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January 4, 2013

Dakota Wesleyan University prepares to recognize best, brightest

MITCHELL — As the spring semester kicks off at Dakota Wesleyan University, high school seniors are making their final choices in colleges, and DWU will award its most prestigious scholarships to a new batch of the best and brightest.

High school seniors will be on campus Feb. 1 vying for the university’s most-coveted and most prestigious scholarship award – the Randall Scholarship. DWU has been selecting Randall Scholars for more than 25 years, and it is the highest academic award given at the university. This competitive scholarship is awarded to students who display a strong talent for leadership and service.

To apply for the Randall Scholarship, high school seniors must first apply for admission to DWU and be accepted, then have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and 24 ACT or 1090 SAT. Students must submit their current leadership resume by Jan. 18 and attend Randall Scholarship Day on Feb. 1 at the university, where they will engage in a personal interview. Named Randall scholars will receive a minimum of $15,000 a year and all participants in Randall Scholarship Day will receive the option of a one-time book stipend or credit toward a DWU-sponsored study abroad experience. A luncheon on Feb. 1 will also be held with applicants, their families, and DWU staff and faculty.

The Randall Scholarships were established by Ron and Charlys Randall in memory of Ron’s father, F. Dwain “Doc” Randall.  Starting with a small grocery store in Flandreau, Doc Randall built a grocery business encompassing 37 stores in a seven-state area.  Doc served on the board of trustees for Dakota Wesleyan University from 1975 until his death in October 1981.

Ron Randall is the former owner and CEO of Randall Stores Inc. (which is now known as Coborn’s in Mitchell), and Charlys is a past member of the DWU Board of Trustees.  The first Randall Scholarships were awarded in February 1984.

“Last year we had excellent applicants and attendance for Randall Scholarship Day and our Presidential Scholarship Day,” said Missy Herr-Valburg, director of admissions.

Of those students participating in the two scholarship days, 89 percent enrolled in classes this past fall.

“Dakota Wesleyan is small enough that the staff and faculty really have the opportunity to get to know the students, and the admissions staff is the first among them,” Herr-Valburg said. “I can tell you, the caliber of student we have been enrolling over the years has only increased and so has the public’s interest in our university, and I think that is reflected in our enrollment – this year’s all-time high – and our retention for this year, which was excellent at semester. Students are thriving here and see it as a valuable experience and I think more people in the state are realizing the quality of education available in their own backyard.”

Presidential Scholarship Day is Friday, Feb. 22, at the university and is a recognition day for high-achieving high school seniors who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT or 980 SAT. These participants are being recognized for their academic achievements and will have the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, students, learn more about DWU’s three colleges, the Center for Talent Development, athletics and student life. A luncheon will be held and for them and their families. A current leadership resume must be submitted by Feb. 17 to participate, and scholarships range in  the amount of $10,750 to $13,000 per year.

Other academic scholarships include the John Wesley Scholarship, $13,000 to $14,750 a year, with a 3.7 GPA and 27 ACT; and the Trustee Scholarship, $12,000-$13,750 a year, with a 3.5 GPA and 24 ACT.

“DWU awards more than $6 million in academic and performance scholarships a year,” Herr-Valburg said. “That can be anything from the Randall Scholarship to music, theatre and athletic scholarships.”

Dakota Wesleyan University recognizes the importance of its United Methodist heritage and offers eligible students scholarships of $1,000 a year, based on church membership and involvement. The Bishop Leadership Award of $14,000 a year is given once a year to a student who demonstrates strong commitment to youth leadership in their local church and pledges to be active in student ministry at DWU. To qualify for the Bishop Leadership Award, applicants must be a member of the United Methodist Church, have a minimum of 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT and visit with the DWU admissions office for separate application materials.

More scholarship information specific to Dakota Wesleyan can be found through its admissions page at www.dwu.edu/financialaid/inst_aid.htm.

To begin the admissions application process, visit www.dwu.edu/apply/index.htm, or contact the admissions office at 605-995-2650, 1-800-333-8506, or admissions@dwu.edu.

DWU is a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.  For more information about Dakota Wesleyan University, go to www.dwu.edu.


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Last updated: 1/4/13