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Couple donate $250,000 to MSUM

MOORHEAD - A couple who attended Minnesota State University Moorhead in the 1950s and '60s as nontraditional students have given $250,000 to the university to benefit future students.

MOORHEAD - A couple who attended Minnesota State University Moorhead in the 1950s and '60s as nontraditional students have given $250,000 to the university to benefit future students.

Clair and Ardy Peterson, who combined have a teaching career of more than 60 years, donated the endowed gift to the MSUM Alumni Foundation.

The endowment can be used for student scholarships, building projects, college programs and other unmet needs.

Ardy, 76, who was an elementary teacher at Lincoln and Carl Ben Eielson schools in Fargo, called the donation a "payback" to MSUM.

"Because if it wouldn't have been for them, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did," Ardy said.

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The Petersons came to what was then called Moorhead State Teachers College after Clair served four years in the U.S. Navy. They had three young children and lived in married student housing.

Clair earned a degree in business education and history in 1958 and earned his master's degree in business law and economics in 1967.

After their three oldest children started school, Ardy went from full-time homemaker to college student. She graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1965.

Clair, who spent 30 years with Moorhead Public Schools as chairman of business education, said he recalls MSUM faculty members who went out of their way to help the nontraditional students.

"We could have gone by the wayside," Clair said.

Along with their gift, the Petersons issued a challenge to other MSUM alumni to donate to the university.

"Remember, education paves the road to a better future," Clair said. "Together, we can pave a lot of roads."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

Related Topics: EDUCATIONMOORHEAD
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