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New endowments total $30,000 to Northern

Montana State University-Northern MSU-Northern is the recipient of two new gifts to support student scholarships.

The combined total of these gifts is $30,000 to the university to set up endowments to fund these scholarships forever.

Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel and Foundation Executive Director Shantel Cronk expressed thanks to these donors for their thoughtfulness to Northern.

“Endowments help leave a legacy and, as are many gifts, they are often very personal,” Kegel said.

“Each of these gifts has a unique reason for being and it makes them each very special,” Cronk said.


Justin S. French Memorial Endowment and Nursing Scholarship

In August of 2021, at just 53 years of age, Justin French of Havre passed away after a lengthy battle with post COVID-19-related complications. During his final few months in the hospital, he and his wife, Carilla, experienced care from nurses that inspired them to discuss a future donation to Northern nursing scholarships.

After his passing, Carilla French immediately followed through with her husband’s wishes asking that in leu of flowers that friends and family donate to the nursing program in memory of her husband. Stopping by the foundation to learn more about setting up a scholarship, she decided to leave a legacy in his memory creating a new endowment that would fund the nursing scholarship in perpetuity naming it the Justin S. French Memorial Endowment.

“This gift means a lot to the nursing department and the future nursing student that will be able to help fund their education through this endowment,” Interim Dean of Northern’s College of Health Sciences Jaime Duke said. “Her story meant so much to me, as it shows that we are providing the community with caring nurses who help not only the patient but their family members as well.”

The Northern nursing program has recently achieved higher-than-average results in their pass rate on the NCLEX at 91 percent, beating the national average of 87 percent and the Montana average of 89 percent. Northern has also launched a new SIM lab to provide training for excellent patient care.


Jazeb Endowment and Scholarship

An unexpected gift came from donors who made their first visit to campus in late November. Bryan and Roberta Hahn of Reed Point not only hadn’t ever been to Northern but hadn’t ever been to Havre prior to the visit. Earlier that month, the couple reached out to the Northern Foundation regarding their intention to make a gift, adding that they were deciding between donating to Northern or Montana State University Billing.

To help them decide, they wanted to visit campus to learn more about the programs offered, Cronk said.

“Immediately, I understood that their hearts were driven to support students who were pursuing trades,” she said. “This was something meaningful to them, as they both had careers that aligned with the curriculum at Northern.”

Kegel met the Hahns on the day they visited campus.

“They were such a nice couple with sincere interest in our programs and our students,” Kegel said. “They appreciated that we help lift students who come to Northern from lower socio-economic backgrounds to higher socio-economic backgrounds.”

Because of the size of their own community, the Hahn’s decided to create an endowment that will fund a scholarship for students from Class C High Schools and studying trades. Currently Montana has 103 public Class C high schools. As members of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, the Hahns chose to call the endowment and scholarship after a biblical figure in the book of Chronicles 4:9-10, Jazeb Endowment and Scholarship.

“Our desire is for young men and women to be given an opportunity to gain a skill for their hands, knowledge in their heads,” the Hahns said. “Their hard work, and application of these skills and knowledge, will help them to expand their borders for their families and their future.”

The MSU-Northern Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to support Northern.

Tax deductible donations can be made by calling 406-265-3711 or by people going to .