MLS Foundation

Promoting Michigan Lutheran Seminary

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Dormitory Progress Report

Dear MLS Foundation Friend:

The MLS Foundation has some exciting news to share! We are having a great year, thanks to our many supportive donors. The generosity of our donors never ceases to amaze me! The support we receive is a wonderful blessing, and it continues to grow each year. We could not fulfill our mission of supporting Michigan Lutheran Seminary if we didn’t have you helping us. By God’s grace we are able to play a small role in helping Michigan Lutheran Seminary with capital projects, student tuition assistance, scholarships to Martin Luther College, operating expenses, and events that bring the MLS family closer together.

DORM UPDATE- It’s Moving Along and We Need Your Help!

The furniture is done and ready for delivery! A delivery date has been tentatively set for July 7, 2014. The foundation has received $364,000.00 toward the project. Our goal to complete the project is $650,000.00. You might be wondering how we can have a delivery date without having all the funds to complete the project. That is where the planning comes in. The MLS Foundation board agreed to support this project. At the last quarterly meeting, they approved the financing of the project and will secure a low-interest loan through Lutheran Association for Church Extension (LACE) for any funds needed to complete the project. This funding will allow MLS to complete the project this summer, eliminate the cost of waiting ($45,000 +/year), accommodate donors who want to support the project but have annual limitations, be ready for synod convention in 2015, support the ministry of LACE, get the students excited about coming back from summer vacation, and the list could go on and on. Now is the right time to do this. Every student that resides in the dormitory will move into a new room next year. The students are excited about that! The completion of this project will enhance the student experience at MLS, and the Foundation is excited about that! There will be new furniture, paint, flooring, window treatments, heating units, door locks, and controlled WiFi installed throughout the dormitory.

The MLS Foundation has been blessed with an endowment fund that will cover monthly obligations of the loan. As gifts continue to come in for the project, they will be used to pay down the loan. That is where you can help. Every dollar that is given towards the project above the monthly payment will go directly to the principal of the loan. Any gift you provide will help us complete the funding of this project. Please consider a gift today.

We are very grateful that we are able to help Michigan Lutheran Seminary move this project along. The students are very excited about this project and are thankful for the support! Between this upgrade to the dormitories and the Chapel renovation back in 2011, there will have been over $1.1 million in gifts given for these campus improvements. To God be the glory!

There will be much more information to come as the project draws nearer. There will also be volunteer opportunities with this project. If you are interested in volunteering, please call Laurie Starr at 989-793-1010, or email to sign up. You can get updates and follow the progress at

We have many ways for you to donate:

In Christian service,

Josh Wakefield
Donor Relations Director



Dormitory Slide Presentation

To all:

I have been getting many questions about the dorm project while attending graduation parties. Some of you maybe getting asked questions as well, so I wanted to share this presentation with you.
  • If there are people you know who want to help with this project please let me know.
  • If there are opportunities to present this information at your congregation or church group please let me know.
  • If you are moved to donate to this project you can do so through this link. Donate Now
Have a great summer!

Josh Wakefield
MLS Foundation
Donor Relations Director

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MLS Foundation Dormitory Project

Dear Friend of MLS,

I have some exciting news to share with you about a project that has been over thirty years in the making!

In 1976, Michigan Lutheran Seminary completed construction of new dormitory facilities that would accommodate all of its boarding students. This much-needed improvement was met with great enthusiasm by both parents and students. The lack of on campus dormitory space had necessitated students being placed in off campus dormitories and in the homes of Saginaw families around the MLS campus. Today, those same dormitories continue to keep our students on our own campus.

Unfortunately, after those same thirty-seven years the dormitory furnishings have more than reached the end of their life on campus! Thousands of students have used the beds, dressers, desks and chairs that were purchased through donations in 1976.

To complete the enormous project of refurbishing the dormitories, the Michigan Lutheran Seminary Foundation has offered to assist MLS by making this our priority project. With the help of the MLS administration we have undertaken an inventory of needs and have completed a great deal of research on the project. The dormitory is the students’ “home away from home,” and we want it to be a place that will function well for current students and a space that future students will look forward to living in while at MLS.

The scope of this project includes new furniture for all of the 118 rooms along with paint, window treatments and flooring. The furniture company has set up a “typical” two-person room in the dormitory for students, parents and donors to view and it has met with very favorable reviews. You can imagine the students’ excitement when they see the remodeled room. Some of their comments included, “This would be awesome!” “I wish we could stay to enjoy the remodel!”

Following is a breakdown of the project.

