Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate Wednesday, April 17, in an effort to write thank you notes to Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislators about the Minnesota State Grant Program.

The “Thank You Note Event” will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Campus Way on the second level of the Anderson Student Center, east of the stairwell. Staff members from St. Thomas Financial Aid and the Minnesota Private College Council will be present with computers and note cards to assist people in writing notes to Dayton and legislators from their home districts.

This year, the State Grant Program awarded nearly $5 million in need-based financial aid to 1,456 St. Thomas undergraduate students who are Minnesota residents, for an average grant of $3,410. The Legislature next month will set the state grant budget for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. Gov. Mark Dayton has recommended an $80 million, or 25 percent, increase in state funding for the program for the next two years.

“It is important that all of us, especially state grant recipients, thank Governor Dayton and legislators for their past support of the program and to encourage approval of the governor’s proposal,” said Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations. “The proposal would provide larger grants to returning students who receive state grants and also would expand eligibility for the program.”

Questions? Contact Hennes at dehennes@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-6402, or Tammy Eickholt-Schroyer, assistant director of financial aid, at taeickholt@stthomas.edu or (651) 962-6552.