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Dragon Student-Athletes Receive Scholarship Support

Dragon athletes from Minnesota State University Moorhead receive scholarship dollars thanks to a gift from Sanford Health.

(Moorhead, MN) - A long-term and stable source of scholarship dollars for Minnesota State University Moorhead student-athletes is being made available thanks to a gift from Sanford Health. The health care firm today announced a contribution of $2 million for Dragon student-athlete scholarships.

“It requires huge time commitments for our student-athletes to be as successful as they are in their studies and on the fields of athletic competition,” President Edna Mora Szymanski said. “The scholarships that will come from this Sanford Health contribution will allow our student-athletes to focus their time on these priorities and lessen the pressure to find other resources to pay for their education.”

Sanford Health has partnered with Dragon Athletics for 18 years to provide sports medicine services to its 16 varsity sports and two spirit squads, which are comprised of more than 300 student-athletes. 

“A thriving athletics program and high-quality academics are two important keys to success for a university. Sanford’s investment in student-athlete scholarships goes to the heart of both. Successful student-athletes build great programs. The value of a full scholarship at MSUM is incredibly affordable and, as such, our investment in this manner can go a long way,” Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said.

Very few of the 100,000 student-athletes competing at the NCAA Division II level receive a full athletics grant that covers all of their expenses, but most will receive some financial aid to help them through school. For the rest of their expenses, student-athletes are on their own—using academic scholarships, student loans and employment earnings just like most other students attending the institution.

MSUM student-athletes have a higher GPA and graduation rate than the general student body at MSUM. The largest areas of academic focus for Dragon student-athletes in the past several years has been in what is known as the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math, and also in business and education.  

“Our athletic department is the front porch of our university,” MSUM Athletic Director Doug Peters said. “On our campus, Dragon Athletics is a leader in academic performance, retention, diversity, and community engagement and service. Sanford Health is directly contributing to our ability to continue to impact our university in these areas.” 

The Sanford gift will be distributed as $200,000 per year for the next ten years.

“Sanford Health looks forward to continuing its partnership with this investment in student-athlete scholarships,” Krabbenhoft said. “MSU Moorhead has a reputation for developing excellent students who will become the next generation of employees for many businesses throughout the region. Sanford Health encourages students to consider careers in healthcare, including those in areas such as information technology, healthcare leadership and many other ancillary healthcare related opportunities. We feel the future at MSU Moorhead is very bright.”

For more information about MSU Moorhead, visit
David Wahlberg | Executive Director Marketing/Communications
(218) 477.2175 |

Sanford Media Relations:
(701) 200-6080