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Minnesota State, Mankato Establishes Endowment to Memorialize Wes Loutsch, Jamie Schlachter, Chad Wilson

Warrendale, PA, July 21, 2005 - Minnesota State University, Mankato has established an endowment to memorialize the three exemplary automotive engineering students who lost their lives in a tragic accident in Michigan.

The Wes Loutsch, Jamie Schlachter and Chad Wilson Memorial Endowment will provide funds for all future student vehicle competitions. Minnesota State University, Mankato and the MSU Foundation established the endowment after consultation with the parents of the three students and faculty and staff members.

The endowment will provide funds that Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology students can use to design and build vehicles for regional and national competition.

"Each year our automotive engineering students develop unique applied automotive projects and enter them into competition against some of the nation's largest schools," said Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport. "The funds from this endowment will help our students compete nationally. We continue to mourn the loss of these fine students, but family members and friends should be comforted that this new endowment will be a lasting and appropriate legacy to them."

The MSU Foundation created the endowment with financial gifts donated in memory of the three students. The gifts are from contributors across the country, including members of the Society of Automotive Engineers, which sponsors the nation's most prestigious collegiate automotive engineering competition.

"Much thought went into how to properly memorialize these dedicated students," said John Frey, dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology. "We considered a wide range of suggestions, but the memorial endowment rose to the top of everyone's list."

The MSU Foundation is accepting gifts to memorialize the three men. Those who wish to contribute may make checks payable to the MSU Foundation, referencing "LSW Memorial." Donors should send checks to the attention of Joann Jaqua, 121 Alumni Foundation Building, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN, 56001.