Alumna Gives Generous Gift for Student Scholarships

Phyllis Hanse

Webster native Phyllis Hanse loved her community — and her legacy gift will continue to benefit residents in a number of ways. Hanse is a 1939 graduate of Augustana.

Hanse generously left 90 percent of her estate, a total of $4.2 million, to support the Webster community in ways that were close to her heart. She established several endowments at the South Dakota Community Foundation, including Webster Alumni Association scholarships to any college and also specifically to Augustana University. In addition, Hanse’s estate will also provide funds to St. John's Lutheran Church, the City of Webster and South Dakota youth activities.

Hanse began teaching piano lessons in 1953, when she moved back to Webster to manage her father's farming interests after his death. She was an only child and had no children of her own, but she was a fixture at local children's sporting events and high school activities in Webster. She also continued to support Augustana throughout her lifetime.

In order to receive the scholarship to Augustana, students must be enrolled full-time seeking an undergraduate degree and be graduates from Webster Area High School. Preference is given to students with at least 3.0 GPA and composite ACT score of 22 or higher. The scholarship is renewable. 

About Phyllis Hanse

Phyllis Hanse, 98, of Webster passed away May 14, 2016, at Bethesda Home in Webster.