Spirit of the Gift Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's endowed funds

Dr. Henry and Minnie Onsgard Scholarship Fund

Dr. Henry Onsgard received his bachelor's degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1911. He later attended the University of Wisconsin, earning both his master's and doctorate degrees specializing in European history. He and his wife, Minnie E. Onsgard, resided in Wichita for a number of years after he began teaching history at the University of Wichita in 1931. Hailing from DeForest, Wis., Mrs. Onsgard worked hard as a homemaker while her husband taught.

Dr. Onsgard's unique teaching style allowed for classes to focus on much more than events and dates. While attending his course, students learned about Moses, Plato, Christ, St. Paul, Machiavelli and Jefferson, and how their ideas affect all of us in our daily lives. He would unveil a complete historical landscape, tying the thoughts of Plato to General Eisenhower's career. He was a patriot, a Christian and a man deeply respected by his students.

Following Dr. Onsgard's passing in October 1956, friends and colleagues established the Dr. Henry Onsgard Scholarship. Mrs. Onsgard passed away in 1981 at the age of 88. Since then, her memorial was added to Dr. Onsgard's scholarship to establish the Dr. Henry and Minnie Onsgard Scholarship Fund.