You reached this page through the archive. Click here to return to the archive.

Note: This article is over a year old and information contained in it may no longer be accurate. Please use the contact information in the lower-left corner to verify any information in this article.

Long history of giving leads to $2.8 million estate gift for scholarships

By David Gonnerman '90
September 22, 2011

Leon Hegge's 1938 yearbook photo.
"I don't know what I would do without her," Slovakian native Ivana Sabanosova '02 said about her benefactor, Ann Hegge, in an interview shortly before graduating. At the time, Hegge, who died earlier this year, was helping pay for Sabanosova’s St. Olaf education. "She's my fairy-tale grandmother," added Sabanosova, a music major who was one of many international and nursing students at St. Olaf who were supported by Hegge over the years.

Now the estate of Ann Hegge and her late husband, Leon Hegge '38, is continuing the couple’s long record of giving to the college with a gift of $2.8 million. The gift will endow two annual awards: the Hegge Memorial Fund for general scholarships and, for students majoring in music, the Hegge Music Scholarship Fund.

Leon Hegge majored in English and American studies and was a member of the St. Olaf Choir. He died in 1997 after a career in the oil business. It was his lifelong passion for St. Olaf — alongside his wife’s strong belief in providing financial assistance to students — that guided the couple's estate to helping St. Olaf students with these scholarships.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or