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If college is a journey more than a destination, then U of M students are getting the ride of their lives. The educational experience on all University campuses offers young minds a chance to flourish in a vast array of disciplines. Through scholarships, fellowships, state-of-the-art facilities, and so much more, donors are providing opportunities that set the course for a lifetime of industry, inquiry, and insight.
A flute and piano performance double-major, Jay'd Hagberg, '13 also plays more than 30 instruments, composes music, and tap dances—despite being legally deaf.
At age six, Jay'd recalls being inspired to play flute while watching James Galway playing on television. He maintained his passionate drive, even as he experienced progressive hearing loss. "I have learned to hear with both my residual hearing, which is only 15 percent in one ear, and my entire body," explains the student from Brainerd, Minn. "The vibrations of the instrument in my hands along with the vibrations of other instruments resonate through my core in a common beat."
Jay'd stayed true to his dream when his high school's music program was cut. "At age 15, I moved alone to the Twin Cities to live with a host family and continue my performing arts education," he says.
Coming from a cash-strapped, single-parent home, Jay'd initially wasn't sure college would be in his future. "I wouldn't be here at the University without financial assistance," he admits. "Thanks to the Buuck Family Scholarship, I am moving closer to my dream of playing flute with a major orchestra."
See Jay'd play four instruments—at the same time—in a short video.
Inspiration abounds for studio art majors at the University of Minnesota. For starters, students can stimulate their imaginations at the Weisman Art Museum, a sculptural stainless steel building that houses collections featuring early 20th-century American artists as well as a diverse selection of contemporary art. Instruction from talented faculty artists in areas ranging from painting and drawing to printmaking and electronic arts allow students to explore their creativity and develop as artists, which can get expensive. Financial help through scholarship awards from understanding donors such as artist and retired Regents Professor Warren MacKenzie and his artist wife, Nancy, give students a needed boost. The Brown-MacKenzie Arts Scholarship permitted ceramic artist Claire Anderson, '10 B.F.A., "the financial freedom to explore my art." And it may have helped senior Miles Mendenhall gain national fame as the third runner-up in the Bravo reality TV show Work of Art that aired in the summer of 2010. He claims scholarships "allowed me to take more risks with materials and further inspired me knowing someone looked at my art and believed in my future."
View a slideshow of artwork by recent alumni/scholarship artists, including Claire Anderson and Miles Mendenhall.
When students enter Herbert M. Hanson Jr. Hall—HQ for the Carlson School of Management's undergraduate programs—they know it's more than a building. Made possible by a $10 million lead gift from alumnus Herb Hanson and significant contributions from other individuals, foundations, and businesses, the high-tech building is a hub of global business know-how. “When I first walked in I was exhilarated,” recalls finance major Miles Swammi after seeing spaces such as the Mooty/Glaser Family Student Lounge, Best Buy Learning Lab, McDonald Business Center, and numerous named classrooms and meeting spaces. The building is a cornerstone of the school's revamped undergraduate program, which also includes a new international requirement. Says Swammi, “It's clear that Carlson is staying up-to-date on how business is being done in the world.”
Take a tour of Hanson Hall in a simulation video.
More and more, University of Minnesota students are packing up and leaving. They are studying, working, and volunteering at points around the globe. When they return, they unpack a global perspective that prepares them well for our increasingly interconnected world. Programs such as the Judd Fellowship, which gives graduate and professional students a chance to study or research abroad, and the Katherine E. Sullivan Scholarship, which provides a fifth-year of undergraduate study in a foreign country, provide opportunities to dozens of the more than 2,000 students who go abroad each year. Private support enabled Ted Meinhover, '07 B.A., to study in Thailand, Indonesia, and China while at the U—experiences that “busted my world wide open.” Based in Washington D.C., he now leads development projects in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia: “I never would have had these opportunities without strong social institutions, social nets, and philanthropists.”
View a narrated slideshow of a Judd Fellow and MFA photography student who traveled to Norway to document her family history.
Three days in the woods with people you've never met before might not sound like the start of something good. But the Nature of Life course in the College of Biological Sciences has provided hundreds of students with a solid foundation for success. Incoming freshmen spend three days at the U's Itasca Biological Station and Labs—a 100-year-old facility and beneficiary or numerous private gifts—living and studying in small groups led by faculty members. Field study at the headwaters of the Mississippi River fits well with the college's vision, according to dean Bob Elde: “One of the real features of the Nature of Life program—and indeed a feature which we are moving more and more toward in our entire curriculum—is to learn biology by doing it.” Nature of Life student Anne Kellerman, '09 B.S., recipient of the Monica Tsang and James Weatherbee Scholarship, agreed, “At Itasca we studied biology in nature. Nature of Life made an enormous difference in my U of M experience.”
Visit the Itasca Field Biological Station in a short video.