Articles of Operation

Click here to download the PDF file of the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program, Inc. Articles of Operation

With 2020 Amendment

Articles of Operation 

  1. Name 

    1. The name of the program shall be the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program, Inc.

    2. The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program is a non-profit corporation named for Nellie Stone Johnson, a longtime member of the Minnesota State University Board, the Higher Education Board and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The scholarship program shall be a permanent reminder of Nellie Stone Johnson's contributions to civil rights, human rights, higher education, and the rights of workers.

    3. The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program shall be referred to in these Articles as the Scholarship Program.

  2. Statement of Purpose 

    1. The Scholarship Program exists to provide financial service to racial minority union members and their families who wish to pursue post-secondary education at one of the Minnesota State Universities which includes Bemidji, Mankato, Metropolitan (St. Paul/Minneapolis), Moorhead, St. Cloud, Southwest (Marshall), and Winona or any of the two-year institutions that are a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

    2. The Scholarship Program exists to further interest and participation in cultural diversity at MnSCU institutions

    3. The Scholarship Program exists to focus on the recruitment, retention and graduation of greater numbers of racial minority students, particularly those with a labor background.

    4. The Scholarship Program exists to reduce dependence on loans, easing a student's debt burden while the student is enrolled and after graduation.

    5. The Scholarship Program shall provide financial assistance to MnSCU students who qualify and meet the selection criteria as outlined in Section VI.

    6. Restricted grants will be permitted if they are in the interest of the Scholarship Program, as determined by the board of directors of the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program (the "Board").

  3. Location 

    1. The Scholarship Program shall be located at:
      Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program, Inc.
      P.O. Box 40309 St. Paul, MN 55104 

  4. Board of the Scholarship Program 

    1. The Board shall consist of a maximum of 25 voting members with two-thirds of those seats being held by labor union members.

    2. Vacancies in the Board shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board members in attendance at a regular meeting.

    3. The Board shall elect a vice chair, and secretary in even numbered years and chair and treasurer in odd numbered years at its May meeting. Terms of Office shall be two years. There shall be no limit to the number of terms an Officer may serve.  Beginning with the election of 2013-14, expiration of terms of office will alternate to establish that not all terms expire in the same year.  The Chair and Treasurer elected in May 2013 will serve 2 year terms, while the Vice Chair and Secretary shall serve 1 year terms.  The Vice Chair and Secretary positions will be open in May 2014 and the Chair and Treasurer positions in 2015.  Following the May 2013 elections all terms will again be 2 years.

    4. MnSCU shall be requested to nominate a representative for consideration by the Board. This representative shall be ex-officio and non-voting.

    5. All Board members shall be elected to two year terms.

    6. There shall be no limit to the number of terms a Board member may serve.

    7. The Board shall be composed of representatives from organized labor, the minority community, MnSCU, faculty and MnSCU students and the community at large.

    8. Quorum of the Board shall be one-half of the voting members and more than one-half of those being union members.

    9. Trustees:  The Board shall elect 3 Trustees to three year terms with one of these terms expiring each year.  Initially in 2017 The Board shall determine the one-year term, the two-year term, and the three-year term.

  5. Board Duties 

    1. The Board shall: 

      1. meet at least quarterly;

      2. authorize all expenditures, review the financial condition of the Scholarship Program, and take such action as necessary to protect the funds of the Program to assure the continuation of scholarship awards; 

      3. fund-raise for the Scholarship Program;

      4. appoint a sub-committee to review applications from student candidates for scholarships; and

      5. appoint additional standing and ad hoc committees as needed.

    2. Board meetings may be called by the chair of the Board or by five (5) Board members.

    3. Any member of the Board who has a financial, personal, or official interest in, or conflict (or appearance of a conflict) with any matter pending before the Board, of such nature that it prevents or may prevent that member from acting on the matter in an impartial manner, will offer to the Board to voluntarily excuse him/herself and will vacate his/her seat until remaining Board members have decided the matter and will refrain from discussion and voting on said item.

