North Dakota National Guard Capt. Nicolette Daschendorf, of the Fargo-based 231st Brigade Support Battalion Logistical Support Element (BSB LSE), hugs her sons after arriving at Bismarck Airport on July 21, 2015 after a nearly yearlong deployment overseas. The group of fifteen Soldiers arrived on two separate flights this evening, with twelve landing at Fargo’s Hector International Airport and the other three at Bismarck Airport. Daschendorf served as the unit’s commander. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by: Staff Sgt. Brett Miller/Released)

North Dakota National Guard Capt. Nicolette Daschendorf, of the Fargo-based 231st Brigade Support Battalion Logistical Support Element (BSB LSE), hugs her sons after arriving at Bismarck Airport on July 21, 2015 after a nearly yearlong deployment overseas. The group of fifteen Soldiers arrived on two separate flights this evening, with twelve landing at Fargo’s Hector International Airport and the other three at Bismarck Airport. Daschendorf served as the unit’s commander. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by: Staff Sgt. Brett Miller/Released)

BISMARCK, ND — Having her loving husband and three young children, two deployments to the Middle East, and a full time job as captain in the North Dakota Army National Guard (NDARNG) is a lot of responsibility for any person – but typical for many in the military. It’s a busy life, but it didn’t keep Nicolette Daschendorf from earning her degree at the University of Mary. Not just one degree, but now she is getting her second.

“Once I started the University of Mary admissions process, I knew it was the right fit,” said Daschendorf, who currently serves in the NDARNG. “The application, admissions, and enrollment process can be daunting for a student and the staff at the University of Mary helped every step of the way. They were interested in my success as a student.”

And now the University of Mary is making it even easier for active military like Daschendorf to get their undergraduate degree. In addition to a long-standing scholarship program for graduate students, the University of Mary is proud to announce a new scholarship valued at $2,400 per semester for undergraduate students who are currently serving in the military. The scholarship has the potential to impact over 4,500 North Dakota National Guard and over 8,800 Air Force in North Dakota alone, plus over 2.1 million active military across the U.S. and stationed abroad.

Kirk Lanterman (left) and Dave Anderson (right), coordinator for Military Student Services at Mary, and who, after 34-years of service, recently retired as brigadier general of the North Dakota National Guard at a press gathering announcing new undergraduate scholarship for service members.

Kirk Lanterman (left) and Dave Anderson (right), coordinator for Military Student Services at Mary, and who, after 34-years of service, recently retired as brigadier general of the North Dakota National Guard at a press gathering announcing new undergraduate scholarship for service members.

“What’s unique about the new University of Mary scholarship is that we have an unlimited number of scholarships with a simple application process. So, every student who is active in the military that applies is accepted. As a former military person myself – I know it’s a blessing to these soldiers,” stated Dave Anderson, coordinator for Military Student Services at Mary, and who, after 34-years of service, recently retired as brigadier general of the North Dakota National Guard. “Typically, other schools and universities have limits on the number of military students they can accept and involves a competitive application process because they have only a certain number of available scholarships. Military members can now get their degree at Mary for not much more than the price of books and fees.”

The University of Mary recognizes that serving in the armed forces should never be a burden to service members. Accessibility, flexibility and feasibility are all prerequisites for military personnel looking to get their undergraduate degree. The University of Mary now makes it easier for service members to earn their degree and still defend America’s freedoms.

Mary offers programs that are adaptable for military students whose assignments and duties require changes in schedule. This means the university can accommodate deployments, tours, training exercises, state active duty, and transfers between duty stations. The University of Mary has been recognized repeatedly as a military friendly school in G.I Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazines.

“The University of Mary professors also have families and work full-time on top of the classes they teach so they understand and can empathize with personal situations that arise,” added Daschendorf, who’s been in the military for 16 years. “As with everything, as long as you communicate, things will go smoothly. I also take comfort in the fact that if I need to take a break or move classes around, I can do that as the University of Mary offers online and on-site programs for much of their classes so it makes it easier on those who need to remain flexible for work and family.”

Service members like Daschendorf have one of America’s veterans to thank for this generous gift and opportunity. A. Kirk Lanterman, a 1950 Bismarck High School graduate, for two years served the country he loves in the Korean War as a combat medic.

Kirk Lanterman holds Challenge Coin presented to him by University of Mary's Dave Anderson as a token of appreciation for his generous donation to help provide new undergraduate military scholarship

Kirk Lanterman holds Challenge Coin presented to him by University of Mary’s Dave Anderson as a token of appreciation for his generous donation to help provide new undergraduate military scholarship

“Our servicemen and servicewomen are the first line of defense for our country,” stated a passionate Lanterman. “They are honorably serving this great nation of ours, so hopefully this scholarship helps them earn that respected degree at the University of Mary and in turn their education helps promote the longevity of not only the National Guard— but all branches of the military they serve.”

“This scholarship is an incredibly gracious gift; it’s a benefit that allows me not to worry about the financial aspect of being in school,” said Daschendorf. “With all the other things we all have to worry about, it provides military students peace of mind that there will be no financial burden with this program.  I truly cannot describe how appreciative I am.”

Daschendorf says she is no different than many in the military who have a crazy schedule. Like them, she contemplated whether to go back to school and get her undergraduate degree. When Daschendorf finally did, she realized the right choice was made. And now, with this new scholarship, it doesn’t take someone with the rank of captain to see that it’s an easy decision to go back to school and get that degree.