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Evelyn Lenander Scholarships


The Evelyn Lenander Education Fund In February 1989, Evelyn Lenander, from Buffalo Lake, Minnesota established a fund to provide scholarships for college students in elementary education. Evelyn was born on February 18, 1909, in Brookfield Township, Renville County. She attended St. Cloud Teachers College and graduated with a two-year teaching degree in 1929. She taught third and fourth grade in Danube schools from 1929-1939. In 1930, Evelyn married Edward Lenander and the couple farmed for 46 years in rural Buffalo Lake. Edward died in 1986. Evelyn was a teacher in Buffalo Lake schools from 1945 to 1974 (29 years) before she resigned at the mandatory age of 65. She continued as a substitute teacher until she was 78. Evelyn Edna Lenander died on April 1, 1989.

Evelyn Lenander was much loved and respected by her students during her 39-year career as an elementary education teacher. "I didn't have children of my own. I had community children," she said. In responding to why she established a fund for elementary teachers, she said, "Elementary education...Is there any other kind of education?" Supporting students interested in pursuing elementary education as a career was important to Evelyn because, "You can't be a good teacher by saying you want to be. A good teacher knows the basics, and isn't afraid to love the students. Love is administered through discipline." The Evelyn Lenander Education Fund, tailored to the donor's wishes, will provide about 15 scholarships up to $4,000 to third and fourth year college students pursuing degrees in elementary education. Students will first be chosen from qualified recipients in the Buffalo Lake area and then from other parts of central Minnesota.


This scholarship program is intended to assist students who have completed two full years of college and are currently accepted in a Minnesota College or university program leading to a degree in Elementary Education.

Preference will be given to permanent residents living within a 25 miles radius of Buffalo Lake and then eligibility will be expanded to include other students from central Minnesota. All applicants should be permanent residents of the state of Minnesota. Recipients must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Applicant Responsibility

Applicants are responsible for completing the on-line application form, writing and uploading the essay/statement, and uploading a copy of the most recent complete college transcript. If the applicant has transferred, copies of previous transcripts should also be uploaded. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. A complete scholarship application contains:

  • Scholarship on-line application form filled out completely with all attachments uploaded.
  • The student's essay/statement on aspirations and goals to the Community Foundation uploaded on application where requested. Please address: What event or person has influenced your life the most?
  • The student must have completed two full years of college and currently be accepted in a Minnesota college/university program leading to a degree in elementary education.
  • The student must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • The student must submit this on-line application, include a current transcript(s), and an essay/statement online to the Community Foundation no later than midnight on May 15th.

Application Deadlines

Scholarships must be submitted online by midnight on May 15th.  No hard copies will be accepted.

Applying for a Scholarship

Students who apply are required to "create a new account" if they are a first time user of our applicant system.  Once they have established an account, the system will remember their log in information and will automatically be tied to any other online scholarship applications submitted through our online system. 

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Selection Process

Completed application forms will be reviewed and evaluated by the Evelyn Lenander Scholarship Award Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will recommend to the Board of Directors the scholarships to award from the fund. The Board will act on the Committee's recommendations.

Scholarship Awards

The scholarship awards will be made in accordance with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation scholarship agreement.  Awards are not renewable and are for students who have completed two full years of college and are currently accepted in a Minnesota College or university program leading to a degree in Elementary Education.