President Anne’s donation keeps on giving

President Anne’s workday usually begins from home before 6 a.m. and often ends well into the evening. Her days include non-stop meetings on and off campus; multiple travel trips in and out of state; and frequent evening and weekend school-sponsored events and activities. She gets a lot of use out of her parking spot next to Owens Hall.

So it was a generous offer last spring when she donated that parking spot to the annual Spring Scholarship Gala to raise money for student scholarships.

Bob Bowlsby ’75 (health and physical education) and Big 12 Conference Commissioner, won a bid for the parking spot and gifted it to Athletic Director Doug Peters for the month of February 2017.

But rather than enjoying the parking spot himself, Doug had a better idea – an idea inspired by a day spent with Bowlsby in 2009, who at the time was the Stanford Athletic Director.

“I still have the ticket stub from the Stanford vs. UCLA Basketball game we went to that night to remind me what I learned from Bob that day as it was one of the most impactful days of my professional career,” Doug said. “I was with Bob literally all day long and it is imprinted in my mind how he interacted with the people he worked with and the genuine relationship he had with everyone we came in contact with – his administrative staff, coaching staff, student-athletes, faculty members, facility staff – just everyone. I saw how people responded when they were respected and appreciated and thought to myself I want to be in an environment like that.”

Building on Pres. Anne’s commitment to creating a culture of respect and appreciation for the entire campus community, Doug chose to share the parking spot with several employees who also work in close proximity to Owens.

“It was a great idea to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy it,” Pres. Anne said.

Doug parked in the coveted spot on February 1, followed by long-time administrative assistant Sherry Estrem who parked in the spot for a week.

“I keep coming back to how the university has as its core values grit, humility and heart, and I have seen Anne model those values. But it became more personal to me as she gave away her parking spot during the coldest month of the year to employees,” Sherry said. “She truly does have the heart for this university and the people who work here. I very much appreciated the opportunity to park in her spot.”

“I would not expect anything less from a university that exemplifies grit, humility and heart.” – Sarah Jegela

Others have been assigned days with more to come, Doug said. Associate Registrar Sarah Jegela is parking there today.

“It is beyond amazing President Anne generously offered her parking spot to help raise money for scholarships. AVP Peters then went out of his way to share the spot to show his appreciation for the hard work each of us does to make this university a special place. It makes me proud to represent MSUM,” Sarah said. “And I have to admit, I was so excited I even washed my car!”

“Every day I get to work with people who love MSUM and are passionate about transforming lives and it gets me fired up to be part of recognizing the energy and effort they bring to our campus community in this small way,” Doug said.