    4. Board members shall receive no compensation for their service as Board members, but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses as shall be determined from time to time by resolution of the Board.  Nothing herein contained shall be construed to preclude any Board members from serving this program in any other capacity and receiving compensation therefor.

  6. Guidelines for Scholarship Applicants 

    1. An applicant must be a racial minority group member, in addition to being a union member or the child, grandchild, or spouse of a minority union member. 

      1. A racial minority group member is defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget as: 

        1. American Indian or Alaska Native

        2. Asian

        3. Black or African American

        4. Hispanic or Latino

        5. Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

      2. Child and grandchild definitions include: 

        1. "dependent child" means a union member's (1) biological child, (2) child legally adopted or placed for adoption with the union member, (3) foster child, and (4) step-child. 

        2. "grandchild" includes a union member's (1) grandchild, (2) grandchild placed in the legal custody of the union member, (3) grand child legally adopted by the union member or placed for adoption with the union member, or (4) grandchild who is the dependent child of the union member's unmarried dependent child. 

    2. An applicant must be accepted or enrolled at a MnSCU institution.

    3. Preference will be given to Minnesota residents. Minnesota residency is defined by state voting eligibility.

    4. An applicant must meet the academic and admissions standards of the institution they are attending.

    5. If more than one award is made in any one year, at least one recipient must be female.

    6. No current Board member shall be eligible for a scholarship award.

    7. Deadlines for applications shall be set by the Board.

    8. All applications must be submitted prior to the period covered by the scholarship.

    9. Recipients must have a least a cumulative 2.0 grade point average for undergraduates and two-year students, and 3.0 for graduate students to be eligible for a scholarship. If the grading systems change, the scholarship review committee will consider the grading changes when reviewing applicants.


      1. Current recipients may apply for scholarship renewal for up to four years for undergraduate work, up to two years for graduate work and up to two years for a community or technical college program. While the intent of the scholarship is to encourage students to pursue a degree to completion through successive years of study, recipients may have a scholarship renewal in a non-successive year if, in the judgment of the scholarship committee, extenuating circumstances exist.

      2. To be eligible for annual scholarship renewal, the student must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and must satisfy other standards applied by the institution to scholarship recipients. The student must submit a renewal application along with a copy of his/her official cumulative academic transcript.


      1. An official copy of the academic transcript will be submitted with the candidate's application.

  7.  Accountability and Disbursements 

    1. At least one scholarship ranging from $500 to $2,500 will be awarded each year.

    2. The amount of the scholarship will be determined by the Board and will depend upon the student's financial need and the availability of funds.

    3. The Board shall receive verification that each scholarship recipient has received award and has maintained eligibility for scholarship.

    4. Scholarships awarded shall be disbursed each semester. Fifty percent of the award shall be disbursed for fall semester and fifty percent for spring semester. Summer disbursement must be approved by the Board. Awards for nonconsecutive semesters may be considered by the committee.

    5. The Fiscal Year for the Scholarship program shall be July 1, through June 30.

    6. No part of the net earnings of this program shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its shareholders, Board members, officers, trustees or other private persons (other than scholarship recipients in the manner described herein), except that the program shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of this program.

    7. The Board shall approve any and all contracts or any other agreements entered into on behalf of the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program.  Following Board approval of a contract or any other agreement, only the Chair, Vice Chair or the Treasurer are authorized to sign an approved contract or agreement.

  8.   Distribution of Assets

    1. Upon the dissolution of this corporation, its assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of this corporation shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, association or corporation organized and operated exclusively for the purposes specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for public purpose.  Such distributions shall be made in accordance with all applicable provisions of the laws of the State of Minnesota and the Internal Revenue Code.

  9. Amendment 

    1. The process of amending these articles of operation shall require a notice of proposed amendment at least ten (10) days prior to the board meeting of which the amendment will be voted.

  10. Rules of Order

A. The latest revision of Robert's Rules of Order shall be followed unless superseded by these articles of operation. 


The undersigned hereby certifies that these Articles of Operation were approved by the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program, Inc.’s Board of Directors on January 13, 2014.





Frank X. Viggiano, Chair