PALMER, ALASKA — Matanuska-Susitna College is pleased to announce that on Tuesday , April 8th 2014 Don and Sherry Shiesl donated $28,520.20 to the Matanuska-Susitna College to endow a scholarship for MSC students in health-related fields. The permanently endowed fund will be known as the Marie Narhi Shiesl Scholarship in memory of Don Shiesl’s Mother. Marie Narhi Shiesl spent many years working at Bedford Hospital in Bedford, Ohio, starting as a nurses’ aide and later advancing to be a licensed practical nurse. She was also a widow raising two sons and was unable to afford the training that would have allowed her to become a registered nurse. The scholarship is intended to honor the legacy of all nurses who have devoted their lives to caring for the sick and injured.
Sherry Shiesl was born in Kentucky and finished high school in Wisconsin. She moved to Alaska in 1973 and was hired by the Municipality of Anchorage as a Secretary for Parks and Recreation. Don Shiesl graduated from Kent State University with a BS in conservation. He went on to earn an MS in management from Ohio State University. He then accepted a job with the Municipality of Anchorage and moved to Alaska in 1974. Don and Sherry met at work and were married in 1982. hey moved to the Matanuska Valley in 1994. After retiring from the Municipality of Anchorage, Don worked for the City of Wasilla and later the Matanuska-Susitna Borough as the Director of Public Works. Both of the Shiesls are avid gardeners. Mrs. Shiesl grows an incredible array of tomatoes.
The scholarship was established by Mr. and Mrs. Shiesl at Matanuska-Susitna College because they wish to offer opportunities to students near where they live who need assistance in pursuing their studies. College Director, Dr. Talis Colberg was very pleased to accept the generous donation. “We are a small school and this is a very big event for us. In fifty-five years there have been only seven scholarship funds set up at our college. This will be our 8th scholarship fund, yet it is the fourth in three years, it is a wonderful trend. The generosity of local community leaders, like Mr. and Mrs. Shiesl, is a tribute to them and a measure of the growing recognition of the fact that there is a quality college opportunity sitting in the middle of our borough at Mat-Su College.”