Montana State University-Northern received a $60,000 gift in memory of Verne Sedlacek.
The gift came from the M.J. Murdoch Charitable Trust in Vancouver, Washington, and will support the Sedlacek Family Memorial Endowment per the wishes of his family.
Sedlacek, who was born and raised in Havre and in recent years lived in Connecticut, died suddenly in December 2021 at the age of 67.
He served on boards for many organizations including the trust, where he was a senior fellow at the time of his death.
“This gift is in memory of the trust’s senior fellow, former visiting scholar, friend and colleague, Verne Sedlacek,” M. J. Murdoch Trust Executive Director Steven Moore wrote in a letter to Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel and Montana State University President Waded Cruzado. “Verne and his family’s great desire was for students who might not have the opportunity for pursuing higher education be encouraged and supported in achieving that dream.”
“Verne’s passing was a terrible shock to us and we miss him very much, but our memories of him will live with us forever. It is gratifying that Verne will also be remembered and honored by MSU-Northern, along with my parents,” his brother, Stuart, said. “With the significant increase in the size of the endowment from the tremendous gift from the Murdoch Charitable Trust and the resulting increase in the size of the annual scholarship as a result of the generous gifts made in Verne’s honor to the endowment, my brother and my parents will have an even more significant and lasting impact.”
Sedlacek was invited by Kegel to Northern in 2016 to give the commencement and, in 2019, the Sedlacek brothers contacted Shantel Cronk, executive director at the MSUN Foundation, and set up the memorial endowment in honor of their parents, Vernon and Signe Sedlacek.
Along with many organizations their parents were involved with in Havre, Vernon served as the Northern Foundation President and was the Founders Excellence Award recipientin 1984.
Upon his passing, Verne’s family, including his wife of 40 years, Maura, and two children who live in Connecticut, indicated they wished memorials be given to the family endowment at Northern to continue Verne’s philanthropic spirit and to honor his ties to Havre.
The Sedlacek Family Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Northern student from a high school anywhere along the Hi-Line, from Browning to Culbertson.
“This is a perfect tribute to Verne, building on and enhancing the efforts of my parents and their commitment to Havre, to Montana and to the importance higher education,” Stuart Sedlacek said. “My sincerest heart-felt thanks to everyone who honored Verne with a gift to the endowment; your generosity will help his memory to live on forever.”
To contribute to this or to create another scholarship or endowment, people can call 406-265-3711 or visit http://www.msunfoundation.org .
The MSU-Northern Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that acts as a fundraising arm of Montana State University-Northern.
People can learn more about M.J. Charitable Trust by visiting https://murdocktrust.org/about-the-trust online.