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The 1858 Founders Society

Enacted by the Minnesota Legislature in 1858, Winona State Normal School became the first teacher training institution west of the Mississippi. The governor of Minnesota at that time stressed the importance of education in providing for the leaders of tomorrow.

The name of the institution has changed several times as it has grown to maturity. But nearly 150 years later, its philosophy of providing a quality education for its graduates and providing qualified leaders for tomorrow has remained a tradition.

The founding of this fine institution is now the fitting symbol for Winona State University’s deferred giving group, The 1858 Founders Society.

The 1858 Founders Society honors a special group of friends who have provided for Winona State University in their estate plans. A bequest, or other deferred gift of any size, brings membership in this very special recognition society. The gift amount is entirely a member’s choice. There are no required levels of support or membership dues. The amount and condition of each gift remains confidential. Anonymity will also be respected if the donor wishes.

If you would like more information about The 1858 Founders Society or ways to include WSU in your estate plan, please contact us today.

If you believe that you already qualify for membership, we invite you to complete the 1858 Founders Society form and mail it to:

WSU Foundation
Somsen 204
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987

2014 Inductees 

Linda graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., with her B.A. in 1990 and received her M.A. in 2009 from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Linda worked in arts administration for many years before transitioning to higher education in 2000. She currently serves as a Stewardship Specialist at Carleton College and an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University. Mark graduated from Winona State University with his B.S. in 1983. He spent most of his career as a business owner in transportation, then as an independent contractor, and currently serves as a Sales Representative for Rihm Kenworth. The Dorns believe very strongly in the gift of youth mentorship and volunteer regularly through their church and other organizations. Mark was integral in starting the chapter of Delta Sigma Pi at WSU and in 2006 received the Silver Helmet Award recognizing 25 years of service with Delta Sigma Pi. He has also served as Regional Director, District Director, Chair of Awards and Scholarships, and on the Board of Directors for the organization. Linda is also involved with Delta Sigma Pi, serving as District Director, Vice President of Collegiate Relations and President of the Twin Cities Alumni Chapter. She's also very involved with the National Alumni Board for Concordia College. The Dorns have been married for 10 years and love to travel, watch the Minnesota Twins, and attend University of St. Thomas and Carleton College sporting events, where Linda sometimes sings the National Anthem.

Nancy (Rinell) Hayden graduated from Winona State University in 1990 with a B.S. in human resources management and minors in psychology and training & development. She also received certification as a Professional in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resources
Management. Scott graduated top of his class from Muscatine Community College in Iowa in 2001 with his A.A.S. in MIT Software Development. He was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and received the Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges from 2000-01. Nancy is currently retired and is active with many city, church and school groups in Winona and Lewiston. Scott works for 3M in the Plant Engineering Department as a Process Control Technician. Both Nancy and Scott were non-traditional students and understand the importance of giving back to support other students and the institutions that offered them personal growth. The Haydens have been married for 17 years and live in Menomonie, WI. 

Donna received her BA in elementary education and French in 1971 from Simpson College in Iowa, her MS in remedial reading in 1974 from Winona State University, and her Ed.D. in language arts education in 1985 from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Helble spent more than 16 years as an elementary teacher in Winona. She was named Winona Teacher of the Year and is included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. From 1998 to 2012, she served as a professor of elementary education at WSU and was awarded emerita status upon her retirement. Helble has served as president and board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Winona, the Winona Rotary Club, the United Way of the Greater Winona Area, the Winona County Unit of the American Red Cross, the Winona County Cancer Society, the Winona Friends of the Library, the Winona Community Foundation, and the Winona branch of the American Association of University Women. Helble also recently joined the WSU Foundation Board. She is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Thomas Stark Award from the Winona United Way, the Celebrate Literacy Award from the International Reading Association, and the Ben and Adith Miller Tribute from the Winona Health Organization. Helble lives in Winona and enjoys swimming, reading and traveling.

