed her executive director of Job Service ND. Whether it has been in her professional or personal life, Jennifer's love of working with students and community has been the driving force for finding ways to give back. This academic scholarship was established by Jennifer for the purpose of providing opportunity, and inspiring recipients to pay it forward.
Frank and Joanne Bavendick
The year that Frank Bavendick attended Bismarck Junior College was not only an investment in his future, but an investment in the future of the college. Frank and his wife, Joanne, have been significant supporters of the Foundation for more than 30 years and hundreds of students have benefited from their generosity. Frank graduated from Bismarck High School in 1948. After high school, he attended the University of North Dakota for a year, returned to Bismarck to attend BJC for a year, and finished his college career at UND, graduating in 1952. In the early 1960s, Frank went to work for a major oil company, later establishing his own company dealing in oil and gas exploration properties. He began accumulating land and mineral rights in the mid-1960s, in addition to investments in farming and real estate throughout North Dakota. While Frank didn't know that hydraulic fracturing technology would make those acquisitions as valuable as they are, he always considered them wise investments. His views on investments extended beyond business to his community as well. He has made a difference to Bismarck in a myriad of ways. In addition to their contributions to the BSC Foundation, the Bavendick's generous support helped fund Bismarck's Salvation Army building, the soccer field at the Bismarck Community Bowl, and the YMCA Wellness Center addition. The Bavendick's generosity indicates that helping others is as motivating to them as business success. Frank has participated in the grandparents program at the State Youth Corrections Center and carried on active "pen pal" contacts with inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary. In addition to the BSC Foundation, Frank has provided his leadership and vision to the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, the University of Mary, the Tom and Frances Leach Foundation, the American Association of Professional Landmen and the UND Alumni Association, among others. The Bavendicks established scholarships not only at BSC, but also at the University of North Dakota and the University of Mary. Frank Bavendick is the recipient of numerous awards including the BSC Distinguished Service Citation, the North Dakota National Leadership Award of Excellence, the UND Sioux Award, and Landman of the Year from the Landman's Association of North Dakota.
Ken and Anne Shaffer
Ken and Anne Shaffer always felt that the health of their company, Atlas Inc., was tied to the health of the community, especially Bismarck State College. Born January 3, 1922, on a farm southeast of Parshall, N.D., Ken graduated from Parshall High School, attended Minot State University for one year and then transferred to the University of North Dakota, graduating with a degree in business in 1943. Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A Wisconsin native, Anne moved to Chicago after high school where she met Ken. The couple married in 1944 and moved to Bismarck in 1945 when Ken went to work for Northwest Airlines. In 1954, he and two associates purchased Atlas Ready Mix. Ken changed the company's name to Atlas, Inc., when he became sole owner and president in 1959. The couple was very active in community organizations and their church, First Presbyterian. Ken served as president of the Apple Creek Country Club and was a member of the American Legion, Sertoma Club and Bismarck Elks Club. Anne was instrumental in starting the second kindergarten in Bismarck in the 1940s and was a member of the Shrine Auxiliary. Despite his years at UND, Ken was an ardent supporter of BSC. His friend, former BJC Dean Ralph Werner, was one reason, but he also gained a sense of pride in BSC due to his company's part in the construction of a number of campus facilities. John Shaffer says that while his dad loved and followed UND, he felt a debt of gratitude for BSC's community engagement and its support of his company. Ken felt strongly that BSC was perfectly situated to be a four-year institution. Always smiling, his grin grew wider when the college began offering the four-year BAS degree. He felt it moved the school closer to that end. "He always wanted BSC to get more," John Shaffer says. The Shaffers have made a difference to dozens of students through the Ken and Anne Shaffer Memorial Scholarship which funds eight, $2,000 scholarships each year. They earned the BSC Foundation's Lifetime Leader Award in 1999 for total donations exceeding $1 million.
Sam and Bertha Merritt
Sam Merritt was a farmer, served overseas in the U.S. Army and taught at an Indian school in Bismarck before becoming a Bismarck mail carrier in 1926. He worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years. Sam married Bertha Burton of Bismarck in 1928. Sam had a well-deserved reputation for thriftiness despite the fact that the Merritts became wealthy through Sam's investments. While the couple had no children, they always wanted to help young people.In the early 1950s, the Merritts established a $1 million trust fund to benefit the First Presbyterian Church and Bismarck State College in perpetuity. Since that time, the fund has provided more than $2 million to the Bismarck State College Foundation for 11 performing arts and three academic scholarships to BSC students annually. Additional funds from the trust are used for grants and other Foundation-supported projects.
