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Dennis and Gail Mathisen Fund Student Scholarship

Dennis Mathisen (class of 1966) is well aware of the importance of public universities and the educational opportunities they present. "The U of M Law School provided me with a wonderful and irreplaceable education," says Dennis, the first in his family to attend college.

He also has had first-hand experience with the struggle of paying for his education. Those memories and a generous spirit prompted Dennis and his wife Gail to create a $1 million endowment fund at the Law School.

The Dennis and Gail Mathisen Scholarship Fund will provide meaningful assistance to high-achieving new law students in need of financial aid. Recipients can apply for scholarship renewal for their second and third years of law school.

In addition, the University will match, dollar for dollar, the payout of the Mathisens' endowment, through the President's Scholarship Match Program.

"Any contribution I make to the Law School is a very small recompense for the benefits that I received," Dennis says.

After completing his B.S. and J.D. at Minnesota, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a tax attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service. A position with Lindquist & Vennum brought him back to the Twin Cities. He worked with investor Irwin Jacobs on numerous mergers and acquisitions and began his own banking activities by purchasing some small community banks in Minnesota.

In 1988, Dennis established his own bank management and consulting firm. He served as chair and CEO of Mountain Park Financial Corp., a Colorado-based bank holding company, throughout its expansion, merger with Community First Bancshares Inc., and acquisition by Bank of the West.

In 2001, he purchased Minneapolis-based investment banking firm Miller & Schroeder and started a financial services company, The Marshall Group. He bought the Hallock Bank of Minnesota in 2002 and Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based BankFirst Corp. in 2005 to augment the company's investment banking sector. Hallock Bank, BankFirst, and The Marshall Group now comprise the Marshall BankFirst Corporation.

Dennis has been both a business leader and a community leader for many years. He has served as a trustee of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

He and Gail have been long-time and unstinting supporters of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Art Institute, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota Medical Foundation, Minnesota Humanities Commission, and other organizations.

They now make their home in Nevada but also spend time in Colorado and Arizona. One son, Mark, lives and works in New York, and another son, Peter, lives and works in Minneapolis.

On behalf of the countless students and future graduates who will receive aid and inspiration from the Mathisens' generosity, the Law School faculty, staff, and alumni extend their deepest appreciation.