Augustana University announced a new $13.8 million scholarship last week known as the Buntrock Scholars Program for students who are members of congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
This new scholarship will go to at least 30 students next fall, and could go on to benefit as many as 120 students by fall 2028, according to a press release from the university. The scholarship will cover half the net price of a student’s tuition, up to $12,000, and can be renewed for three years to cover their four-year degree.
The donation to create this scholarship came from Rosemarie and Dean Buntrock. Dean Buntrock grew up in Columbia, South Dakota, and is the founder and former CEO of Waste Management, Inc.
“Providing young people in the Church with access to an education rooted in faith and strong values is an investment in their future, as well as that of their families, congregations and all communities in which they live and serve,” Dean Buntrock said in a statement.
AU President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said in a press release that the Buntrocks’ gift means more students will have “opportunity to immerse themselves in an education inspired by the Lutheran scholarly tradition and rooted in our core values of Christian, liberal arts, excellence, community and service.”
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To apply, interested students must submit a letter of recommendation from the senior pastor of their congregation and provide a personal statement on how they plan to be involved in the church before and after graduation. Students who receive the Buntrock Scholarship are eligible for additional academic and talent-based scholarships provided by the university.