I am the Spirit of Scholarship Past that was foretold. Long past, no your past and Alpha’s past.
Many who have gone before you set the ideals for the perpetuity of Alpha Nu Omega. Perhaps a jolt from the past will serve to awaken your memories and the principles you long held. You share, or once shared, a bond with Brothers before you who have created and maintained an organization that has survived based on their principles, dedication and financial support. You always wondered if you would be as good as those who went before. You shared special times at UMD under the Alpha Nu Omega umbrella. You always thought those days would never end and you would keep Alpha in your heart forever. But time has evolved and sometimes those memories need refreshing.
The Alpha Alumni Association and its scholarship program have sustained the organization since its founding. Take my hand, you Alphas who fail to honor the Alpha Alumni Scholarship program. I am about to lead you through the history of Alpha Scholarship past….
The Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Association was formed in 1962, primarily with the founding members.
The primary mission of the Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Association:
To perpetuate the bonds of brotherhood for those who have left the Active Chapter under honorable conditions, and to provide educational assistance to worthy members of the Active Chapter.
In 1964 this group with founder Tom Kraus as its president decided to create a scholarship for the Active Chapter they had established based on their prime principles.
Fund raising was initially done on a pass-the-hat basis and the first Alumni scholarship award of $100 was given in 1964 and has continued on an annual basis ever since. That Alpha Alumni Scholarship thereafter became supported through dues and donations to the Alumni Association from its growing membership.
Remarkably, Founder Tom Kraus continues his scholarship involvement as the chair of our Scholarship Committee. With the death of the first Alpha and a respected Brother the scholarship was renamed in his honor two years later.
John L. Banks III Memorial Scholarship
John Banks was an early member of Alpha, pledging in 1961, who was very active in the organization and an inspiration to the many brothers who knew him. John was a patriotic member of ROTC with a goal of flying for the Air Force. John lost his life in 1966 when the transport he was flying was shot down in Viet Nam.
The Alpha Alumni Scholarship that began in 1964 was renamed in his honor in 1966. It has continued to be devoted primarily to scholastic achievement
Initially, the selection of a scholarship recipient was made by all the alumni at our annual meeting. This eventually proved unwieldy and the selection process for recipients was later delegated to an Alpha Alumni Scholarship Committee.
In 1976, to try to augment donations to the Alumni Association and scholarship, the organization secured a 501(c)(3) tax status allowing members to deduct dues and donations on their taxes. The Alumni Association has continued that status as a charitable scholarship organization ever since.
At the about the same time other changes occurred. The Banks Scholarship had its issues with recipient selection. There were endless arguments among Alumni over giving the scholarship to deserving candidates for academics or need or participation. This went on until a second scholarship named for a very active departed brother, Brooks Knodt. This was aimed less on academics and more on need and participation. The Banks scholarship then focused primarily on academics.
Daryl B. Knodt Memorial Scholarship
Brooks Knodt was also an early member of Alpha, pledging in 1963. He was very active, participating in all aspects of fraternity and campus life as well as enjoying a love of cars. He became the president of the Fraternity and Brother of the Year in 1967. Brooks was tragically killed in a car crash in 1968.
A new Alpha scholarship in his honor based on need and fraternity participation was created in his honor in 1977 and was first rewarded in 1978.
For many years Alpha actives contributed to a house fund as a part of their dues in hopes that the fraternity would eventually secure a house for its members. In the 1980s there was an opportunity to purchase estate housing in Duluth because of a depressed market. After much investigation the search was narrowed to several mansions. But after reviewing the concerns of ownership there was a decision to forgo a fraternity house because no one wanted the ownership liability and the responsibility for maintaining occupancy and upkeep. Instead the house fund was added to the scholarship fund using its interest to help fund scholarships along with dues and donation moneys. The combined fund then grew under a conservative investment strategy.
Warren “Butch” Orrick was a legend in Alpha because of his devotion to and active participation in the Active Chapter while in school, which later extended to the Alumni Association. When Butch died in 1990, he left a substantial amount of money to the Alpha Alumni Association through a life insurance policy. A third scholarship to honor Butch’s active fraternity life was created in 1992. Like Butch’s history it was focused more on extended service to and participation in the fraternity.
