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It didn't take Easton Stick long to reciprocate scholarship gift from Fargo couple

Former Bison quarterback started endowment fund for NDSU football players

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Easton Stick is giving back to North Dakota State in the form of an endowment for football.
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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FARGO — The annual scholarship luncheon hosted by North Dakota State had a long lasting effect on Easton Stick. If he ever got a chance to endow a football scholarship, he thought to himself, he was going to do it.

It came sooner than he could ever imagine.

NDSU last week announced the Easton Stick Football Endowment, a fund that will create a full scholarship to be awarded to a Bison football player on an annual basis. Stick, a backup quarterback with the Los Angeles Chargers, is just 26 years old.

“Shoot, I’m playing football for a living,” Stick said. “I’m just incredibly grateful and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m thankful for this place; it’s provided me with a ton of opportunities and it’s a big reason why I’m still getting a chance to play. I’m aware of that and I’m grateful.”

So are Ken and Jan Promersberger, the Fargo couple who established an endowment in 2014 in which Stick was twice a recipient. It developed into more than just a hey-thank-you relationship between Stick and the Promersbergers.

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They became friends, with the Promersbergers inviting Stick to their Pelican Lake cabin on a couple of occasions.

“I think he benefited from our financial gift, but I think we benefited from knowing a little more about him and what he’s all about,” Ken Promersberger said. “It means something to help somebody who has a lot of strong characteristics.”

That isn’t always the case in Ken’s experience in the business world. He is president of The Promersberger Company, which specializes in advertising and websites among other ventures.

“You can have great talent, but if you don’t work hard or have a collaborative mindset or have a great attitude, it’s probably not going to work out that well,” Ken said. “I’ve worked with many people with great talent, but didn’t have the other things quite as strong as them and that presents a little bit of a problem.”

That’s not the case with Stick, who will be entering his fourth season with the Chargers. He’ll be fighting for the backup to starter Justin Herbert when training camp opens in July.

Stick is signed to a four-year $2.8 million contract. That’s not huge by any means by NFL standards, but he started his endowment nonetheless.

“That probably shows his character as much as anything,” Ken Promersberger said. “Not that giving money is a character value, but it shows he appreciates where he came from and all the guidance he got when he played at NDSU. Sometimes, that takes young people a little longer to figure out.”

Stick’s endowment is part of an ever-growing athletic scholarship endowment fund that NDSU continues to stockpile. It’s currently at almost $71 million with the university targeting a $125 million goal that would fund every athletic scholarship at NDSU.

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The Promersberger endowment didn’t stop with Stick; quarterback Trey Lance and receiver Phoenix Sproles have also been recipients.

Ken Promersberger joked he is a ticket to the NFL for Bison players.

“You get to know them and ultimately they provided me an opportunity to do what I wanted to do and chase what I wanted to do,” Stick said. “No strings attached. They never knew me and that meant a lot to me.”

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Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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