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A photo of Larry and Nancy Bentson who gave the U a $10 million gift--its largest ever.

Larry and Nancy Bentson gave the U a $10 million gift--its largest ever for scholarship.

U receives its largest scholarship gift

by the University of Minnesota Foundation

From eNews, December 4, 2003

In 2002, Nancy and Larry Bentson made a $10 million bequest to Campaign Minnesota to fund undergraduate scholarships at the U. But the Bentsons were able to give their money much sooner than expected--allowing them to meet the students they're helping. Their gift is the U's largest ever for scholarships. The Bentson Family Scholarships will provide students with at least $5,000 a year for four years and will eventually support about 100 students annually. The scholarships will be awarded to promising incoming students with a financial need, and a preference will be given to students of the Jewish faith. "We are delighted to be able to make this gift now so that we can help the University and its students sooner than expected," says Larry Bentson. "Our interest in helping students dates back generations in our family, when my maternal grandmother established an endowed scholarship in 1949. Also, our many successes, personally and professionally, are rooted in our University of Minnesota education." Larry Bentson graduated from the U in 1943 with an engineering degree and his wife from the medical technology program in 1945. The Bentsons began giving to the University in 1977 and have supported the pediatrics department, the KDWB University Pediatrics Family Center, a fellowship in pediatric cardiology, and student scholarships. In 1989, they established the Ruben-Bentson Chair in Pediatrics. They have also volunteered their time in many fund-raising activities at the University. "This extraordinary gift from the Bentsons couldn't come at a better time, given increased competition among colleges and universities for top students, and increases in the cost of higher education," says U President Bob Bruininks. "[It] will make it possible for us to attract many more talented students every year and keep the doors of opportunity open for future generations." To learn more about how gifts are used and who gives to the U and why, see

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