By Kristin Johnson
Although she was never a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Jan Mahoney quickly became a member of the Dragon family during her position as VP of Finance and Administration at the university. She deeply enjoyed her time in that role, which began in 2010 and lasted until her retirement a few years later. She got to know students, grew relationships with colleagues and enjoyed watching the athletic teams compete. She also watched the MSUM Foundation develop into an organization in which she became very proud of. Most notable in her mind were the scholarship dollars being raised and the impactful outreach with alums and donors. “It was inspiring to watch,” she said. MSUM was heading in a positive direction, and the addition of President Anne Blackhurst was icing on the cake in her mind. “I became even more passionate about the university when she came on board,” she said.
Feeling her Dragon pride, Jan wanted to make an impact, and realized she could do so by giving to the MSUM Foundation. Athletics have always played a big part in her life, from watching her sons play football, to following the Dragon basketball teams all the way to the post-season tournament, but Jan came from the pre-Title IX generation in which athletics weren’t allowed for women. Had she been given the opportunity to compete when she was younger, she believes she would have excelled. Instead, she donates to the general Dragon Athletics fund, which helps with scholarships and other necessities for the department. “Now I can kind of live through the athletes, and maybe what might have been for me,” she said. “It pulls at my heartstrings to see their success and makes me proud.”
Jan’s impact doesn’t just stop at Dragon Athletics. Over the years, she has also contributed to the Foundation’s Spring Scholarship Gala and has left part of her estate to MSUM in her will. “I can continue to be a part of my Dragon family through my giving,” she said. Jan is also a current member of the MSUM Foundation’s Board of Directors, playing an integral role in important decisions that affect scholarships, investments, future projects, and more at MSUM. To her, it’s important to keep playing an active role in the university that she loves. “I so value the values MSUM has: Grit, Humility and Heart. How can that not be inspiring?”