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Cyrus Scholarship Program under new leadership after 30 years

CYRUS, Minn. -- Fred Switzer, who has been administrator of the Cyrus Scholarship Program for the past 30 years, is retiring from the program and passing the leadership to a former Cyrus student, Alan Estenson. Estenson was a recipient of the scholarship 26 years ago and has been active as a member of the selection committee for many years.

The scholarship will remain the same, providing $6,000 for the first two years of college and $8,000 for years three and four. In addition, funds at $8,000 per year may be provided for graduate school for two years at the request of the student. The scholarship also provides funds the first year to purchase computer equipment, providing 50 percent of a maximum of $3,000.

To be eligible, the student must attend the University of Minnesota and be accepted into the College of Science and Engineering, refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs, maintain a grade point average which allows the student to remain in the college and continue to be a full-time student.

For the 2013-14 school year, three students were awarded scholarships: Jamie Smith from Minnewaska Area High School, Nicholas Heseltine from Jefferson High School and Tahni Jungst from Morris Area High School.

The scholarship is funded by a foundation established by a former student of the Cyrus School, Richard Hanschen.

The foundation has provided educational funding for students in the area for the past thirty years. Approximately 50 students have been assisted with college funding in the amount of approximately $700,000.

Hanschen is a generous man who was very proud of his years in the Cyrus school and has a desire to assist the very high achieving students who live here in Central Minnesota.