Ole to Ole impact made through planned giving
St. Olaf’s Manitou Heights Society (MHS) includes more than 1,600 members who have included the college and Oles in their wills, trusts, and similar charitable giving plans.
For Kiara Jones ’21, the support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship provided by planned giving has helped her pursue her passion and vocation on the Hill.
“Since I started at St. Olaf, I’ve been able to do some amazing things,” says Jones. “The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship means a lot to me as a student because it gives me the opportunity to be here.”
An American studies major and management studies concentrator, Jones has taught and choreographed dance, co-founded the hip-hop dance club M.I.X., gained marketing experience, and engaged Oles as part of the Student Activities Committee. This Interim, she studied social and political transformation in Ecuador.
I am tremendously grateful for being able to attend this school where I have made my closest friends and best memories. Being on the Hill these past few years has been very rewarding.Kiara Jones ’21
The scholarship supporting Jones’s study is made possible in part by a gift from David Vigen ’55. Vigen loved connecting with others — at St. Olaf he was part of the St. Olaf Choir and its 1955 performance tour to Norway. Tasked with thanking the crowd for their hospitality in Norwegian, Vigen was so nervous he mistakenly said, “a thousand, thousand thanks for nothing!” Following graduation, Vigen pursued a rewarding career as a pastor, counselor, and state representative. He remained best friends with many Oles through it all.
Vigen died last August. Before he did, as part of his 50th Reunion class gift, he included St. Olaf and the scholarship in his will to share the impact his education on the Hill provided him.
Through For the Hill and Beyond, Oles and friends have generously given $240.7 million to advance high-impact learning, enhance affordability, strengthen community, and sustain the college’s mission. This includes over $80.4 million in planned gifts from a will, living trust, retirement plan, and other vehicles. When realized, these gifts will provide $3.5 million in renewable support each year, adding opportunities for Oles to excel well into the future.
“I am tremendously grateful for being able to attend this school where I have made my closest friends and best memories,” says Jones. “Being on the Hill these past few years has been very rewarding — it’s an honor to be an Ole.”