Warren F. Orrick Memorial Scholarship
Butch Orrick was also an early member of Alpha, pledging in 1964. Butch was a brother who always got things going in fraternity and campus activities. If it was happening, Butch was involved. This continued after graduation by leading social activities of the Alumni Association and later as its president. Butch died in 1990 leaving a sizeable donation to the Alpha Alumni Association.
A new Alpha scholarship in his honor based on long term participation and support of Alpha along with scholastic achievement was first awarded in 1993.
With this last scholarship the basic gamut of selection criteria—scholastic, need and participation—was covered giving the Scholarship Committee flexibility to choose scholarship recipients with different characteristics and strengths.
In 2008 representatives from the UMD Development Office contacted key Alumni members to gage Alpha's interest in putting our scholarship funds under the auspices the University of Minnesota Foundation. Hans Tronnes, Tom Kraus and Mike Dean of the Alumni Association met with the representatives several times and were very impressed with their presentation—especially the part where they would provide generous interest on the fund each year for scholarships together with a matching amount of money from a "Reaching Higher Program" at UMD. The concept was that Alpha would put our existing scholarship fund into the University of Minnesota Foundation earning 6% per year. We would be allowed to draw out 4% from the fund each year to award as scholarships which the UMD Reaching Higher Program would match resulting in a total scholarship payout of 8% of the fund each year. Furthermore, the fund would automatically increase by 2% each year based on remaining interest plus any donations made by alumni members.
This proposal was presented to the Alumni members and was officially adopted.
Each year the Foundation notifies the UMD Development Office how much money is available for scholarships from our fund interest. This is then doubled with the matching funds. A delegate from UMD serves as a member of the Alpha Alumni Scholarship Committee. That delegate together with the UMD Alumni Relations Office creates, distributes and collects applications from active chapter applicants along with transcripts and recommendation letters. The Committee then reviews applications and transcripts and conducts interviews.
The recipients and the amount of each scholarship given are decided upon by that Committee to be applied in the next academic year at UMD. The recipients are required to remain active and in good standing with the Fraternity and University during the academic year.
To date Alpha has provided 70 recipients with over $100,000 in scholarships, before and after joining the Foundation.
What is it like to receive an Alpha scholarship? Here are responses by some of our alumni recipients:
Robert L. Faulhaber #44
I am very proud of being the first recipient of the Alpha Alumni Scholarship in 1964 that was later dedicated to John L. Banks. John was my big brother when I joined Alpha and provided me with support and guidance and a great example to help me become a better Alpha, student, and man. John was a patriot and a dedicated ROTC cadet officer and in this capacity he helped this young cadet become a better cadet and USAF officer. John wanted to fly and serve his country and died doing just that. John’s memory was still very strong in all Alphas at the time.
When I was chosen to become the first recipient of the Scholarship, I was honored and humbled. The amount of this Scholarship ($100) may seem small today, but in 1964 it was a big help in my being able to complete my education. I was honored to receive the Alpha Scholarship and I am still honored to have known such a great patriot and person to whom it is now dedicated.
Leon C. Johnson #43
I was the second recipient of the Alumni Scholarship. It helped keep me in school for my senior year.
I was president of the fraternity my junior year and my focus was to help the fraternity win Outstanding Organization on Campus. It was very rewarding and clearly well-deserved as we had numerous brothers that were active in many different organizations. I had just lost my Hunt scholarship which funded much of my college costs in my first 3 years. Thankfully the fraternity Alumni came through with sorely needed help in my staying in school.
I got my college degree which helped me to eventually start my own successful CPA firm. So thank you Alpha Alumni! I am very grateful.
Michael R. Dean #59
In 1966 I became the third recipient of the Alumni scholarship after Bob Faulhaber and Leon Johnson and the first to receive it as the John L. Banks Memorial Scholarship. I still remember how honored I felt in achieving this scholarship in memory of our departed brother John L. Banks. Down through the years I found many fine brothers being awarded this scholarship, along with the Daryl B. (Brooks) Knodt Memorial Scholarship and the Warren F. (Butch) Orrick Memorial Scholarship. I was very close to both Brooks and Butch. They were great brothers. I came to know other fine brothers who were recipients that have now passed, particularly including Ron Nelson and Gary Broberg.
