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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Winter 2011 TODAY Column

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Real-World Rewards
 It’s easy for me to see how proud our students, alumni, and faculty members are of this great institution. I can walk almost anywhere on campus, or in the Mankato community, and see people clad in purple and gold clothing proudly bearing the Minnesota State University, Mankato logo. Purple and gold banners line our streets. And at every event I attend, on campus or off, people are eager to talk about the University and what it means to them.
I don’t wear my purple and gold tie every single day, but my pride in Minnesota State Mankato is constant. The fact is, our students make me proud. Our alumni make me proud. Our faculty members make me proud, too. And the way we’ve been able to support students and faculty in these tight budget times makes me extremely proud.
Our cover story on the Maverick Fund student investment team is a great example of all those things. The Maverick Fund shows how our campus community is applying a real-world, problem-solving mindset to the big issues we face as a society. Thanks to a collaboration between our Finance faculty and the Foundation Board, students have the opportunity to invest actual dollars—an experience that will not only inform their future careers, but may also help our Foundation think more broadly about investment options in this time of economic uncertainty.
Similar stories are playing out all across campus as well, with students and faculty bringing big ideas and a hands-on, problem-solving mindset to critical issues in a variety of disciplines. Students in Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology are testing hybrid engines at the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research. Education majors are bringing Science Zone, a traveling enrichment program, to rural classrooms. And civil engineering students are working with their professor and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to develop customized de-icing options. We’re solving real problems for real people in new, exciting ways.
Another way I see the pride so many of you feel for this University is in the success of our recent fundraising efforts, which have defied the norm Funds raised in 2010 totaled more approximately $9 million, one of the top five years in the institution’s fundraising history. Within that achievement, faculty and staff giving set an all-time 32-year historical record of more than $730,000, greatly surpassing the goal of $400,000—a remarkable statement of employee commitment during a year of difficult budget news, and a testament to the pride and trust Minnesota State Mankato has earned on campus, in our community and beyond.
Knowing our business students are managing a portion of the Foundation’s funds as part of their education makes it all the more exciting for many of us to watch the market these days. But the bigger investment, with the more rewarding return, is the one we make in our students.
I hope you’ll join me in making that investment this year—you can do that right now at
I know, without a doubt, that you’ll join me in experiencing the rewards.
President Richard Davenport