Friday, July 15, 2011

The Swensrud Scholars and Their Benefactor

Numerous NKHS Grads have benefited from the scholarship foundation created by the late Sidney Swensrud. A 1919 graduate of Northwood High School, Swensrud became Chairman of Gulf Oil Company, creating a foundation that paved the way for college attendance for numerous graduates. The New York Times reported in his obituary that "Mr. Swensrud, born in Northwood, Iowa, in 1900, got his early education in a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1923."

In 1971, the city of Northwood renamed Crescent Park "Swensrud Park" in honor of Mr. Swensrud and his family. On the weekend when this happened, a reunion of sorts of was held as a chance for recipients to meet with Mr. Swensrud, and 26 (of 51 who had received the honor at that point) who were able to attend are pictured above.

In 1971 the scholarship fund was valued at $293,000 with $18,000 going to '71 winners. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, at the completion of tax year 2009, the fund had grown to $3,079,898.

No doubt his legacy is felt by many individuals, their families, and the communities where they live today. For a news article published with the above photo and viewable in the online photo album, click on this link. The photo and article are also included in the slideshow on the blog page, About the Class of 62. Photo and story are a larger size in the online album.

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