Our scholarship program is priceless and one of a kind in the Greek system at UMD, and is recognized as such. We need to build it up further. It is making a real difference in many ways, not only in recruiting and rushing and student financing, but at times allowing some of our best actives to stay in school. I intend to continue to support our scholarship fund. I hope you will provide support to our brothers too.
Jeffery D. Gibbens #110
In October of 1969 I received the John L. Banks scholarship from ANΩ. The attached picture shows Bob Devlin giving a check to me in the UMD physics lab. I was a physics major then. The picture was published in the UMD newspaper for publicity. (That was me on the left.)
I'm not sure how much it was worth then, but I think it was $170. That might not have been enough to buy a pocket calculator that year; they were still quite expensive and could only add, subtract, multiply, and divide. We were still using slide rules in the physics lab that year. The scholarship was nice to get, helped me with my tuition, and was good publicity and encouragement, and may have helped us with pledging. Our next pledge class was quite large, and they were a great bunch of guys. I graduated with a degree in Speech Communications in 1972. Later I graduated from the U of M as a civil engineer and worked as a Design Engineer directing design teams for MnDOT in their Metro Design Office until I retired in January 2017.
Gregory J. Schwab #124
I was the first in my family and community to attend college. I was struggling to pay tuition and make “ends meet”, as are many college students. Receiving the John L. Banks Scholarship was not only a financial boon, it also served to bolster my spirts and renew my motivation. Interestingly, getting the John L. Banks scholarship was also a portent – he was an Air Force aviator who died in Vietnam, and I subsequently served as an Air Force aviator as well.
Laird M. Goodman #172
My parents couldn't afford college tuition, so I was funding my education by working and taking out massive student loans. I wondered how I would ever pay them back. So from a practical standpoint, the scholarship meant the world to me. But it meant so much more than that. It made me reflect on the amazing sacrifice that John L. Banks gave to this country. And the fact that this great fraternity saw fit to honor his memory with a scholarship to his future brothers was an inspiration for me to honor his memory in service to the fraternity and in my community.
Scott Schnuckle #206
I received the John L. Banks scholarship in the early '80s, which covered my tuition for a quarter, then a little over $400. It meant a lot to me, as I paid the majority of my schooling costs by working and taking out loans, thus after ten years at 9% interest, it was worth significantly more than the face value of the award. While the scholarship was awarded based largely on academic performance, I also felt it recognized the dedication and work I gave our fraternity over my three plus years as an active with Alpha Nu Omega. That felt good to me even though I wasn't doing it to be recognized, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I just retired on July 1, 2020, and I am currently interviewing now, not for jobs, but for opportunities to join the boards of a couple companies I believe I can help with my background. In an interview I had just last week, I shared the comment I made when I was pursuing my first job after graduation, i.e., "I learned as much or more participating in and leading our fraternity than I did in my business school courses." It taught me valuable life and business lessons I have used my entire career. Becoming an Alpha is an opportunity to grow as an individual and understand the value of teamwork, leadership and integrity -- the potential for a scholarship makes it even more valuable.
Timothy B. McEvoy #222
For me getting an Alpha scholarship meant that I was recognized by my brothers and that I was making a contribution to the fraternity. I thought I was pretty active, but actually getting the recognition by the Alphas that came before me gave me the security that what I was doing was helpful not only to the organization, but to Greek life and UMD as a whole. I remembered being selected like it was yesterday, and it was 35 years ago.
Gregory C. Hinds #240
I was awarded the John L. Banks Scholarship in the amount of $750 prior to my senior year during the spring of 1988.
Spring 1988 ANOAA Scholarship Awards: Bob Devlin, Ron Nelson, Kris Malmberg, Tim Franklin, Karl Frederickson, Steve Noto, Greg Hinds, Jim Kiefer
The honor of receiving the John L. Banks scholarship was important to me for several reasons – some obvious and some not. Of course there was the recognition, the highlighting of a college career that had been somewhat of a roller coaster ride (“somewhat” is an understatement). But that recognition was a key milestone which indicated that I had been doing something positive, something right. I began taking academics and future planning more seriously – a reflective turning point. This was much needed personal validation.
And of course there was the financial aspect. The JLB award went a long way to paying my fall tuition. That was much appreciated by both me and my parents. The financial need was strong during those days and receiving the scholarship prior to my final year truly helped boost my situation. This was much needed financial help.
