About the Foundation

OUR MISSION

The Greater Denfeld Foundation’s purpose is to support students of Duluth Denfeld High School by providing awards and scholarships to assist with expenses directly related to post-secondary education. In addition, donations are awarded to staff to provide valuable resources to enhance students’ high school educational experiences.

Funding students’ futures

History of the Foundation

For over 100 years, Denfeld High School has been an educational beacon in the western Duluth communities and neighborhoods. First established in 1905, Denfeld High School moved into its current historical building in 1925.

 

A Greater Denfeld Scholarship Fund was first formed in 1955 by a group of Denfeld staff and alumni to honor a pair of teachers: Loena Thomey, who died in a military plane crash in 1945, and Lenore Snodgrass, a beloved English teacher who taught at Denfeld for 35 years, until her death in 1953. In 1955, the Fund gave its first scholarship award of $150. Over the next 15 years, Denfeld staff continued to award a small yearly scholarship in memory of Thomey and Snodgrass, but the funds eventually were depleted.

 

Today’s Greater Denfeld Foundation was established in 1971 by Denfeld alumni and teachers. Its first award was a one-year scholarship of $150. Now, the Greater Denfeld Foundation scholarships are comprised of thirteen one-time awards ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 which are presented to students during Denfeld’s Honors Night each spring.

 

The original goal of the Foundation was to raise $250,000. By 2001, the Greater Denfeld Foundation had assets of $175,000. That year, longtime Denfeld teacher and 1925 graduate Marie Saltwick bequeathed $2.7 million to the Foundation, funding the first renewable scholarship. Miss Saltwick, a demanding but fair biology teacher, was a founding member of the GDF. She seldom spent money on herself, mowed her own lawn into her 80s and quietly gave generously.

 

In 2006, Armond Hauge, a 1946 graduate, died and left Denfeld $3.2 million to start another renewable scholarship fund. This was made even more remarkable by the fact that Mr. Hauge was an auto mechanic for most of his life. He got his first job at the age of six and saved judiciously. The Saltwick and Hauge scholarships provide $3,000 renewable donations designed to support four years of post-secondary higher education. The Greater Denfeld Foundation now has a total portfolio of invested assets valued at over $8 million* managed by US Bank Wealth Management. Since the inception of the Greater Denfeld Foundation, well over $6 million has been invested in the futures of Denfeld students.

 

In addition to these scholarships, the Greater Denfeld Foundation Memorial Fund was started with contributions from the Harry Fisher/Class of ’55 and the Steve Anderson Memorial Funds to help teachers and clubs fund special needs within the school. Donations from the Memorial Fund provide Denfeld teachers, coaches, advisors and staff with money for items not covered in their budgets to enhance students’ educational experiences. 

*as of March 31, 2023

The Funds

The Greater Denfeld Foundation is comprised of thirteen one-time awards and renewable scholarships created by the Foundation Board of Directors and generous benefactors wishing to honor individuals who have contributed to the life of Denfeld High School. The donations are designed to recognize the achievements of graduating seniors of Denfeld High School. Some carry very specific criteria about whom might be considered, while others are more general.

Funds Recipients

Each year, the Greater Denfeld Foundation’s Scholarship Committees selects about 45 students for recognition. The majority are awarded four-year renewable scholarships, so at any given time there are about 150 scholars studying with the support of the GDF.