Baseball owners create University scholarship

by Bryce Haugen

On Monday, two days after eliminating the Twins from the playoffs, the New York Yankees helped ease some University students’ pain.

The Yankees, nine other baseball teams and the commissioner’s office of Major League Baseball joined up to create the $125,000 Carl R. and Eloise Pohlad Endowed Scholarship in honor of the 20-year Twins owner and his late wife.

Under a new program, the University will double the amount of award money available during the Pohlad Scholarship’s first year. The donation is the latest in the University’s multiyear campaign to raise $150 million for new scholarships.

“(The scholarship) will go to students who show bright promise to succeed and thrive at a major research institution,” said Gerry Fischer, president and chief executive officer of the University Foundation.

He said the University Office of Admissions will decide how to distribute the awards.

Although some scholarships are short-term gifts, endowed scholarships slowly accrue value over a long-time period, said Martha Douglas, director of communications for the foundation.

“Basically, in perpetuity, money will be paid out to support students,” she said.

Endowments are invested in the stock market, with only a certain percentage given to students each year. In the first year, the University will give out approximately $12,500 in Pohlad Scholarships. If the foundation invests successfully, that number will grow each year.

Douglas said most of the University’s more than 1,000 endowments have grown over time, pointing to a $1 million gift that increased 50 percent in 10 years as an example. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Pohlad endowment will do the same, she said.

“Who knows what the next 10 years are going to hold?” Douglas said.

So far in 2004, the University has raised $34 million in scholarships. University President Bob Bruininks recently declared October as Scholarship Month.