Less obvious was the additional bonding I felt to the Alpha Nu Omega organization – both the Active Chapter and Alumni Association. There I was standing with some of my closest friends from the Active Chapter being handed awards by Bob Devlin (who convinced me to pledge) and Ron Nelson (a good friend). I began to feel part of a larger organization with a richer history than our small Active Chapter. That moment cemented my desire to become a lifetime member. This was much needed personal growth.
As I write this and reflect upon my years in the Active Chapter and ANOAA, I wonder to where have the other scholarship recipients disappeared? We have an active but aging Alumni Association that would welcome and truly need former scholarship recipients as well as past Active Chapter leaders to step up and contribute. My experience in the ANOAA has been additionally rewarding – building on the foundation of my Active Chapter years.
Timothy L. Franklin #247
I was fortunate to receive the Daryl Knodt Scholarship a couple of times back in the late 1980s. I know it meant a lot to me to help pay the bills, even though college was way cheaper then. After UMD, in which I was a few classes short, and did not as they say “officially graduate” I was in the newspaper business for 30 years, from Cloquet, to Kansas, to Louisiana, then the Black Hills, in Grand Marais, followed by working for a media company in Duluth. After 9/11, I lost my job and with some help from my parents, bought my first newspaper. In the spring of 2019, after building my company, I sold six of my seven businesses, four of these newspapers, one large shopper and an aviation magazine, based in Sandstone.
During these years, it really bugged me that I did not graduate, and after looking at it a couple of times, I took 16 credits in the spring of 2019, at the same time as compiling financial data for the sale, and finished with a 4.0 GPA after being right around 2.0 during my first go around at UMD. This allowed me to graduate a few months before my youngest daughter did. Listening to the speeches that day, I learned with a college degree I could make a lot more money! Funny. After selling, I am slowing down, and a manager for a Fortune 500 lumber yard in the Black Hills as a fun job.
When going back to school, I really learned how much college is today, probably around four times as much as 30 years ago. These scholarships are so important to our members, whether they graduate this year, or take a 30 year break, before finishing their college degree.
Mark S. Thompson #250
I received the Daryl B. Knodt scholarship back in the late ‘80s while I was active in the fraternity. I received a $600 scholarship that went a long way for me back then, as the costs were always rising and the student loans and grants were not cutting it completely. I was a very active member in the fraternity and enjoyed my college years with my brothers immensely. These scholarships help, and continue to help many Alpha Nu members, and are a great way to reward deserving Alphas for their loyalty and brotherhood to the Alpha Nu family.
I do not know how it is now concerning membership and such, but I can remember back when I was there, we were the strongest and most active fraternity on campus. The rivalry with the other frats was a great era for the school and our activities with the sororities was quite memorable.
I am grateful for my time with Alpha Nu and for receiving such an honorable scholarship (the Daryl B. Knodt) as he was a legendary Alpha Nu. In Brotherhood, take care.
Dr. M. Troy Schomaker #283
I had the privilege of receiving the Daryl B. Knodt scholarship in 1989. College is crazy expensive and it really helped at the time to pay for books and such. I did not have a lot of loans and had to work a ton to pay for portions of my schooling. The Alpha Nu scholarships are a huge bonus to help lighten the financial load a bit.
My time as an Alpha Nu was the most memorable part of my college experience at UMD and I would recommend it to anyone.
After UMD I went to the U of M Twin Cities campus and finished my undergraduate studies with a bachelors in human anatomy and human physiology. Then went on to Graduate School at Northwestern College of Chiropractic and got my doctorate degree. I’ve been in active private practice at Schomaker Chiropractic Clinic in Elk River for the past 24 years. Man, time flies but it doesn’t seem like that long ago I was singing outside the cafeteria for the active members as a pledge myself.
Thanks to all my Alpha Nu brothers that made my college experience so memorable and rewarding.
Michael E. Noto #281
I went to UMD from 1988 - 1993 and pledged the fraternity in the Spring of 1989 and loved every minute of it. I held a few positions with the fraternity including Pledgemaster, Vice President and President and a few chair positions. After leaving college, I continued on with the Alumni association as a board member and specifically treasurer for a number of years.
