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Article updated: 3/26/2013 7:39 PM

Wisconsin man donates equivalent of $800,000 to MCC

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Close to 200 McHenry County College students could get the help they need to attend MCC or finish out their bachelor's degrees, thanks to a recent donation by a Wisconsin man.

Michael Klingenberg, of Twin Lakes, donated $100,000 and a piece of lakefront property worth an estimated $700,000 to establish the Forge Ahead Scholarship at MCC. The money will pay for up to 24 full scholarships per year at the community college as well as two to three scholarships per year covering 50 percent of students' tuitions for the final two years at the Illinois public school of their choice.

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The scholarships for MCC students will start this fall with the university scholarships going to the first students in 2015.

"This is not a usual thing when someone offers to pay for part of someone's university expenses," said Bill Brennan, executive director of the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation. "That just shows his commitment to helping students to continue their education."

Brennan said he has been communicating with Klingenberg about the scholarship since December 2012.

The two-acre property donation is for lakefront real estate in Twin Lakes. Brennan said three potential buyers have already come forward and the foundation hopes to select a real estate agent by the end of next week to help coordinate a sale.

The goal is to sell the property by June and make the scholarship money last eight years.

Klingenberg retired this month as vice president and chief financial officer of Scot Forge Company in Spring Grove. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday but said in a prepared statement that education is one of the most important things in life.

"MCC is a great place to continue your education after high school, whether you are interested in trade, an associate degree or eventually continuing on to a four-year university and possibly beyond," Klingenberg said. "MCC provides a great education value that I choose to support in order to help students who want to advance their education but may not have the financial resources to do so without some assistance."

Eligible students for the MCC full tuition scholarship include those with at least a 2.5 high school grade-point average or a 2.75 or higher GPA in their first year at the college. Students applying for the university award must have a cumulative GPA from their time at MCC of at least 3.0.

Applications are being accepted until April 30. Visit mchenry.edu/scholarships.

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