Jimmy Kleinsasser, a former star tight end for UND and a current veteran for the
Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, is helping a future UND student get the same educational opportunities he received from his alma mater.
Kleinsasser and the Minnesota Vikings will award a $10,000 “Vikings + UND Scholarship” to one deserving student interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Dakota. The deadline to complete the application process and send it in is Thursday, Dec. 1. Applications will be accepted at www.UND.edu/Vikings.
The scholarship is available for an incoming freshman in 2012 and the scholarship recipient will be selected from applicants based on their high school GPA and standardized test scores, as well as a 1,000-word personal statement highlighting their career goals, achievements, overcoming adversity and what the opportunity to study at UND would mean to their future. The scholarship recipient and family will be in attendance for the Jan. 1, 2012, Vikings game vs. Chicago. The scholarship will be awarded during pre-game activities at Mall of America Field.
Kleinsasser, a Carrington, N.D., native and one of the greatest players to don the UND football jersey, has been participating in promotional television and radio spots to promote the scholarship. In them, he talks about his love for UND and how his years at the U have helped him in life.
Off the field, Kleinsasser has worked extensively with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, serving with his wife to host the annual fundraising ball in the Twin Cities. He participates annually in the Epilepsy Foundation Clothing Drive and the North Dakota Special Olympics Games.
The Vikings organization is 100 percent behind the UND scholarship effort and view it as a way to give back to the people of the region and their support.
“We have such a strong fan base that overlaps with alumni, friends and prospective students of the University of North Dakota,” said Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing/chief marketing officer. “The impact that UND graduates have had on the quality of life in Vikings country and worldwide is remarkable. We wanted to help another great student fulfill their dreams of learning at UND and we hope this scholarship will give them a big head start on their career goals.”
“We are honored that the Vikings are sponsoring a scholarship at the University of North Dakota. This is a great opportunity for a future UND student,” said UND President Robert O. Kelley. “In these difficult economic times, scholarships play a significant role in getting a college education. Therefore, we applaud the Vikings organization for being so committed to promoting the value of higher education. We are confident that UND will provide this scholarship recipient with a tremendous foundation and many opportunities for a bright future.”
The “Jimmy File,” courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings:
- Named to USA Today’s All-Joe Team in 2007 and 2008, honoring hard-working and under-recognized players.
- Ranks second in team history for starts by a tight end with 119, and fourth in Vikings history for catches by a tight end with 191.
- Has paved the way for seven of the eight top single-season rushing marks in Vikings history, including Adrian Peterson’s team-record and NFL-leading 1,760 yards in 2008.
- Is the longest-tenured pro athlete with their team in the Twin Cities, as he enters his 13th season with the Vikings.
- Inducted into North Dakota High School Hall of fame in 2008.
- Sister, Sherry, was a two-time All-America basketball player at UND
- Financial management major at UND
- He and wife, Christa, have two sons, Carter and Cayden