Danny and Donna Schenk have provided a unique gift to Midwestern State University – a gift that will help students who already have walked across the graduation stage once and now wish to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree. The Schenks’ donation is designated as scholarships for MSU’s Graduate School.
Dr. Jane Owen, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, was thrilled with news of the gift. “We have an incredibly talented, diligent, and enthusiastic group of graduate students, and frequently donors do not realize that we receive very few designated scholarships for them,” Owen said.
Donna Schenk said that their reason for designating the Graduate School as the recipient of their latest gift was simple. “We didn’t know the Graduate School didn’t have many donor-designated scholarships,” she said. The Schenks became aware that graduate students have a different outlook on college than students just graduating from high school, and that the resources for graduates were limited. “For high school scholarships, it’s more a case of the kids doing what’s expected. You graduate, you go to college. Some don’t want to be there,” Donna said. “But graduates are the people who really want to be in school. They are working hard to further themselves, and there wasn’t much else out there for them. We want to help.”
Resources for tuition, fees, research expenditures, and travel expenses to present research findings are some of the expenses that many graduate students face. “The Schenks’ thoughtfulness will enable promising students to benefit from a full and rewarding graduate experience,” Owen said.
The Schenks hope that their gift will inspire others to consider the Graduate School when giving because they feel a close connection to MSU, with several family members as current and former students. “Midwestern means a lot to us,” Donna said. “It’s like home. Midwestern is a growing school, and it’s nice to be able to give to a local university.” The Schenks have made provisions that scholarships will continue after their deaths, and the fund is set up so that others may add to it.
The Schenks are longtime Archer County residents. They also have a scholarship in place for high school graduates and a scholarship set up for a high school graduate attending Texas A&M University.
MSU’s Graduate School offers 26 master’s degrees. For more information, call the Graduate School at (940) 397-4315.