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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Athletics Receives $5 Million Gift Commitment for Scholarship Endowment from Sanford Health

Gift is single largest ever to Maverick Athletics.

2016-12-09
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 12-9-2016

In photo, Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft (far left) is presented with a framed basketball jersey between the Mavericks' women's and men's games against Winona State in appreciation of Sanford Health's $5 million gift for scholarships to Minnesota State University, Mankato. Head men's coach Matt Margenthaler is third from left, and Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport is to the immediate right of the framed jersey. Also pictured are Jim Denevan (second from left), Sanford Health's senior executive director of human resources; Kevin Buisman (second from right), Minnesota State Mankato director of athletics; and Kevin Lampe (far right), senior executive director of Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced today that Sanford Health has pledged $5 million to the University’s Department of Athletics to create the Sanford Health/Matt Margenthaler Basketball Scholarship Endowment.

The gift, named in honor of current Maverick head men’s basketball coach Matt Margenthaler, now in his 16th year as head coach, is the single-largest gift in the history of Maverick athletics.

The endowment will support scholarships for student-athletes competing at Minnesota State Mankato who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education. Scholarship criteria will require that a student-athlete be seeking a future career in health care, remain in good academic standing with the University and qualify for need-based aid.

“We are extremely appreciative of this extraordinary gift and I want to express my sincere gratitude to Sanford Health and its president and CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft,” said Davenport. “This basketball scholarship endowment will help us continue to recruit and attract the best and brightest student-athletes to our program. It’s appropriate that the endowment is in Matt’s name, in honor of his outstanding contributions to the University as our all-time winningest basketball coach.”

Sanford Health has long demonstrated its commitment to supporting education and programs for student athletes at colleges and universities throughout its service area, said Krabbenhoft.

“I am proud of the relationship Sanford Health has developed with Minnesota State Mankato, its faculty, staff and students,” said Krabbenhoft. “Coach Margenthaler has done great things with the Maverick men’s basketball program during his career and we are excited to establish an endowment that will bear his name and forever recognize his many accomplishments as the head men’s basketball coach at MSU. More importantly, we firmly believe that the virtues of the student-athletes involved in that program and at the University are exactly what we are seeking in our future employees. These scholarship resources will help to cultivate a pipeline of new work talent that will help fulfill our future needs at Sanford.”

Krabbenhoft said that Sanford’s investments reflect the importance of educating future generations of clinicians and health care professionals to meet its workforce development needs. He said that the system also believes that education is critical to maintaining the strength of communities in the Midwest.

In the bottom photo, Davenport is pictured at left, Krabbenhoft in the center and Minnesota State Mankato Director of Athletics Kevin Buisman is on the right.

In addition to his leadership role at Sanford, Krabbenhoft has several personal connections to Minnesota State Mankato. He earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) from the University in 1982 and in 2009 received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Kelby’s father, Kenneth Krabbenhoft, was a biology professor at Minnesota State Mankato for more than 20 years.

Margenthaler said he was elated by the legacy the scholarship endowment will create.

“It is a very humbling experience to learn that a scholarship awarded to one of our student-athletes will permanently bear my name,” said Margenthaler. “As coaches, we certainly all want our programs to be competitively successful, but just as important is knowing that we have made a difference and positively impacted the lives of the young people we get the chance to coach and teach every day. Behind Kelby’s leadership and the generous support of Sanford Health, we will be able to achieve those goals.”

Kevin Buisman, Minnesota State Mankato’s director of athletics, called the gift a “game changer” for Maverick athletics.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity bestowed upon us by Sanford Health,” said Buisman. “In the current budget environment, athletic programs are growing ever-dependent upon private support to sustain the operation, and endowment dollars create a permanent foundation that will yield significant scholarship dollars for future generations of our student-athletes.”

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 45 hospitals and nearly 250 clinics across nine states and four countries. Sanford Health’s 28,000 employees, including 1,400 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas.

Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children's clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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