Fund Name:: Evelyn Lenander Education Fund
Fund Established: February 3, 1989
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota
Evelyn Lenander, a long time area elementary teacher, established the Evelyn Lenander Education Fund in 1989 with a gift of $400,000.
Evelyn was born in 1909 in Renville County; she spent the rest of her life in and around that area. Inspired by her fifth grade teacher, Evelyn fulfilled her dream of becoming an elementary teacher by receiving her degree in teaching from St. Cloud Teacher’s College in 1929 and received a four-year degree in education from St. Cloud State in 1956. Evelyn taught for 39 years, between the Danube and Buffalo Lake schools.
Evelyn married Ed Lenander in 1930 and they lived and worked on a farm in Renville County. They saved all of Evelyn’s checks and lived solely off the money made on the farm. Ed died in 1986 and three years later, Evelyn passed away from cancer.
“The good Lord provided adequately for me; and now I am sharing the best way I know how.” Evelyn said when asked why she established the Education Fund, “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.” According to Evelyn, that love was administered through discipline.
The fund is handled according to her wishes. Every year, 40-45 third or fouth year elementary education majors are awarded scholarships to assist them with their studies. Priority is given to students that live in the Buffalo Lake area and then to others around Central Minnesota.
Evelyn once said, “I didn’t have children of my own, I had community children.”