New endowment supports knowledge through travel

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bennet Melin

In 2007, Bennet Melin’s travels included a stop near the ancient oasis city of Turpan, in northwest China.

Bennett Melin ’63 believes deeply in the new endowment that bears his family’s name.

The $30,000 endowment, combined with matching dollars from the University, should provide three annual scholarships for international travel, primarily in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Applicants must be pursuing a social sciences degree.

"I hope these scholarships will encourage students from St. Cloud State to reach out on their own, as they travel individually or in small groups around the many developing nations of Asia," Melin said.

Melin established the endowment in memory of his parents, Wallace and Violet. He and three siblings traveled widely with their parents on meticulously planned educational vacations that took Bennett to 48 states by the time he entered college. He graduated from St. Cloud State College in 1963 with a double major in history and geography, then taught high school in Minnesota for six years. He earned a master’s degree in secondary education from Michigan State University and worked for international petroleum companies for 35 years. Melin is semi-retired and lives in Houston, Texas.

Melin hopes scholarship recipients will "understand the vast cultural landscape this world holds, not necessarily to embrace those ideas, but rather to understand them and hopefully be able to accept them on an equal footing with our American values."

"Go out and see the world for yourself," Melin said. "It’s just one of several ways of becoming better educated."

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