Minnesota State University Moorhead has awarded its first Presidential Merit Scholarship to Morgan Stoffel, a senior at Andover High School. The scholarship, valued at $40,000 over a four-year period, is the most prestigious scholarly award for new students at MSUM.

The competitive award requires admission to MSUM with a minimum ACT score of 30 and a minimum high school GPA of 3.8. As part of the scholarship, Stoffel will also have opportunities for leadership experiences, and interactions with a senior administrator mentor.

President Anne Blackhurst initiated the Presidential Merit Scholarship during her inauguration in September 2014. Laps for the Long Run, a unique and unprecedented fundraiser, jump started the challenge with Blackhurst personally pledging $1,000 per lap for a total of $50,000 toward the Presidential Merit Scholarship Endowment. 

“As a campus community, we are passionate about our commitment to helping students pursue their goals through an MSUM education,” President Blackhurst said. “I believe our students are worth the investment as much as I believe MSUM is worth their investment.”

Stoffel, who was selected based on her academic achievement and commitment to school, civic and community involvement, plans to major in gerontology. She is active in student government and National Honor Society, and extracurricular activities include climbing club, lacrosse, tennis, Spanish and art.

She volunteers at Arbor Oaks Senior Living, where she plans and implements enrichment activities.

“Even if it is just for an hour or two, spending time with residents, seeing their smiles and how much it means to them to have volunteers who are invested in their life is truly rewarding,” Stoffel wrote in her scholarship essay.