"It (scholarship)...was the deciding factor for me." 
-Russ Oglesby '76

Russ started at what was then Southwest Minnesota State College in 1968. It was a $300 scholarship he received from the Foundation that was the difference between attending the new college in Marshall, or another college close to his Appleton, Minn., home.


“I remember sitting at a luncheon across from Warren and Ardella (Quarnstrom) and thanking them for the scholarship,” recalled Russ. “In this year’s 50th Celebration Homecoming parade I went over and thanked them again. It means a lot and was the deciding factor for me.


Forty-nine years later, his son, Clay, a senior Graphic Design major, benefits from numerous SMSU Foundation scholarships, including the Southwest Marketing Advisory Center and Gala Fine Arts scholarships. At a recent Scholarship Awards Luncheon, Clay sat across from the Quarnstroms, a second generation Oglesby being recognized with a Foundation scholarship.


“The scholarships really have helped me,” said Clay. “It’s enabled me to pursue my business.” He owns Clayo Creative LLC, a design services business he started in 2015.


Warren, who moved to Marshall in 1955 and was an original member of the Marshall College Committee, remembers the SMSU Foundation originating as the Marshall College Fund. “The people of Marshall donated money to buy the land where the college sits today,” he said. “It was easy to raise the money because the town was behind having a college here.”


“Scholarships attract good students, good people to the University. A college education costs money, and scholarships help these students afford a quality education at SMSU,” said Warren, a past president of the SMSU Foundation.



In some cases, a scholarship is the difference between a student going to SMSU or not going; Russ is an example of that.”


The Marshall College Fund has evolved into what is today the SMSU Foundation, whose mission is to raise money for scholarships, programs and projects at SMSU.

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