Echo graduated summa cum laude from WSU in 1995, receiving her BS in accounting just three years after coming to the U.S. from China. During her time on campus, she was an active member in cross-cultural activities introducing the Chinese culture to the local community. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1996 and a Certified Financial Planner in 2001. Huang is currently partner and financial advisor for The Advocate Group in Minnetonka, where she provides financial planning and investment management to many Fortune 500 executives and their families. Her previous employers include LPL Financial, RSM McGladrey, KPMG, and Thomson Reuter (formerly West Publishing Company). Huang is a member of the Minnesota chapter of the Financial Planning Association, and in 2009 she was named a Trusted Financial Advisor by Minnesota Law and Politics magazine. She's active with her alma mater, serving four years on the WSU Alumni Board and receiving WSU's Distinguished Young Alumni award in 2012. Huang's interests include travel, ballroom dancing, piano, reading and gardening. Huang and her husband, Dan Brown, have one daughter, Nina Marie, and live in Plymouth, MN.


William "Bill" graduated from Winona State University with a degree in speech communications in 1975. He worked as the sales and music director at KWNO for 23 years, and was later an announcer, head of marketing and co-owner with Home 101 in Winona. Bill finished his career at WSU in the facilities department beginning in 2001 and retired in 2013. He was named the Minnesota Broadcast Personality of the Year in 1992, and is an honorary member of the WSU Dance Society for his on-going support though his scholarships for the WSU theater, music and dance programs. Bill serves throughout the community in various clubs and organizations. He enjoys music, dance, theater, arts, sports and film noir.

Myoung graduated from Seoul National University in 1983 with a B.S. in chemistry. Peter Guidinger graduated from Saint Mary's University of Winona in 1984 with a B.A. in chemistry. Both Lee and Guidinger earned doctorates in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame. Lee did her post-doctoral research at the University of California - Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, while Guidinger conducted his post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. Currently, Lee is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at WSU, and Guidinger works at the Fastenal School of Business. They agree that WSU's success is important for the community as well as local businesses, and feel WSU is a great school and place to work. Myoung and Peter have one daughter, Claire. 

Mark and Cathy both graduated from Winona State University: Mark with a B.A. in business administration and Cathy with a teaching degree. Mark has been in the money management business for more than thirty years. He is employed by UBS and is Executive Vice President and managing partner of an investment team that has over $500 million in assets under management. Cathy taught school for 14 years. She then started her own business developing and operating hotels and is now the CEO of Nicco Corporation. Both Mark and Cathy believe in giving back and are involved with the Winona Community. Mark serves as a Trustee of the WSU Foundation and is Chairman of the Planning Commission, and Cathy is a member of a number of civic boards. They share a love of sailing. Mark was recently inducted into the Chicago Island Goats Society, which requires the completion of at least 25 Chicago to Mackinac Sailboat Races, a 333-mile race that is held annually. 

Aurea graduated from Winona State University in 2000 with a B.A. in sociology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Bowling Green University in Ohio. Osgood served as an instructor and research assistant in the Department of Sociology and for the Center for Family and Demographic Research at BGU before returning to WSU in 2007. She currently serves as an Associate Professor of Sociology and as Interim Program Director of Child Advocacy Studies at Winona State. Her teaching and research interests also include single-parent families and welfare reform/poverty. Osgood is a member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, American Sociological Association, Midwest Sociological Society, National Council on Family Relations, and the Population Association of America. Locally she is a member of the Winona Volunteer Services Board and the Bluff Country Co-op Board. She enjoys cooking, baking and experimenting in the kitchen.


Ruby spent one year of training at Winona State College (Winona State University) before going on to teach at rural schools on Swede Bottom and in Riceford, Minn. After completing additional education, she traveled to Aruba and Netherlands Antilles to teach the children of employees of what is now known as Exxon Mobil. There she met and married Captain John MacLean, and the two later returned to Minnesota, where Swenson taught for 20 years in Rushford. Swenson was a longtime member of the Houston Baptist Church. She dedicated her life to caring for her family and doing church and community work, and her 38-year teaching career speaks to her lifelong passion for working with children. Swenson passed away Oct. 16, 2013.  

Donor Honor Roll

All existing members of the 1858 Founders Society.