This year Dollars for Scholars awarded the first Conrad Blegstad scholarship. Tom Blegstad and his wife Barbara McLane established this scholarship in his father's honor.  The Blegstad scholarship provides students with $2,500 each year of college if they meet the scholarship guidelines.  This is Tom's tribute to his father:

Conrad Blegstad was born in a small farming community in South Dakota in 1908, the son of the local implement dealer. His family was considered the wealthiest in town. By the time Conrad completed college in 1930, the depression had begun and his family lost everything because farmers could no longer pay for their farm machinery. From early childhood, Conrad loved music. He would practice piano up to 8 hours a day and would get others to perform shows with him for the townspeople.            

            He did his junior and senior high school years at Luther College Prep School in Decorah, Iowa.  Because of his love of learning, Conrad graduated from Luther College with Majors in Music and Latin. We always heard how he took 7 years of Latin by the time he graduated. He minored in History and Education along with courses in Philosophy and Religion. He had his own small orchestra while in College where he played saxophone, at the same time he played oboe in the Luther College Orchestra. One summer he traveled to western National Parks to perform.

            Conrad was a great example of living in the 1920's.  Early in his teaching career, Conrad taught in a small North Dakota town and one year taught Music, History, and Latin and was the school Principal. In Fergus Falls Conrad was the FFHS Choir Director, director of the First Lutheran Church Choir, director of the FF Orpheum Male Choir, gave accordion lessons all Saturday at Roy Olson's Music, taught adults music privately, performed at events (accomplished organ player), arranged music for the FFHS students so notes weren't too high or low for young voices (he would tell me) and wrote/arranged music late into the night at home.

One thing that always amazed me was that Conrad said he had perfect pitch. Someone could sing or hum any note and Conrad could play that note on the piano exactly right. Conrad could play all instruments (other than strings) and all the time his best was on the piano (which was at a professional level).

Over the many years since his death at the young age of 53 (1962) my siblings and I have heard from many of his students, who have told how much Conrad influenced their lives. This is why it is important to offer this continuing scholarship in Conrad's name. He pursued his dreams his entire life and he would be proud to know we are helping others pursue their dreams.