Gaylan and Leona Friesenborg Endowed Scholarship Established at Southeast


The Gaylan and Leona Friesenborg Endowed Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Dr. Trudy Lee, interim vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, and friends made gifts to establish the award in honor of Lee’s parents Leona and the late Gaylan, both of Gothenburg, Nebraska.

The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a Southeast undergraduate non-traditional student. A minimum 2.75 grade point average is required, and the University Scholarship Committee will select the recipient.

The Friesenborgs were born and raised in Gothenburg, Nebraska. They were married May 18, 1947, and for 20 years worked together managing the family business, Friesenborg & Son, until deciding to change careers to enter church work. After furthering his education through extensive coursework and on-the-job training, Gaylan became a certified church administrator. He served two churches during his career as business administrator. Leona also served as volunteer coordinator in those churches, while they raised their two children. Later in their careers, they co-managed a retirement home and, when they retired, traveled the world serving as volunteers at several missions and at the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church USA in Louisville, Kentucky.

Family and friends have established this scholarship in recognition of Gaylan and Leona’s faith and courage to embark on a new career to pursue work about which they were passionate. This scholarship is meant to encourage others who are taking this same step in life to change the course of their careers to pursue new opportunities.