CSOM students win award, create scholarship

The three students won the 2006 Minnesota Cup for the creation of a coupon and map booklet.

by Sam Darcy

For most current students, paying tuition is as much as they ever give back to the University. But a group of seniors created a new scholarship for first-year students.

Entrepreneurial seniors Travis Boisvert and Ryan Broshar, along with 2006 graduate Joe Collins, donated $25,000 to endow a new scholarship for first-year students pursuing an entrepreneurial major. The University’s Office of the President matched the donation.

The donation would provide one student with a scholarship of about $2,500 each year, but it could double or triple over time, Collins said.

The money came from the profits of a business the students started last spring in an entrepreneurship in action class at the Carlson School of Management.

The students created the U Guide, a booklet of coupons and maps designed to connect new students to local businesses.

The U Guide garnered a $30,000 profit. The students donated $5,000 to Housing and Residential Life before donating the rest for the scholarship.

The students said they thought they owed it to the University for giving them so many opportunities. They said they are excited about leaving a legacy.

“The biggest draw to starting a scholarship is the longevity,” Boisvert said. “A group of seniors donating to their alma mater before graduating is a cool legacy to leave.”

Martha Douglas, University Foundation communications director, said she thinks it’s unprecedented for enrolled students to start a scholarship since the creation of the President’s Scholarship Match in 2003.

Douglas said the University will keep the $50,000 and use the collected interest for the scholarship every year.

John Stavig, the Carlson School’s entrepreneurial studies director, said he’s glad to see the students develop a profitable business and then decide to give back.

“It’s extremely unique in terms of what they achieved in their first months of operation,” Stavig said. “They’ve created a legacy with the profits from their business.”

Entrepreneurial senior Mike Copa said the scholarship will benefit future entreprenuerial students because the benfactors have set a mark to strive for.

“I was impressed by the quality of work, but more impressed that they donated back to start a scholarship,” Copa said.

The students plan to release a spring version of the U Guide and hope to expand to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and St. Cloud State by next fall.

They said they hope to start similar scholarships at other schools, but will always remember the University as their springboard for the future, Boisvert said.

The the most important part of the scholarship, the students said, is the opportunity to help people.

“I hope it gives people motivation and courage to try something on their own,” Broshar said.