Robert Erickson's final 53-campus bike tour raises $31,602 to aid part-time students
September 21, 2007
Contact: Melinda Voss, (651) 296-9443, email@example.com
Robert Erickson, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, has raised $31,602 on his sixth and final 2,300-mile bike tour to create scholarships for part-time students. To date, Erickson has raised more than $335,000 over six years.
Erickson, 61, who rode his bicycle to the 53 state college and university campuses, completed his tour Thursday at Normandale Community College in Bloomington. He has announced that this is his last campus bike tour. During this year's ride, he was received with police escorts, barbeques, receptions and other fund-raising efforts.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation and college and university foundations will distribute scholarships with donations generated from the bike tour.
During his monthlong bike ride, Erickson spoke about the challenges of part-time adult students who he says are not treated fairly by Minnesota's current financial aid program. About 41 percent of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students are enrolled part-time. The average age of part-time students is 29.
A former trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system's Board of Trustees, Erickson also served as senior vice president for finance and operations for the University of Minnesota from 1991 to 1995 and worked as a senior executive for SuperValu for 16 years.
"Bob's willingness to ride nearly 14,000 miles to focus attention on the needs of part-time students is unparalleled," said Catherine McGlinch, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation executive director. "We cannot thank him enough for his dedication to this cause. In hanging up his biking shoes for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, he should know that he has made a profound difference for hundreds of students."
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that works with institutional foundations to advocate for the system and to raise and distribute funds for the benefit of students, programs and communities.
Contributions, which are tax deductible as charitable contributions, may be made to the foundations of individual Minnesota State Colleges and Universities or to the system's foundation. To make a contribution, donors may send it directly to one of the institutional foundations or to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th St. E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 240,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 135,000 students in non-credit courses.