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Giving the Gift of an Education

May 18, 2019

A longtime supporter of Mendocino College has established a new perpetual scholarship in honor of his late wife, Mary Lou Koeninger.  The Mary Lou Koeninger Memorial Scholarship will provide an annual $1,000 scholarship to a student enrolled in earth sciences at Mendocino College.

Wade Koeninger and his family established the scholarship to continue their legacy of providing every student with an opportunity to obtain an education.  "We believe that each person in our society should have the opportunity to attend college.  We know that students often need help enrolling in or just staying in school.  Receiving financial help is often the deciding factor that determines if a student continues their education and ultimately completes." Stated Wade.

"Several years ago during a drive to Anderson Valley Elementary School, I had the opportunity to ask Wade why he and Mary Lou were so incredibly generous.  He told me the story about how several local citizens in their small Oklahoma town helped him pursue a college degree.  Mary Lou and he never forgot that generosity and how it changed their lives for the better.  They decided to pay that generosity forward and have been doing so ever since.   They created the Adopt-A- Fifth Grader program (originally started at Hopland Elementary School) which now is under the umbrella of the foundation and has grown to include almost 500 alumni.   The couple are avid supporters of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and the learning environment it creates for students in the sciences.  There is a long list of items they have quietly and unassumingly supported to simply help students achieve.  On behalf of the Foundation Board of Directors and Mendocino College Board of Trustees we are honored to receive this gift from Wade and family, stated Executive Director, Katie Fairbairn."

"The Koeninger's have been incredibly generous legacy givers to the college and foundation.  They know that our college is a small society built on relationships, lifelong friendships, and is a place of intellectual and cultural enrichment, a worthy investment for generous benefactors such as the Koeninger's.  We are extremely grateful for their generosity and stewardship," stated Foundation President, Marilyn Harden.

The Mendocino College Foundation's endowed scholarship funds begin at $25,000. Donated funds are invested in the Mendocino College Foundation's investment funds, and only interest generated from the donation is used for scholarship dollars. The original corpus itself is never spent, so Mary Lou's scholarship will exist in perpetuity.

For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any Mendocino College Foundation program, please contact Katie Fairbairn, Executive Director at kfairbairn@mendocino.edu<mailto:kfairbairn@mendocino.edu> or call 707-468-3164.

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