Then and now: students first

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don Hess ’65

Don Hess ’65

In some ways, the St. Cloud State campus is much like it was when the late Don ’65 and Joan ’65 (Rausch) Hess attended classes there in the ’60s. The Lawrence Hall Cupola is still in place, of course, as are many of the classroom buildings and residence halls that were constructed in the post-war boom of the ’50s and ’60s. More important, however, St. Cloud State faculty and staff commitment to helping students succeed has remained constant throughout the years.

Now, thanks to the Hess’s generosity, the University will have one more tool to help students reach their goals: a new endowed scholarship established by Joan in her husband’s memory.

When Don and Joan were students, the College of Business was yet to be formed, but the University was already recognized as a great place for students to prepare for a career in business. Don was among those business students. The two married the day after graduation in 1965, and he quickly launched a life-long career in the sugar industry. By the time of his retirement he was regional industrial sales manager for United Sugars Corporation, the largest marketer of industrial and commercial sugar in the United States. Together, Don and Joan raised four children: Gina, Julie, Rodney and John. Don also gave generously of his time to St. Cloud State, serving as a member of the SCSU Foundation Board.

After Don’s death in 2006, Joan established the Donald Victor Hess Memorial Scholarship to honor his wishes to benefit St. Cloud State, which he felt had helped him so much in life, and to help students studying finance in the Herberger College of Business. In addition to having financial need, future scholarship recipients must demonstrate leadership skills through participation in extracurricular school and community activities and display the drive, integrity and passion necessary to achieve their goals. The first Hess Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2009.

- Kara Rose

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