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News Release

Nov. 16, 2018

3 southwest Iowa students receiving Butler, Faust scholarships

Northwest Missouri State University awarded scholarships this fall to three Iowa students in honor of two Atlantic, Iowa, natives with ties to the University.

Northwest’s Michael L. Faust Scholarship is awarded annually to incoming freshmen who are graduates of high schools in southwest Iowa with preference given to Atlantic High School graduates, while the C. Lee Butler Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or transfer student at Northwest with preference given to students who are graduates of high schools in Cass County, Iowa. Academic achievement and financial need are leading criteria for both scholarships.

Freshmen Blake Pelzer and Alexander Williams are this fall’s recipients of the Michael L. Faust Scholarship. Pelzer, a physical education major, is the son of Jeffrey and Stacy Pelzer, of Atlantic. Williams, an English education major from Atlantic, Iowa, is the son of Matt and Jenny Williams.

Faust, an Atlantic native and 1974 Northwest alumnus, retired in 2015 after a 36-year-career of service to Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc., a large construction and mining firm based in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was assistant to the chairman. He also managed the Peter Kiewit Foundation, led the company’s community relations programs and served as director of the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation.

Faust is a passionate supporter of Northwest and one of the Northwest Foundation Board’s longest-serving directors. He served as visiting dean of Northwest’s Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth College of Business and Professional Studies during 2015-16.

Freshmen Kade Nelsen receives the C. Lee Butler Scholarship. Nelsen, a business meta major, is the son of Kirk and Kelsie Nelsen of Anita, Iowa.

Charles Lee Butler – or Lee, as he was known to friends and family – was born in 1902 in Fontanelle, Iowa, where he attended elementary and high school. He enrolled at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for one year but dropped out to help support his family. After working in a Fontanelle bank, he moved with his wife, Florence, to Atlantic in the early 1930s to purchase a general lines insurance agency. He also served as secretary of the Cass Mutual Insurance Association, a county mutual fire and windstorm company. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Directors for Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company for many years.

For more information about the Michael L. Faust Scholarship or C. Lee Butler Scholarship, or to make a tax-deductible gift to benefit the University, contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
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