Helping Hands Fund
Sometimes students need a hand. When they do, the Foundation is there with the Helping Hands Fund. Established in 2010 through donations from Irene Tschider and the LIATIS Foundation, students in need are identified through the Mystic Advising and Counseling Center and referred to the Foundation.To date, the fund has helped 13 students who found themselves in a bind, providing a total of $2,950.75 to pay for medical bills, heat and electricity, rent, car repairs, daycare, gas, books and more – ensuring that BSC students know that college is a community, too.
Bob Stenehjem
Bob Stenehjem graduated from Bismarck Junior College in 1973. He went to work for the Bismarck Streets Department in 1978, and became the roads and streets foreman. First elected to the North Dakota Senate in 1992, Stenehjem represented District 30, and was elected Republican majority leader in 2001. Actively engaged in higher education discussions, Bob was known for his sense of fair play and for understanding that leaders get more accomplished through cooperation than adversity. Bob is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three children. An outdoorsman, he also was very active in the community. Bob was a member of Lutheran Church of the Cross, and involved in the Bismarck-Mandan Leadership Alumni, Ducks Unlimited, North American Boone and Crockett Club and the National Rifle Association. Friends and colleagues from all over the country contributed to his scholarship fund in the weeks following his death July 18, 2011, in Alaska. Thanks to those contributions, the fund will provide an annual $1,000 scholarship to a BSC student.
William R. Mills
Bill Mills had a singular career as a trial attorney, employing an independence honed in childhood and a general scrappiness that earned him a job in the U.S. Justice Department and launched a thriving solo practice in his hometown of Bismarck. Admired by colleagues, he was known widely for his skill in court. A scouting enthusiast his entire life, Bill gained self-reliance and problemsolving and leadership skills that helped build his career. He attended UND Law School and joined the Army Air Force in 1942, earning the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Bill graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1946 and married Betty Lidstrom a year later in Glen Ullin, N.D. They raised four children, Randa, Sherry, William L. and Nancy and welcomed seven grandchildren. The family lived in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, where Bill was an attorney in the Justice Department's Anti-Trust Division and later assistant U.S. attorney in Bismarck and Fargo. He opened his private practice in 1957. Bill passed away in 2002. Betty Mills established this academic achievement scholarship with the BSC Foundation in 2012 to support a student in serious pursuit of a higher education.
Robert A. Kuntz
Bob Kuntz was the chief buildings and grounds officer at BSC for 24 years, and was known for his commitment to campus life. He grew up on a farm 18 miles south of Hebron and attended North Dakota State School of Science, Wahpeton, graduating with a degree in plumbing and air conditioning. A few years later, he married Rosemarie Hermes and they became parents of Nathan and Rachell. Bob began working at BSC in 1987, and his fingerprints are all over campus. Charged with new construction, building operations and grounds, Bob guided the construction of the National Energy Center of Excellence, Jack Science Center and Lidstrom Hall. He oversaw remodeling of Schafer Hall, BSC Armory, Meadowlark Building, Technical Center and Sidney J. Lee Auditorium and he created the beautiful grounds as well. Before his death at age 50, he was engaged in plans for the Student Union addition, Bismarck Community Bowl upgrade and a new physical plant, which was later named the Robert A. Kuntz Physical Plant Building in his honor. Donations from many friends, family and business associates provided funding for the scholarship established in 2011. The scholarship is designated for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning students at BSC.
Chuck and Carol Iten
South Dakota natives Chuck and Carol Iten moved to North Dakota in the early 1970s and brought a community minded focus on excellence to their personal and business endeavors in the Bismarck area. Chuck owned and operated Iten Pontiac GMC from 1972-1997. Carol worked for many years as the Director of Human Resources at Medcenter One. The Itens donated their time to many professional and civic organizations. Chuck served on the YMCA Board of Directors and the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association Board of Directors. Carol was on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, the United Way Board of Directors and active in the Nodak Healthcare Human Resources Management Association. The Itens taught their three daughters - Tamara, Tracy and Tricia - to give back as well, a tradition passed along to their grandchildren who have piggy banks marked "save a little, spend a little, give a little." The two older daughters both attended BSC, strengthening the family's ties to the community through the college. The Iten's generous gift to the BSCFoundation established the Chuck and Carol Iten Scholarship in 2012, which will provide a $1,000 academic scholarship to a student in need. Recognizing that many deserving students find the cost of attending college far beyond their means, the Itens have added to the fund so that the amount of the scholarship awarded annually will grow to be $2,000.
Roy and Patricia Mindt
Roy and Patricia Mindt applied their hard work and BSC associate degrees in business administration to a grain farm operation near Sterling for 41 years and led several community organizations.
Roy served in the U.S. Army from 1959-61 and graduated from BSC in 1963, the year he married Patricia. Patricia was a high school junior when her military father was stationed in Bismarck in 1959. She received her AA and a secretarial certificate from BSC in 1962. She worked for the General Adjustment Bureau insurance agency in Bismarck until 1966. 
Roy and Pat's children, Cora and Jeffrey, attended BSC in business. They have five grandchildren and retired to Bismarck in 2007.
The Mindts established The Roy & Patricia Mindt Scholarship with the BSC Foundation in 2008 to assist a student pursuing an agriculture-related career.
Bryce and Maxine Hill
Both Bryce and Maxine Hill served many years as elected officials and led a host of civic and fraternal organizations.
Bryce earned a B.A. in sociology from Oklahoma Northwestern State University in 1954. He joined the U.S. Army military police, obtained a B.A. in criminology from University of California-Berkeley in 1960, was a police officer in Tulsa, Okla., then began teaching in 1964 at community colleges and worked for the N.D. Combined Law Enforcement Council. He came to BSC in 1975 and was an associate professor and chair of the BSC Criminal Justice program, retiring in 1995. He was elected to the Bismarck City Commission in 1994.
Maxine has a business degree from BSC and a BS in business administration from University of Mary. She and Bryce earned MA degrees in management from University of Mary in 1991. Maxine worked 26 years for the North Dakota Auditor's Office until her election to Burleigh County Recorder in 1986, retiring in 2006.
They established the Bryce & Maxine Hill Scholarship in 2008 by donating their lake home to the BSC Foundation to fund a charitable remainder unitrust. Funds are awarded to a student in criminal justice or business.
Ray and Gertha Hoffman
Ray and Gertha Hoffman grew up on family farms near New Salem and extended their youthful affiliation into marriage in 1958 and the formation of a Bismarck life insurance business that now stretches throughout western North Dakota.
Gert graduated from BSC with a secretarial program certificate in 1955. Ray earned a BS in music education from Dickinson State University in 1957 and a master's degree in music education from Northern State College, Aberdeen. He taught music in Kulm for five years.
Founded in 1961, Hoffman & Associates continues to be owned and managed by Ray. The Hoffmans have three children, Mark, Patrick, and Kim, and three grandchildren.  Ray and Gert now spent their winters in Scottsdale, AZ.
The Hoffmans established The Ray & Gertha Hoffman Scholarship with the Bismarck State College Foundation in 2006. Funds are awarded to a student in good academic standing who is pursuing a baccalaureate degree.
  • Bequests
    Joe and Anna have been faithful supporters of our organization over the years. Both of them strongly believe that it is important to support and encourage our mission.
  • Tax-Free Sale
    Howard and Lynn were age 55 when they purchased some land outside of town, and they thought it would be a good investment that they could later sell.
  • Fixed Income for Retirement
    After working for decades as a pediatrician in a small rural town, Patricia was ready to retire.
  • Capital Gains Tax Bypassed
    Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities.
  • Peace of Mind Gift Annuity
    Many years ago, Clara bought a home. Since she was so pleased with the home, she decided to buy stock in the company that built it.
  • Sale and Unitrust
    Gene and Carol purchased stock in a small medical service company several years ago. Now, Gene and Carol are looking for a way to save taxes.
  • The Retirement Unitrust
    Mary grew up on a farm. When her parents passed away, she inherited the farm. Now, several developers would like to build homes on the farmland.
  • Property Turns Into Income
    Miranda lived in the family home where she and her spouse had raised their children. After her spouse passed, Miranda found it increasingly difficult to care for her home.
  • Flexible Deferred Gift Annuity
    Lewis is a 54-year-old executive at a large healthcare company. He purchased company stock during years when the stock price was low, and now the stock has grown substantially.
  • Part Gift and Part Sale
    Susan and Kevin bought their first home many years ago. They had planned to build a second home so that their children could spend their summers along the lake.
  • Current Gifts
    As is the case with many families, there are times each year when Jim and Sharon focus their attention on gift giving.
  • A Bequest to Further Good Work
    Nancy and David were dedicated volunteers. Over the years, they had seen many individuals helped by the good work of their favorite charity.
  • Deferred Gift Annuity
    Several years ago Larry and Allison invested $30,000 in what they believed to be an attractive stock. It turned out to be a very wise decision.
  • Gift Annuity for Real Estate
    Jonathan purchased a home many years ago for $80,000. The home has appreciated substantially over the years and is now worth $420,000.
  • A Bequest to Save Taxes
    Thomas was a widower who had a great love for our organization. As an individual who had directly benefited from our work.
  • Leading for the Future
    Luke and Candice spent many years volunteering and supporting their favorite charity. They wanted to give back in a way that would help fulfill its mission.
  • Give it Twice Trust
    While visiting the Wills Planner on her favorite charity's website, June, a surviving spouse, came across the idea of a Give it Twice Trust.
  • Providing for Our Children's Future
    Joe and Kathy worked for years building their nest egg for retirement. They also want to provide for their children.