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Opening doors of opportunity

From M, summer 2004

When Marian Cordiner arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1965 to start graduate school in the child development program, she had more on her mind than just academics. "I had just come to town and I didn't know anyone," she recalls. "I was raising two kids alone and I was trying to cope with all of the change." Finances were tight for Cordiner, and though she was able to pay her first year's tuition, she knew she wouldn't be able to pay the following year's. But to her surprise and relief, the University awarded her financial aid in the form of a tuition waiver. "If they hadn't done that, I probably wouldn't have been able to continue," she says. That financial assistance gave Cordiner the chance to finish her degree and go on to become a child psychologist. Now retired and living in Arizona, she wanted to repay the University for the opportunity she had been given. To that end, she's giving to a scholarship fund that will help American Indian students--students who are motivated but need a little bit of help, just like she did nearly 40 years ago. "There is pure pleasure in knowing that somebody--many somebodies, over the years--will get this scholarship and say thank you," says Cordiner. "I knew that after I'd raised my kids and had a few nickels, I had a responsibility to give back and help others. And I hope those that I have helped will do the same for others in the future."

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