●    Total project cost: $650,000* (Per student cost: approximately $2,200)

By Materials
●    Dorm furniture for 118 rooms-$465,000 (this includes delivery and installation)
●    Flooring for 118 rooms-$110,000
●    Paint for 118 rooms-$75,000

As was done in 1976, we have broken down the project into room sizes and further down into furniture pieces to make the costs more understandable.

By Rooms
●    2 person dorm room-$4,400
●    3 person dorm room-$6,600
●    4 person dorm room-$8,800

By FurnitureImage
●    293-Beds @ $322
●    293-Mattresses @ $122
●    293-Desks @ $344
●    293-Dressers @ $327
●    293-Organizers @ $157
●    293-Chairs @ $160
●    1172-Dresser Drawers @ $25
(Yes, the dressers have drawers, but this is our way of saying that any size gift will help build toward a furniture purchase!)

This is the largest project that the MLS Foundation has undertaken to date and yet we remain encouraged about reaching our goal as we have already received more than $58,000 towards the refurbishing. This has allowed us to begin a dorm room countdown! 118,117,116,115,114,113,112,111,110,109,108,107,106… See more here Dorm Progress

To help us continue the countdown, please consider “purchasing” a bed, a mattress or even a dresser “drawer” to help us reach the goal of refurbishing the MLS dormitories. Another way to help? Bring the details of the project to your congregational leadership and see if your congregation as a whole can help with pieces of furniture or even an entire room. You and/or your congregation’s gift can help make this project become a reality for the students.

Please visit to tour the “typical” dorm room or make a donation to the project.

Thanks for your continued prayers and support of the MLS Foundation as it works to assist MLS with its mission of training students for the public ministry.

Josh Wakefield
MLS Foundation

*all quotes subject to change after June 1, 2013 (increases of  5-8% per year)
The furniture manufacturer has told us that furniture can be purchased and stored for up to 18 months. That’s our incentive to work towards the goal as quickly as we can!

QRcodeForPaymentP.S. Just after I finished my letter (which you should receive in the mail this week) and was getting it ready to send to you, a donor came forward and offered to the MLS Foundation up to $100,000.00 in matching funds for the dormitory project!
Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity by making a gift toward the dorm project. This gift when matched could furnish 46 additional rooms!

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Josh’s Thoughts April 17

One of the frequent questions I receive from our supporters is, “How much of my donation is spent on expenses, and how much is a true donation?” Recently the Foundation office received an email from our credit card processing service which will make a difference in how much of a credit card donation or payment we will be able to use as a donation.

On May 1, 2012 Visa will be assessing a new fee based on the total dollar amount of Visa transactions processed during the month. Based on previous months’ activities the amount the Foundation will pay in fees is likely to be $7.00 to $9.00 over and above the regular fees we are charged by Visa. The MLS Foundation is aware that you want us to act in the most fiscally responsible manner possible, so we feel it is necessary to make you aware of this upcoming cost increase. I understand this doesn’t seem like a significant amount of money but over time it does add up.

You can help in one of two ways.

  1. Use a different method of payment. Discover and MasterCard do not assess this additional fee. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from your checking account is the most cost effective.
  2. If you choose to use a credit card, you will have the option to add 2.65% to your charge to help offset the fees the Foundation pays.

Thank you for keeping Michigan Lutheran Seminary and the MLS Foundation in your prayers.

Josh Wakefield
Donor Relations Director
MLS Class of 1996

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Where there is a Will there is a way!

Do you have your standard Will in place? If you are like most Americans the answer is probably no.  Depending on what survey you look at, roughly 60-70% of people do not have a Will in place. A Will is the basic legal document that outlines your wishes for your earthly belongings and assets.  I know one thing for sure, if you don’t decide what to do with your assets, the State you live in has a process to decide for you.

Getting a Will done is just one of those things that people put off doing. They know it is important and it probably is on their to do list, but the excuses and procrastination always seem to win out.  For those of you who have an estate plan in place, it always good to review it every couple of years. A lot can change in that amount of time such as laws, beneficiaries, and financial status.

I often talk to donors who are in the process of completing or updating their estate plan documents and want to leave something to Michigan Lutheran Seminary or the MLS Foundation.  For those who have informed the MLS Foundation that they will be leaving a gift to us, they will become members of the Eberhardt Society.  Please contact the MLS Foundation office for more information about becoming a member of the Eberhardt Society.

I have included some links and other information that pertains to this topic.  As always please contact your professional adviser before making any estate planning decisions.

Wills and Bequests Booklet

Estate planning checklist– Simple easy checklist.

WELS Ministry of Christian Giving – This is a great place to start if you are unsure of what to do or who to talk to.  A giving counselor can walk you through the process and provide information that may help you with your situation.