Honorees of the Year

Each year, we recognize three outstanding individuals for their generous contributions to Minnesota State University, Mankato. Their stories are proof that through giving, we can change the world for the better, give students opportunities they wouldn't have had otherwise, and make a powerful and positive impact.

Philanthropist of the Year

2022- Steve '79 and Mary Klick Foundation

Steve and Mary Klick, 2022 Philanthropist of the Year

“I would hope the students will gain two things from the gift—first of all, the education that they sought, and the ability to go out and see the world.”

2021- Dirk Derksen '67, '68 and Margaret Petersen

Dirk and Margaret Derksen, 2021 Philanthropist of the Year

“Giving to the University makes us feel as if we are truly helping individuals. It’s such a reward to know that funds that we provide are going to a good cause.”

2020 – Tony Ulmen ‘79

Tony Ulmen '79, 2020 Philanthropists of the Year

“I’ll accept [this award] not so much for myself but for everybody else who works hard and contributes what they can. I always said if we all give a little, we can accomplish a lot.”

Volunteer of the Year

2022 - Carol Sletner '80 '93

Carol Sletner, 2022 Volunteer of the Year

“[Minnesota State Mankato] will always have a huge place in my heart. When I come on campus, I'm in my happy place. So, for me, it seemed very natural to give back.”

2021 - Jason Beal, '02

jason beal, 2021 Volunteer of the Year

“The athletics at [Minnesota State Mankato] have shown so much success and I am so proud of the things that the coaches do. It is just a joy to participate.”

2020 – Heather Ludwig '87

Heather Ludwig '87, 2020 Volunteer of the Year

“As a volunteer, I believe in helping students prepare for their career success. I enjoy giving the gift of my time to listen to their challenges and questions, to share tips for them to try out, to share work related insights, and to help them discover who they really want to be as they head out into their career. ”

Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year

2020 - Federated Insurance

Federated Insurance, 2022 Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year

“Our federated Insurance - Minnesota State Mankato partnership is decades old, and I believe it's really grounded in a set of common values. ”

-Lisa Hyland, '88, Senior Vice President - Director Human Resources

2020 - United Prairie Bank

United Prairie Bank, 2020 Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year

“If our funding of the Integrated Business Experience program helps set the University apart and gives business students an edge, we’re all for that. It helps show off what a really solid, great university we have in Minnesota State Mankato.”

-Stuart Sneer, Bank President 2002-2020/Board Chair Emeritus

Previous Honorees

Volunteer of the Year

Timothy A. Huebsch 2019

John F. Behrends 2018

Kathy Eiden 2017

Larry Schnoor 2016

Bob Qualset 2015

Curt Fisher 2014

Randy Zellmer 2013

Dr. Winston and Shirley Grundmeier 2010

Margaret Robinson Preska, PhD, LhD, President Emerita 2009

KMSU Radio Hosts 2008

International Student Endowment Committee 2007

Garrison L. Hale 2006

Eddice B. Barber, Ph.D. 2005

Al and Erla Fallenstein 2004

Jon Rippke 2003

William Olszewski 2002

Kristine J. Connors & Judy Keltgen Mans 2001

Dale Johnson 2000

Bailey W. Blethen 1999

Alan Gerhardt & Jim Neilson 1998

Phyllis Rivard 1997

Marcia K. Copeland 1996

Charles Pennington 1995

Philanthropist of the Year

Dennis A. and Helen A. Klenz 2019

John and Anne Frey and Curt Stangler 2018

Phyllis Vosbeck, PhD 2017

Al and Bobbie Hubbard 2016

Steve and Judy Legenhausen 2015

Dr. Paul Mittelstadt 2014

Rod Schmidt 2013

California Analytical Instruments/Environmental Testing Corporation 2010

Vivian B. and Harry D. Rippin Estate 2009

Glen and Becky Taylor 2008

David and Debbie Andreas 2007

Gerald and Marilu Bambery/McDonalds of Mankato 2006

Dr. Donald C. and Marjorie Meredith Foundation 2005

The Curtis Sampson Family 2004

Wells Fargo Banks 2003

Pamela and Wynn Kearney, Jr. 2002

B. H. and Betty Chesley 2001

George and Anne Haefner and Allen and Kathleen Lenzmeier 2000

William Bresnan 1999

Glen A. Taylor 1998

Consolidated Communications and the Consolidated Community Fund 1997

Lee and Loretta Snilsberg 1996

Lowell and Nadine Andreas 1995

Corporate Philanthropic Partner of the Year

Scheels 2019

Schwickert’s Tecta America 2018

Sanford Health 2017

The Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, PA 2016

Wells Concrete 2015

Consolidated Communications and the Consolidated Community Fund 2014