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Happy 135!: CLA commemorates its age with uncommon goal

CLA commemorates its age with uncommon goal

By Pauline Oo

From M, winter 2005

It may seem odd to celebrate a 135-year milestone. Mostly we save our hooplas for big round numbers like 50, or 100, or 150. But, hey, any excuse for a party--and for the College of Liberal Arts to address the pressing need for scholarships in tight times.

CLA turned 135 years old in 2004, and it's determined to honor its birthday by creating 135 new scholarships by fall 2005.

"It may be an uncommon anniversary to celebrate," says Mary Hicks, CLA development director, "but CLA is an uncommon college," having graduated the likes of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, up-and-coming actress Kimberly Elise, NPR national security correspondent Tom Gjelten, Magnetic Poetry inventor David Kapell, Timberwolves Vice President Kevin McHale, and radio personality Garrison Keillor.

"We're taking this opportunity to reflect upon where we've been, to acknowledge what's been accomplished, and especially, to dream about how each of us can make a difference for students for the next 135 years," says Hicks.

In a recent U survey, students reported working more hours to pay for their college education. Tuition and fees for an undergraduate on the Twin Cities campus total just over $8,000 this year--a 31 percent increase from the 2001-02 price tag of $5, 500 and a far cry from the $4 to $6 that students paid when the U first opened its doors.

"With scholarship support our students don't have to work 20-30 hours every week in addition to managing a challenging course load," says Hicks. " They can focus on learning, not on making ends meet."

Forget about waiting for its 150 birthday, 135 years, and 135 new scholarships, are a good enough reason for CLA to celebrate.

To learn more about the CLA scholarship drive, call Mary Hicks at 612-625-5541 or e-mail

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