Throught their Fund, the Pierstorf brothers have left a lasting legacy and made a tangible impact on the lives of many young people. Not only has the Fund provided financial support for students, but it has also taught them early in their adulthood how to pay back a loan in a timely manner. Ervin Pierstorf, prior to his death, made a point to loan recipients that it was just that -- a loan. He would hand them their checks personally, saying, "Respect your parents, do well in school, and pay us back!"
Today, we honor the Pierstorf legacy by taking the same approach. Students are provided with a zero-interest loan toward higher education, and in exchange, they repay their loan in a timely fashion so that the Fund continues to remain available for the next in line.
One such success story is that of Michael Waugh, 2006 graduate of Valparaiso University and current Principal of Lutheran High School West in Rocky River, OH.
"In the fall of 2002 I started my collegiate career at Valparaiso University and then graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics, Classical Language, and Theology. My time spent as an undergraduate student at Valparaiso University would not have been possible without the support of Mr. Ervin Pierstorf, his family, and his generous contributions toward my education. Mr. Pierstorf’s foundation, now the Pierstorf Memorial Fund, provided our family with interest free loans so that I could attend college and complete my education in four years. Further, his foundation allowed me the flexibility in my undergraduate course load to major in multiple subject areas which prepared me for my career as an educator. Since those college years, I have had the opportunity to serve Lutheran schools for almost 15 years as a teacher, administrator, and now Principal. I currently serve as the Principal of Lutheran High School West in Rocky River, OH, an institution with which Mr. Pierstorf communicated and supported on many occasions. I am honored to serve on the Pierstorf board as a former loan recipient and Lutheran school graduate. Personally, I worshipped with Mr. Pierstorf on countless occasions and I am so thankful to support his family’s legacy of helping college students achieve their career goals by attending and graduating from college."
Another success story is that of Nathan Kenney, 1997 graduate of Kent State University. Nathan is the Chief Operating Officer of Spooner, Inc.
Nathan tells us: "I certainly didn't have a college fund to lean on, and my parents were not in the position to just be able to write a check for tuition. There was a lot of relief in being able to receive interest-free loans and know that when you began paying off those loans back after graduation, you would be paying for what was received [without wasting money on interest]. I didn't achieve anything special in my high school years that would make we worthy of receiving a loan from the Pierstorf Memorial Fund. But their [the Pierstorf brothers'] vision mirrors that of God's grace in this world. Even if you're not in the top ten in your class, or if you're unclear of your future of what you want to end up doing in your life, you are still eligible for a Pierstorf Loan."