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  • Founders Scholarship Gala
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  • Founders Scholarship Gala

    Kerstin Kealy supporting student success

    Brittany Dunnigan

    Success, service and citizenship. These three admirable characteristics are the primary criteria considered for the Founders Scholarship, an annual competitive $2,500 need-based scholarship awarded to students who embody these extraordinary traits. The scholarship money given to deserving students comes solely from donations and proceeds raised at the annual Founders Scholarship Gala.

    The 5th annual Founders Scholarship Gala is Friday, February 15 in the Comstock Memorial Union ballroom. The special guest speaker is actor, author, motivational speaker and former MSUM student Kevin Sorbo. Kerstin Kealy, WDAY television anchor and producer, as well as ’97 mass communication MSUM graduate and scholarship recipient, will be emceeing the event.

    Kealy was recruited to play softball at the college level after high school, but was uncertain which university to attend. She had a passion for journalism and communications, but it wasn’t until she applied for and was selected to receive the MSUM Honors Apprentice Scholarship that she chose to attend MSUM.

    Kealy apprenticed for Campus News in the mass communications department, a student-led newsroom that gives broadcast students the opportunity to work with industry professionals and faculty to produce a weekly television program that airs on Prairie Public Television. That is what inspired her to pursue a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

    “From the second I walked into MSUM after I chose broadcast journalism as my emphasis and Campus News as my apprenticeship, I loved it and never looked back.”

    Kealy now teaches a Campus News writing class at MSUM. She says she learns from her students every day, which makes her better at her job at WDAY. It is a way for her to see and help the talent that is coming up and give them the wonderful opportunities and hands-on experience she had while taking that same class as a student.

    Because Kealy was a scholarship recipient herself, she sees helping with the Founders Scholarship Gala as a way she can give back.

    “I became involved in the Gala because even though I still would have gone to college without receiving my academic scholarship, it made such a difference in my college career. To be able to give back in a bit of a way to help other students have that same chance I had when coming to school, I jump at that chance.”
     
    Kealy has helped with the event for the past few years, which she says is both a fun night out and wonderful opportunity to give to a worthy cause.
     
    “For some students, this (scholarship) may be the difference of them coming to college at all, or perhaps the difference for them to be able to come to MSUM. It is changing students’ lives, and I was one of those students, so I appreciate being a part of it,” Kealy said.
     
    The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., and all proceeds from the evening support MSUM student scholarships.

    This elegant night out includes a social hour, silent auction, free wine tasting, mystery wine, a delectable formal dinner and dessert, cash bar, and music from the Front Fenders.

    To take part in this eventful evening, register at mnstate.edu/foundersgala. If you are unable to attend the event, please consider donating to the cause. There are various levels of donation opportunities, as well as donations for the silent auction and mystery wine, all available on the event’s website.