PLU announces over $8 million in new scholarships for students
Pacific Lutheran University gratefully acknowledges the remarkable generosity and commitment of several donor families who have made four significant gifts to student scholarships.
The gifts offer more than $8 million in combined support, establishing four new scholarships to increase student access: the Danielle and Brad Tilden Endowed Scholarship, the Sylvia Kirkebo Endowed Scholarship, the Norbert and Sonia Grove Scholarship and the Marcus and Carrie Larsen Endowed Scholarship.
“On behalf of PLU, I share heartfelt gratitude for these visionary donors,” President Allan Belton said. “Generous gifts like these allow us to fulfill our commitment to our students’ success and the university’s mission.”
Sylvia Kirkebo Endowed Scholarship
In 2017-18, a series of estate gifts established the Sylvia Kirkebo Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship, funded by an elementary education graduate of PLU, will support President’s Scholars — students with demonstrated financial need and a grade point average of 3.9 or 4.0. These scholarships, ranging from $26,000 to full tuition, are particularly competitive, with 125 selected from more than 500 student applicants.
Norbert and Sonia Grove Endowed Scholarship
In March 2018, the Norbert and Sonia Grove Endowed Scholarship was established, also from a generous estate gift. This scholarship will provide funding for students with demonstrated financial need who have graduated from Puyallup, Sumner or Enumclaw high schools. Norbert and Sonia built a life in those communities, after coming home to America following World War II. Because their access to education was limited, they dreamed of opening opportunities for a new generation of students in the communities they called home. This scholarship opens those doors.
Danielle and Brad Tilden Endowed Scholarship Fund
In January 2019, the Danielle and Brad Tilden Endowed Scholarship Fund was finalized by Danielle and Brad Tilden. Both Brad and Danielle are PLU graduates, as are multiple members of their extended family. Brad is a graduate of the Highline School District in Washington state, and both Danielle and Brad are inspired by the district’s mission and vision. They have long been influenced by stories of the educational challenges the district’s students face. The Danielle and Brad Tilden Scholarships will benefit, for example, Highline students who have held a job while attending school or are the first in their family to attend college.
Marcus & Carrie Larsen Endowed Scholarship
Finally, in March 2019, the Marcus & Carrie Larsen Endowed Scholarship was established with a gift from the estate of Norman Larsen. This endowment will fund scholarships for multiple PLU students each year, with at least one scholarship reserved for students who spent six months or more in foster care. Norman was a great friend to the university. He formerly owned the Parkland post office building near PLU, and helped the university acquire the building in 2011. Jennifer Larsen, Norman’s daughter, shares that he “was so proud of his contributions to PLU,” and the family is honored to be a part of continuing that connection. She says the family is particularly pleased that a portion of the gift will support students who were in the foster care system.