Story written by Naomi Mortensen, Donor Relations Associate in Advancement
Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Those who remember Nicholas Greve ’07 would agree that his 26 years were lived to the fullest and knowing him enhanced their years in return.
After his accidental drowning in 2010, his family, friends, co-workers, and clients established the Boulay, Heutmaker, and Zibell Scholarship in Memory of Nick Greve. This past summer the Greve family, friends, co-workers, and members of the Gustavus community gathered to celebrate Nick’s life and dedicate a bench in his honor outside of Beck Academic Hall.
Nick grew up in Annandale, Minn., the middle son of David and Sandy Greve. Their memories of him depict a warm-hearted, giving, and happy child. Like his brothers Ben and Tim, Nick was a man of few words, who was known for his big smile and a one-of-a-kind golf swing. He pursued the things he wanted in life with precision and passion. This included searching for the right college and eventually the ideal career.
“He wanted to go to a college that had good connections with the Twin Cities businesses, had a strong business program, and felt like a community,” said Sandy. After visiting a few campuses, Gustavus rose to the top of his list.
On the Hill, Nick excelled in academics, athletics, and creating friendships. By the time he graduated, Nick was one of the top golfers on the men’s golf team and was receiving job offers from accounting firms in the Twin Cities. He chose to become an auditor with Boulay, an accounting, tax, consulting, and wealth management services firm in Eden Prairie, because of its excellent reputation, opportunities for growth, young employees, and family-friendly environment.
“Nick was a rising star in our firm,” says Boulay managing partner Mark DeNucci. “He had what I like to call the big three: big eyes, big smile, and a big heart. He was one of our most requested auditors. Clients wanted him at their offices and co-workers wanted him on their teams. He was well on his way to becoming a partner in our firm one day.”
Outside of the office, DeNucci and Nick enjoyed connecting on the golf course. They even participated in a few golf tournament fundraisers for Gustavus athletics with other employees. DeNucci said it was these adventures outside of work that created some of his favorite memories and made the announcement of his passing so difficult.
“It was the hardest thing I have done in my 36 years with the company,” said DeNucci. “Everyone came together—firm partners, employees, and clients—to establish this scholarship in memory of Nick. It was truly a company-wide initiative. And even after we started the scholarship, people wanted to do more.”
Aside from the scholarship and bench at Gustavus, the Greve family also hosts an annual golf tournament, which Boulay employees attend. The funds raised at that event provide scholarships to seniors from Annandale High School.
Sandy, Dave, and their family have been touched by the outpouring of affection and generosity that continues to carry forward today. According to Sandy, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the spirit of gratitude and giving that was strong in Nick since he was a child. She remembers a particular time when the two of them were working on a school project.
“In the middle of it he stopped what he was doing, looked at me, and said, ‘There’s a lot of kids that don’t have what we have. I’m so lucky,’” recalls Sandy. “It struck me because most kids that age don’t express appreciation for things like that.”
It’s the Gustavus community that has been most blessed by Nick’s legacy. The scholarship has supported the dreams of three accounting majors and the bench has become a place of discussion and reflection for students, faculty, and staff. But Nick’s greatest gift has certainly been a life well lived.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin