News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

Pasekas Donate $5 Million to MSUM

Posted on February 24, 2015

Business School Renamed Paseka School of Business

Pictured L to R: Dean Marsha Weber, Carolyn and Rodney Paseka, President Anne Blackhurst.

Pictured L to R: Dean Marsha Weber, Carolyn and Rodney Paseka, President Anne Blackhurst.

Rodney and Carolyn Paseka have donated $5 million to Minnesota State University Moorhead’s School of Business. Located in the Center for Business, the school will be renamed the Paseka School of Business in honor of this generous gift.

The Paseka’s philanthropy will extend beyond the naming of the Paseka School of Business. The Rodney and Carolyn Paseka School of Business Endowment will provide support for students into perpetuity, with at least 80 percent of this endowment to be applied to scholarships for Paseka School of Business students.

Other uses for the remaining funds could include student/faculty research, student competitions, applied learning experiences, faculty positions and development, program development and speakers series.

Paskeas“The School of Business has a long history of excellence; many graduates from the business programs are in highly successful and visible careers,” said Dean Marsha Weber, College of Business and Innovation. “The School of Business is accredited by AACSB, the premier accrediting agency for business schools in the world. This generous gift will help us elevate our tradition of excellence in student-centered education, community service, and innovative programs.”

The Pasekas believe in the power of education to transform lives, and they have consistently demonstrated that philosophy by sponsoring annual scholarships in the School of Business and in Nursing. Both have been awarded to single mothers, as the Pasekas believe an education is the surest way to break the cycle of poverty.

“Rodney and Carolyn have been loyal supporters of MSUM for many years. This generous gift to the School of Business is historic and truly transformative,” said MSUM President Anne Blackhurst. “We are honored the Pasekas believe MSUM is worth their investment. Our students will benefit from their gift for years to come. Fostering partnerships and growing relationships is an important priority of my presidency, and the Paseka gift demonstrates the momentum and excitement we are building with our valued alumni and business leaders.”

Rodney and Carolyn Paseka

Both Rodney and Carolyn have strong ties to MSUM stretching back many years.

Rodney, a Georgetown, Minn., native and Moorhead High School graduate, earned MSUM degrees in Accounting and Business Administration in 1971 before beginning his career as a salesman with Can-Tex Industries. He joined Hebron Brick as sales manager in 1978, and in 1986, became one of three company owners and its Chief Executive Officer.

FullSizeRenderRodney is a visionary credited with transforming an aging manufacturing company in a mature industry and revitalizing it to become a top 10 percent brick plant in the country in terms of technology. Today, Hebron Brick is the only manufacturer of brick in North Dakota and one of the most successful brick companies in the Upper Midwest.

After Rodney became sole owner in 1999, he took a huge technological leap by becoming one of the first North Dakota companies to significantly use robotics. His leadership and vision brought Hebron Brick into the 21st century and catapulted the company from $4 million in sales annually to more than $40 million in sales annually in 2014.

Under Rodney’s leadership, Hebron Brick emerged as a nimble and specialized player in a market of competitors with massive resources. In addition to introducing robotics to the manufacturing plant, he directed efforts toward providing architectural products for commercial projects and developing new product lines to grow the business. The company’s ancient veins of extraordinary clay and state-of-the-art brick plant continue to yield a distinctive variety of colors and enable Hebron Brick Company to offer a wealth of options in fine brick.

His commitment to quality and adaptability has secured the future of this 111-year-old company, which in its history has survived bankruptcy, fire, two world wars and the Great Depression. Today, Hebron Brick thrives—with 80 percent of its brick distributed to 40 states and Canada, and with seven retail centers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Learn more about Hebron Brick Company at

At 69, Rodney remains a dynamic CEO with an eye toward transforming the brick industry. He is an avid golfer and wine connoisseur.

Carolyn (nee Jacobson) is a Moorhead native and a graduate of Moorhead High School. She attended MSUM and also worked 10 years at Northwestern Bell before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She later began her career at MSUM as a senior clerk in the offices of Financial Aid, Affirmative Action, Philosophy and Publications. She retired from MSUM in 2001 after a 15-year career.

Carolyn is a volunteer with Heirlooms and enjoys Mahjong, book club, entertaining and photography.

Rodney and Carolyn married in 2001 and together have four children and four grandchildren. They are generous with their time and talent and are passionate world travelers, having visited all seven continents.

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