About Us

Building Promising Futures

Wallin Education Partners has developed and employs successful strategies to address the serious problems of low college persistence and graduation rates. Overall college graduation rates are low both nationally and in Minnesota. On average, college graduation is even lower for students with financial need, students who are the first in their family to attend college, and students of color. Our organization promotes college persistence and graduation by providing not only financial aid but also active advising and guidance.

Since 1992, Wallin Education Partners has awarded college scholarships to thousands of promising Twin Cities high school students with financial need. We partner with high schools, colleges, and donors to help our scholars live up to their promise—that they graduate from college, launch successful careers, and ultimately contribute to the future health and vitality of our communities.

Our commitment to these students goes beyond financial support. We recognize that even when students are academically prepared, they still need support to navigate the transition to college and to persist once they get there. Scholars are assigned Wallin Advisors who track their progress to graduation and help them access the support they need to succeed. Our advisors work in partnership with college and university personnel to connect scholars with the appropriate on-campus resources and coach them to advocate on their own behalf.

Wallin Education Partners and its donors are financially, academically, and personally supporting approximately 600 college students. Three million dollars is committed every year to provide both scholarships and guidance for scholars. With our scholars' recent 6-year graduation rate exceeding 85 percent, our unique approach is proven to work.

Wallin Education Partners is currently embarking on an ambitious plan to expand its community of donor partners, scholars, and participating high schools.

Click here to view our most recent Annual Report.

Our Mission and Vision

The mission of Wallin Education Partners is to enable college and career success for high-potential Minnesota students with financial need through scholarships, comprehensive advising support, and data-informed collaboration with our educational, business, and philanthropic partners.

The vision of Wallin Education Partners is to create a diverse, ever expanding community of scholars and educated citizens with the skills, leadership, and dedication needed to build a stronger tomorrow.

A Tradition of Educational Promise

Maxine Wallin and the late Winston Wallin

Winston R. Wallin strongly believed in the promise of education to transform lives and communities. He and his wife Maxine were both from families of modest means and both received college scholarships. Mr. Wallin may not have been able to attend the University of Minnesota if not for the GI Bill—the largest scholarship program in the history of our country. Mrs. Wallin attended Macalester College and the University of Minnesota.

In the years that followed, Mr. Wallin worked his way up to the presidency of Pillsbury and later led Medtronic through a period of remarkable growth as its CEO. Mrs. Wallin became a librarian at the University of Minnesota and a medical research librarian while the family lived in Utah. Both also became engaged civic leaders.

In 1992, the Wallins started a scholarship program at South High School in Minneapolis to provide “promising futures” for highly capable students from low- and moderate-income families. Recognizing a broader need, the Wallins later extended their program to graduates from Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Anoka-Hennepin, and several other north metro public high schools.

Referring to the program as his most important legacy, Mr. Wallin made generous provisions prior to his death in 2010 to ensure its further growth and success. The Wallin family strongly affirms its intention to make the legacy a lasting one. Wallin Education Partners is currently embarking on an ambitious plan envisioned by Mr. Wallin to expand the number of donor partners, scholarships, and participating high schools.

Our Collaborative Partners

Wallin Education Partners works collaboratively with its partnering high schools and with the colleges and universities its scholars attend. Our high school partners help ensure that we get strong candidates – students with financial need who have challenged themselves academically in rigorous college preparatory courses, who have demonstrated leadership, and who have shown a commitment to service. We work with our college partners to maximize the use of our financial aid dollars and to ensure our scholars know about and are making use of resources on campus that will help them grow and succeed.

Partnering High Schools

High School

Wallin Education Partners originally started at South High School in Minneapolis (Winston Wallin's alma mater) in 1992. Recognizing a broader need, the Wallins later extended their program to students graduating from Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Anoka-Hennepin, and several other north metro high schools.

Click here for a list of our current partnering High Schools.

Partnering Colleges and Universities


Wallin Education Partners scholars may attend accredited, 4-year, public or private (not-for-profit) institutions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, or one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This local focus enables the organization to provide substantive, in-person advising services and facilitates our close collaboration with college and university liaisons.

We work with our partnering colleges and universities to ensure that students receive the maximum amount of financial aid so that they can focus on academics rather than financial concerns. With student permission, we receive individual academic records so that we can track each student's progress. Our advisors also work to connect scholars with the on-campus resources that will increase their opportunities to grow and succeed.

Click here for a list of our current partnering Colleges and Universities.

"Wallin Education Partners is an important source of financial, academic, and social support for University of Minnesota students of modest means. The nearly $1 million in scholarships awarded each year [at the University] underscores the shared commitment of the Wallins, their fellow donors, and the University of Minnesota to provide a world-class education to local students from all walks of life."

—Robert Bruininks, President Emeritus of the University of Minnesota

our Staff Directory page.

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Staff and Board Members

For a complete listing, please visit our Staff Directory page.



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