Scholarship Established Thirty Years Ago Still Making a Difference
Dr. Russell Sather began serving as an internist with the Northwestern Clinic in Crookston in 1937. He was called to active duty during WWII from 1942 to 1946 and returned to Crookston in 1947 where he continued to practice until 1985. The Russell O. and Inez Sather Scholarship was established in 1986 and awarded for the first time in 1987. The scholarship named for the Sathers celebrates its 30th anniversary this fall.
Sather Scholarship recipients named for the 2016-17 academic year were Justin Cameron, a junior from Fisher, Minn., majoring in agronomy; Reed Hjelle, a sophomore from East Grand Forks, Minn., majoring in exercise science and wellness; Christopher Huffman, a sophomore from Crookston, Minn., double majoring in agricultural business and agronomy; and Stephanie Vagle, a senior from Hallock, Minn., double majoring in animal science and agricultural business.
Students receiving the Russell O. and Inez Sather Memorial Scholarship must be advanced-standing students maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average and a high school graduate of Polk, Norman, Red Lake, Pennington, Marshall, Mahnomen, Clearwater, Roseau, or Kittson counties. Applicants were required to write an essay describing an experience that has had a major impact on their life.
Sather was born in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, lived on a farm in southern Minnesota for a brief time and was raised in Minneapolis. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and is Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota. He interned at General Hospital where he met his wife, Inez, a registered nurse at the hospital. In 1933, he joined the Civic Conservation Corps and became a staff physician for four years at Fort Snelling Hospital gaining valuable experience in internal medicine. Sather was instrumental in the establishment of a school for training licensed practical nurses at the former Bethesda Hospital in Crookston and the first outside the Twin Cities region.
Scholarship recipients are chosen by a committee including Adam Maruska, chair; Carrie Michalski; Carl Moland; Judy Neppel; and Lori Wagner. The first recipients of the Russell O. and Inez Sather Scholarship, selected in May 1987 and awarded fall semester 1987, were Jeffrey Nielsen and Kim Vesey. Since its inception, 117 Russell O. and Inez Sather Scholarships have been awarded.
The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 39 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online. These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photo: Chancellor Don Sargeant, left, with Dr. Russell Sather in 1987.