Scholarship a Shot in the Arm for Malaki Wessel

Binkowski/Swanson Scholarship
Nursing major Malaki Wessel, right, is pictured at a Scholarship Thank You event with Deak Swanson, who established the Binkowski/Swanson Scholarship to honor his brother and sister.

After graduating in 2016 from Luxemburg-Casco High School (near Green Bay), Malaki Wessel wasn’t yet sure on his direction in life. His first semester of college was spent at Upper Iowa University, where he played soccer.

Then at the end of that semester, it came to him. He wanted to go into nursing.

He researched his options, searching for a place where students landed good jobs right out of school, and settled on Viterbo University. On top of the great placement rate, Wessel added, “It’s a small university and they really care about their students. Bigger universities don’t offer the things that Viterbo does.”

And it’s not just Viterbo’s faculty and staff that cares about students. Wessel knows firsthand that there is an army of generous people who care about Viterbo students and show that by funding scholarships.

When he was a sophomore, Wessel was named a recipient of the Binkowski/Swanson Scholarship, and it has been renewed for the soon-to-be-senior each year since. The scholarship was set up by former Viterbo board of trustees member Deak Swanson to honor his younger sister and brother and his youngest son.

“Basically, the scholarship has allowed me to work less and focus on school and be the best I can be. Scholarships really help students,” Wessel said. “You take it personally. You take that as someone is watching out for you, giving you stability, and helping you to reach for your dreams.”

Meeting Swanson and realizing all he has done for his community was an eye-opening experience for Wessel. “It’s humbling when you see somebody like Deak, and then you say, ‘How can I pay this forward.’”