October 3, 2002
AMES, Iowa — Mary-Elizabeth West is the first recipient of the Walter E. and Frances C. Lauridsen Scholarship. The $10,000 annual scholarship is awarded to a student who resides on the West Coast and is enrolled at Iowa State University. West is from Woodside, Calif. She graduated first in her class from Half Moon Bay High School. She wants to be a veterinarian and said she appreciates Iowa State's down-to-earth style. "This scholarship means the world to me because it's allowing me to attend my first and foremost choice in universities," said West. "Iowa State has a wonderful pre-veterinary program." Signe Kim Lauridsen-Jones and her husband, Kenneth Jones, established the scholarship in memory of her father, Walter Lauridsen. "I want to get high school students in California thinking more broadly about opportunities at Iowa State, while helping them financially," said Lauridsen-Jones. "I also want to honor my father and mother and promote their values to students." Walter Lauridsen earned his bachelor's degree in animal science from Iowa State University and went on to earn 21 Bronze Stars as a U.S. naval officer during World War II. After the war, he returned to the family creamery in Dedham, expanded it and became one of the founders of IBP Inc. He founded Madison Foods Inc. in Madison, Neb., and Lauridsen Foods Inc. in Britt. He set the foundation for American Meat Protein Corporation of Ames - now Proliant Inc. - a company that makes protein products for a variety of industries. Walter Lauridsen died in 1993. His widow, Frances, resides near Spirit Lake. Information about the Walter E. and Frances C. Lauridsen Scholarship is available from Eric Hoiberg, associate dean of the ISU College of Agriculture. The scholarship gift is part of Iowa State's "Investing in People" initiative. The initiative is a two-year, $50 million effort between the university and the ISU Foundation to raise private funds for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and faculty support. The ISU Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to securing and managing gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University.