Continuing our founders’ dreams 125 years later

By Leslee Lane Hoyum, Chair, Sons of Norway Foundation

Happy 125th anniversary, Sons of Norway—a glorious moment in the Norwegian-American experience. Sons of Norway was formed as a permanent society to protect members and their families from financial hardships during times of sickness or death and to provide a social life based on mutual interest.

Many of the original 18 founders were from Selbu and Trondheim. Hildegarde M. Strom, well known community leader and author, wrote in her A Brief History of Sons of Norway, “The Founders recalled the group assistance plan about which some of them knew from Trondheim where members paid a small amount each week and, in return, received free medical care for themselves and their families. It was in this spirit of real necessity that Sons of Norway was founded as a mutual assistance society, one built on the moral principles of American fraternalism.”

Over time, the mission of Sons of Norway expanded to include the preservation of Norwegian heritage and culture, and that has been a focus of the Sons of Norway Foundation, now in its 54th year. It is because of your generosity that the Foundation is so successful. Furthermore, I want to thank you personally for your unprecedented financial response to this autumn’s “Together We Are the Future” campaign, which continues through December. Your magnanimous gifts allow the Foundation to grant more and greater gifts.

As chair, I had the opportunity to work with a dynamic group of individuals,  who have greatly improved your Foundation and created new opportunities over the last three years. A few of the board’s notable accomplishments include:

  1. Opening vocational scholarships opportunities;
  2. Revising the grant for property loss, making it easier to apply;
  3. Instituting an extreme illness and injury grant for un- and underinsured health expenses;
  4. Creating an adult educational scholarship for insurance members;
  5. Initiating a committee providing a voice and direction for District Foundation Directors;
  6. Establishing a quarterly newsletter;
  7. Enhancing the Policies and Procedures Manual that ensures continuity of the Foundation’s business; and
  8. Setting the footing for fundraising campaigns from now into the future.

You can be very proud of your Foundation. Even in this pandemic, the board of governors never has missed a step; it was focused. I wish to thank the board as well as my husband, George, the Sons of Norway home office, former Directors Cindy Olson, Corrie Knudson and Anne Olson, the District Foundation Directors, all Sons of Norway members and our ever-generous donors for their assistance and kindness during my terms as chair.

My advice to you is to build for the future, keep in tune with modern Norway, commit to life-long learning and service, keep your compassion at the forefront, and always remember your roots.

With grateful appreciation,
Leslee Lane Hoyum, Foundation Chair

Together We Are the Future

By Jon Tehven and Robin Fossum, Board of Governors

The “Together We Are the Future” Sons of Norway Foundation fundraising campaign is an astonishing success thanks to the generosity of so many members and lodges.

As of November 25, we have received $109,666 from 431 members and 76 lodges. We will continue to receive donations through December, so you still have time to donate!

We cannot tell you how much the Foundation appreciates your support and how much your support makes a difference for our members. Over the past five years, your Foundation has provided more than $662,000 in scholarships and grants. In 2019 we awarded:

  • $12,600 in camperships for youth to attend Norwegian cultural camps across the US
  • $30,300 in grants to local lodges, community partners, and members in need
  • and $100,000 total scholarships

Help us share our good news with our members—and prospective members. Let’s not let the Foundation be known as “One of the best kept secrets about Sons of Norway!”

We often talk about Sons of Norway being a three-legged stool: Financial (insurance), Fraternal (heritage and culture) and the Foundation (scholarships and grants). All three legs of the stool work together to carry out the missions of Sons of Norway and the Sons of Norway Foundation. In other words:

Financial — TOGETHER

Fraternal — TOGETHER

Foundation — TOGETHER

TOGETHER — We Are the Future

There’s still time to donate, either online or using the envelope included in the October Viking; it’s so easy. We just want to reiterate that your response to the campaign has been overwhelming. Thank you and we will see you in 2021.

— Leslee Lane Hoyum, Foundation Chair

What they’re saying about the “Together We Are the Future” Campaign

I am very proud of the support shown by our leadership, lodges and members for the Together We Are the Future campaign.

— Carl Peter Ingvoldstad, District III

A huge thank you to all the individuals and lodges that have made this such a successful fundraiser.

— Dan Rude, District IV

In this time of COVID, Sons of Norway members once again rose to the occasion.

 — Darlene Arneson, District V

Sons of Norway members are among the most generous people I know; I commend their compassion.

— Leslee Lane Hoyum, Foundation Chair

Catching up with an outstanding scholarship awardee

By Paige Lund

Greetings from Montana State University! Having my final semester of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering within my sight, I wanted to reach out and thank you all for helping me and give you an update on my academic journey.

