An Upper Peninsula native and Northern Michigan University graduate has made a bequest of nearly $1 million to her alma mater. Olive (Kuehnl) Sain passed away at age 98 in Marquette. She was raised in Bruce Crossing and graduated from Ewen High School. The Olive Ann Kuehnl Sain Scholarship Fund will provide financial support for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree at NMU. Priority will be given to graduates of Ewen-Trout Creek High School and preference to students with majors in health-related fields. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years.
"Olive Kuehnl Sain was a strong student during her days at Northern and just as strong of an alumni role model throughout her life," said NMU President Fritz Erickson. "Because of her final gift to NMU, many Upper Peninsula students will have the chance to gain an outstanding collegiate experience that will help them to launch their own successful health-related careers. In this way, Olive will continue to play an important role for generations to come in the vitality of her alma mater, as well as the home region that she so loved."
At Northern, Sain she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and graduated magna cum laude in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree from the College of Technical and Applied Sciences. She later earned a master of science degree from Michigan State University.
Sain taught in Ontonagon County for seven years before beginning a 13-year career as home economist with the Michigan State University Extension in Marquette County. Her interests varied widely, from her membership in the Ishpeming Rock and Mineral Club to playing in the Ontonagon County Brass Band. She volunteered at Marquette General Hospital for more than 25 years and donated her time and talent to many causes in her church and community.
David Wood, NMU Honors Program Director, commended Sain's decision to benefit NMU's students through her generous gift.
"The scholarship serves as a crucial investment in NMU student success, one which also demonstrates key support for health care education as it spans across Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula as a whole,” Wood said. "This gift confirms, too, the extraordinary successes of our health-related programs on the NMU campus: our thriving research labs, pre-medical programs and School of Nursing. In this sense, the Sain Scholarship could not have come at a better time.
“On behalf of the NMU campus community, I offer my most sincere thanks to Olive Sain and her family for implementing what will surely aid NMU student successes for years to come."