I had a great time at UMD and being a part of the fraternity doing service projects and also working with the university on a number of larger service initiatives and events. All linked through Alpha Nu. Throughout my time I was honored by the Alumni Association for receiving all 3 of the scholarships available. The recognition from the John L. Banks and Daryl B. Knodt awards was great not only for the money that I received, which was great, but for the awareness of the effort I put into academics, participation in the fraternity as well as the university. I felt that the work that I was doing was not going unnoticed from the Alumni organization.
In 1993 I was honored again by the Alumni to be the first recipient of the Warren F. Orrick award which really meant a lot. The award, which is intended for the long time service and commitment to the fraternity and the university, was a great way to end my college career. I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Butch a few years earlier at a reunion and the tie back to understanding who he was and what he stood for still remains with me today and makes the award very special to me.
Steven R. Larson #340
After pledging in 1996, I quickly engaged in being an active member of the fraternity by participating in our events, becoming a pledge father to several recruits, and holding many positions over the years, including President and Pledgemaster.
In my senior year I received the Daryl B. Knodt scholarship for my years of participation in the fraternity. It meant a lot to me to have earned this scholarship. As my brothers before me had always said, “What you give to the fraternity is what you get back.” Receiving the Daryl B. Knodt scholarship just solidified the idea that not only is Alpha Nu cultivating a great social experience while in college, but is also providing financial recognition for members’ contributions and achievements during their years at UMD.
Jason Golde #345
Back in the late '90s, you could still attend UMD without incurring overwhelming debt even with limited family funding. But at least for me, scholarships were essential in keeping that amount manageable. It was an honor to receive the John L. Banks III, and I hope I’m able to contribute to passing that along to future generations.
Isaac Winter #397
I graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and two minors in History and International Studies. I joined Alpha Nu Omega in the fall of 2015 as a transferring sophomore. I joined Alpha Nu due to the fact that this fraternity had everything I wanted in a social organization: a historical beginning, valuing education and internships, and a network of brothers and brotherhood. I received the John L. Banks scholarship which was in total $9,000 over the span of two years. This money helped pay for my tuition, books, housing, and other expenses. I am continuously thankful for the fraternity and the Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Foundation for its generosity and the ability to expand my knowledge.
As I look back during those undergraduate years (which is merely two years ago but seems like centuries), I am fortunate enough to be able to stumble upon this amazing fraternity and everything it has to offer a college student. Overall, I will always support the local chapter and the alumni foundation in its endeavors (even if includes buying copious amounts of beer for a celebration at Motabo).
Over the years, what has Alpha Nu Omega gained from this scholarship program?
The Active Chapter gets and keeps members to be emulated who have high standards.
Recipients are able to ease the burden of education expenses.
Recipients are instilled with a pride that they have been judged worthy of the ideals set down by the scholarship they have received.
And the Active Chapter gets a recruiting tool as the only fraternity on campus to offer scholarships to its members.
What have the Alumni Association and its members gained from this scholarship program?
Providing scholarships is the glue that has kept the brotherhood of Alpha Alumni and the active chapter strong for 60 years.
The program has provided a reminder for alumni of their time on campus when the direction of their life was altered by joining a unique organization.
There is pride in providing scholarships with the principles of Alpha they embraced to those that need support.
And there is a satisfaction that they have supported a worthy process that will supersede their existence.
My Scholarship Spirit time is dwindling. If your spirit is already rekindled, you can share it by donating to the Alpha Scholarship Fund through the Alpha Alumni Association website. There are already a number of easy payment methods listed by clicking the icon below. We invite you to provide an extra donation to the fund for your many years of neglect. Remember, all dues and donations are tax deductible because we are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Click on this Icon to View Donation Options
Otherwise, be prepared for the next spirit – The Spirit of Scholarship Present – who will soon be coming…..
Contact the Alpha Alumni Association:
Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Secretary
28W181 Belleau Drive
Winfield, IL 60190 Alpha Alumni Email
If you'd like to unsubscribe from receiving future Alpha Nu Omega newsletters, please send an email to the above email address with the subject line 'Please Remove From Alpha Nu Omega Newsletter mailing list'.
Did one of your fraternity brothers not receive this newsletter? Share it with them!