It seems a short (or long, depending on how may exams I have coming up!) time ago when I was honored, in 2017, to receive the Sons of Norway Foundation Myrtle Beinhauer Scholarship and a scholarship from 4-424 Normanden Lodge in Missoula—where I have wonderful memories of serving Vikings at the Western Montana Fair, enjoying Syttende Mai celebrations, and the Christmas craft show.

During my freshman year, in addition to just figuring out the grand scheme of college, I found a wonderful organization called Women in Engineering, and that spring, I was elected to their board. The program’s goal is to provide networking, leadership, and professional development opportunities for women in engineering and computer science.

I also sought out my first internship. An engineer from CTA (Cushing Terrell) had come to speak to one of my classes when I was in high school. He had mentioned they had a budding internship program, so I kept his card and reached out two years later. I learned so much more than refrigeration that summer.

It was around the middle of my sophomore year at MSU that I began to have a clearer picture of the difference between mechanical and industrial engineering and found them equally intriguing. I chose to continue to study mechanical engineering but remained interested in IE.

My second internship was with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as a technical services intern. My main responsibility was performing project management of a month-long production shutdown where I tracked conflicts between four departments, coordinated and completed legal paperwork, and made sure the entire scope of work was accomplished and production resumed on time. My favorite project was creating a model for a piping system upgrade from field data and providing a cost-benefit analysis for the proposed upgrade.

I then landed a great job as a student assistant in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department where I assist department heads, professors, and current & prospective students by answering their inquiries, creating documents, and updating student records. I continue to enjoy working at the office.

My most recent internship was as a Boeing Commercial Airplanes Structures Intern. I so appreciated my Boeing team for their willingness to create an internship that allowed me to do a virtual teardown of the Vertical Stabilizer across Boeing airplanes during the pandemic.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to visit with Boeing staff throughout the company and ask them about their job responsibilities. I found the Industrial Engineers held the most exciting positions to me. I look forward to learning more from Boeing next summer with another internship.

This fall I was the recipient of the Nancy Lorraine Jensen Memorial Scholarship. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to receive this award, and I hope that I am honoring the memory of Nancy and fulfilling the spirit of the scholarship with my educational pursuits.

I continue to serve on the Women in Engineering board and have been instrumental in creating “lean in” opportunities for women on campus to visit about the challenges and rewards of being female in a predominantly male field.

I have also become an Engineering Ambassador and give tours to potential students and their families.  It never gets old seeing the excitement on the faces of high school juniors and seniors, knowing the journey onto which they are embarking.

These incredibly different experiences, along with the outstanding education I have received at Montana State University, made me confident I was qualified to complete a graduate degree.  Therefore, when I got back to school this fall, I began researching MSU’s Industrial and Management Systems Engineering accelerated graduate curriculum. I have recently applied for the program, and if all goes as planned, I will graduate spring 2021 with a Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and then receive a Master’s in industrial engineering spring of 2022.

My hope is that I have done right by your incredible gifts. Again, thank you!

Most Norwegian universities to use distance learning in 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, check with the Norwegian school of your choice to verify that foreign students will be allowed to study in Norway in 2021. It is possible that they will offer only distance learning. In that case, ask what fees you will incur, if any. The Foundation can reimburse you only for the fees. If you were planning on an in-country experience, we encourage you to apply when on-campus learning resumes.

The Oslo International Summer School turns 75

The Oslo International Summer School (OISS) will host a yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary, beginning with the 75th OISS summer session. Anyone who is an alum or friend of the OISS is part of the school’s family. So, if you know of any celebrations, activities, websites or other social media commemorating the event, we want to hear from you at [email protected].

To become an involved celebrant, take the following steps:

  1. E-mail the North American office at [email protected] so you are added to the update list;
  2. Join the celebration team and help get the word out by sharing posts with OISS friends or urging them to contact us; and
  3. Add your OISS memories to the OISS social media sites by requesting our “how to” instructions.

The OISS website will have a page dedicated to the 75th anniversary celebration with articles, classes and individual and group memories, and a 75th anniversary Facebook page is under construction. We look forward to seeing and hearing the stories of many students and staff! The webpage within the website is not yet live, but it will be hosted in a couple months at The main Facebook page for the ISS is

Join us in celebrating 75 years of academic achievement and international goodwill!

A Canada flag moving in the wind on the back of a vessel close to sunset.

Live in Canada? Not a problem!

The Sons of Norway Foundation in Canada also provides scholarships for post-secondary education in Canada for Canadian residents. It makes available bursaries for Norwegian heritage activities and cultural exchanges, as well as humanitarian causes. On Aug. 6, 1971, the Sons of Norway Foundation in Canada was established as a Charitable Corporation under the Canada Corporations Act. For further information, go to

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