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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Nadine B. Andreas Endowment: A practical, visionary gift to campus, community

'Wonderful reflection' on Andreas family, says Jane Earley

The new Nadine B. Andreas Endowment in Arts and Humanities is another example of the Andreas family's generous contributions to enhance the quality of life in Mankato.

By Robb Murray, Free Press staff writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 8/30/2007]

The Andreas family, which already has given millions to Minnesota State University, announced Wednesday plans for a $7.5 million gift to establish an endowment in the university’s College of Arts and Humanities.

The endowment, which will be called the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment in Arts and Humanities, will be used to “promote student and faculty development in the College of Arts and Humanities, and to bring to campus cultural events that enrich the Mankato community,” a statement from the university said Wednesday.

“The most exciting thing to me is that it’s such a wonder­ful reflection on Lowell and Nadine,” said Jane Earley, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. “Because it’s practical, but yet it’s vision­ary.”

Earley said she met with department heads recently to figure out how best to begin using the endowment. Initially they’ll use about $250,000 to fund the addition of five gradu­ate assistantships, eight awards to faculty to do cre­ative or research work, and the remainder will fund visiting and guest artists and speakers. There will be an emphasis, Earley said, on using the endowment in such a way that the public has access to the good it does. That’s why guest artists and lectures will be included, and their appear­ances will be public. When fac­ulty receive a Nadine B. Andreas grant — which will fund eight weeks of creative or research work — they will “report back” to the university on what they’ve accomplished in the form of some kind of publicly accessible display.

“Lowell and Nadine could have lived anywhere,” Earley said. “But they didn’t. They chose Mankato ... So when we talked bout the gift, we talked about the way the community can be enriched.”

MSU President Richard Davenport said the Andreas family members have been generous contributors to the university for many years.

“This latest gift from Lowell, Debbie and David will significantly enhance the qual­ity of arts and humanities teaching and learning on our campus,” Davenport said.

During the late 1990s, the family made the substantial donation that allowed the uni­versity to construct the Andreas Theatre, a smaller “ black box” style theater where students perform edgi­er, more avant-garde produc­tions. The family also provid­ed the naming gift for the Andreas Observatory on cam­pus.

Lowell Andreas is the retired president of Archer Daniels Midland Co. He was born in Lisbon, Iowa, and majored in philosophy at the University of Iowa. In 2004 he and his wife, Nadine, received honorary doctorate degrees from Minnesota State.

Nadine was born in West Liberty, Iowa, and attended the University of Minnesota, where she performed in the­ater productions and devel­oped a love of the arts. She died in 2005.

Their son David, a 1976 MSU master’s degree gradu­ate, is retired president and CEO of National City Bancorporation, Minneapolis. He also is a MSU Foundation board member, serves on College of Business and College of Social & Behavioral Sciences advisory boards, and serves on the boards of a num­ber of state and international nonprofit organizations.

The family has given gener­ously to other causes as well, including the effort by Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital to build a heart care center. The family in June pledged $ 4 million to that cause.

Earley says the importance of the gift cannot be underes­timated, nor can the loss of the woman it’s named for. Early knew Nadine Andreas well.

“I really miss her,” she said. “This tribute is astonishing and will make huge changes to the lives of our students and faculty as these events come to fruition.”

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