Skip to main content Skip to footer

November 29, 2023

SVSU receives six-figure gift to boost scholarship support

Two people holding envelope, flanked by four others

A six-figure gift from the estate of a former Saginaw Valley State University employee will benefit SVSU students who are current or past members of SVSU’s Support Staff Association or their children or grandchildren.

Douglas “Doug” Wagener, who worked more than 20 years for SVSU as a stagehand, theatre building director and electrician, passed away in April 2022. He left an estate gift of $650,000 to benefit the Gloria J. and Douglas E. Wagener Support Staff Association Endowed Scholarship at the university. The scholarship is named to honor the service and generosity of Douglas Wagener and his wife, Gloria, a 42-year employee of SVSU. The couple met at the university – then Saginaw Valley State College – and married in 1975.

Bernal Koch, Doug Wagener’s sister, presented a check to the SVSU Foundation during a reception hosted by the Foundation and the SVSU Support Staff Association. In her remarks, Koch said about the Wageners: “They had no children but understood the importance of education. The devotion Gloria had to her fellow colleagues through the work of the union and the connections she and Doug had with the students at SVSU were the reasons they created this scholarship. With this scholarship, future students will benefit from this generous endowment. Their legacy lives on!”

Gloria Wagener was instrumental in the establishment of the SVSU Support Staff Association and active in the organization throughout her SVSU career.

Caleb Zastrow is one SVSU student who has benefited from this scholarship. The marketing major from Midland, said scholarship support allowed him to be more involved on campus and enriched his college experience. “I wouldn’t get the same experiences anywhere else due to the generous gifts from donors like Doug and Gloria Wagener,” Zastrow said. “To them I would like to say, ‘thank you.’ This generous gift will impact students for many years to come.”

Zastrow is the son of Amy Zastrow, administrative secretary in SVSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology and a member of the Support Staff Association.

The SVSU Support Staff Association Endowed Scholarship was established in 2012. It was renamed the “Gloria J. Wagener Support Staff Association Endowed Scholarship” following Gloria Wagener’s unexpected death in 2016. In 2019, Doug Wagener pledged an estate gift to support the scholarship, and it was again renamed to honor his generosity.

“The Support Staff Association of Saginaw Valley State University gratefully acknowledges the generous donation received towards its endowed scholarship,” said Kathleen Chantaca-Kubczak, president of the Support Staff Association. “This generous contribution, to be presented by the Wagener family, is a tribute to Gloria Wagener, who founded the SSA in 1980, and her dedicated husband, Doug, who was a longtime SVSU employee and Gloria’s greatest supporter.”