Walter L. Youngquist, a 1942 alumnus of Gustavus Adolphus College, recently made two separate gifts to the college totaling $500,000.
One gift in the amount of $200,000 will be added to the Robert Eric Youngquist Memorial Scholarship Endowment which was established earlier this year to assist students who have overcome physical or mental handicap to be successful at Gustavus.
The second gift in the amount of $300,000 will honor Youngquist’s father by establishing the Walter R. Youngquist Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund. Specifically, this new gift will be awarded to students with financial need, taking into consideration the qualities of dependability, persistence, and stability in personally adverse circumstances.
Walter R. Youngquist overcame humble beginnings to build a lengthy resume of impressive and respected positions in society. After spending days walking behind a plow pulled by oxen and trapping muskrats to sell their skins for ten cents each in Saskatchewan, Youngquist decided to enroll at Gustavus.
Completely self-supportive, the elder Youngquist graduated from Gustavus in 1916 and briefly taught history and served as superintendent of schools in Taylors Falls, Minn. After serving in the Army during World War I, Youngquist entered the savings and loan business in Minneapolis, where he eventually expanded the First Federal Savings and Loan Association to a $160 million organization.
Through all of his success in Minneapolis, the elder Youngquist never turned his back on Gustavus. He established and raised funds for the Greater Gustavus Endowment Corporation (now the Greater Gustavus Fund), served on the college’s board of trustees, and provided the first $5,000 to establish an arboretum on campus. He also sent his two children — Walter L. and Jeanne ’52 — to Gustavus, from which they both graduated.
Walter L. Youngquist is now responsible for five different endowed funds at Gustavus. Besides the two endowment funds associated with this most recent gift, Youngquist has also established the Chester O. Johnson and Walter L. Youngquist Geology Student Research/Field Study Endowment Fund, the Chester O. Johnson Geology Scholarship Endowment Fund, and the Elizabeth Pearson Youngquist Music Scholarship Endowment Fund, which is part of the Jussi Björling Music Scholarship.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin