The Community Performance Excellence Leadership Award

The Community Performance Excellence Leadership Award

Deadline for Applications: March 1st
Award: $5,000 per year



The Community Performance Excellence Leadership Award has been established to provide financial assistance of  $5,000, renewable for up to two years, for three deserving students each year. Students must demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health and vitality of communities through the use of proven quality principles and collaborative leadership practices across all sectors and generations.

Establishing the Scholarship

Lowell and Leslie Kruse, initial funders of the award, are motivated by a vision in which the use of Community Performance Excellence Standards and collaboration among community leaders from all sectors and generations is the cultural norm. Their vision is simply that the use of a Community Performance Excellence Framework and a strong commitment to a truly collaborative leadership model will systematically address a community’s root cause drivers of the social determinants of health and vitality. They have provided initial funding for this award at Augustana with the goal to support students whose personal mission it is to collaborate with fellow leaders and use quality principles to improve communities. Lowell and Leslie have generously offered their guidance as recipients of this award conclude their undergraduate careers and embark on their professional career and/or graduate education.

Lowell C. Kruse is a 1965 graduate of Augustana where he majored in business administration. He went on to the University of Minnesota where he was a 1967 graduate of the Masters of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) program. From 1984 to 2009, Lowell served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Health, an integrated health system in St. Joseph, Missouri. He is well known regionally and nationally for his commitment to excellence in healthcare and passion for improving the quality of life in communities around the country.  In 2009, Heartland Health received both the National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award and Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service. 

The recipients will be known as Kruse Scholars at Augustana College. The Community Performance Excellence Leadership Award will be administered by the Office of Financial Aid with assistance from Academic Affairs at Augustana.


Qualified applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants will be junior status for the 2015-16 academic year.
  • Applicants must be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more).
  • Engaged in leadership in the community.
  • Desire to continue community leadership throughout your career.
  • Have a strong record of academic achievement.

Up to three Augustana students are eligible for a $5,000 award, renewable for up to two years, contingent on the following:

  • Maintain engagement in extracurricular/community activities
  • Maintain an excellent grade-point average
  • Participate in meetings/discussions once per semester with Lowell & Leslie Kruse
  • Participate in developmental leadership opportunities as they become available (e.g., campus visit(s) with Leslie & Lowell Kruse, virtual town hall meetings, site visits, etc.)

Application (Deadline is March 1st)

Include the contact information of one professional reference who can best speak to your ability to be a successful participant in community collaborations and leadership. Reference
Please note: Final candidates may be asked to interview with the Scholarship Committee.
I hereby authorize scholarship committees of Augustana College to have access to my college files for purposes of determining my eligibility for scholarships. I understand that the College reserves the right to renew its scholarship commitment(s) from any college-funded award source. I understand that any scholarship awarded to me based on the application will be considered as a part of my total financial aid eligibility at Augustana College and that I must enroll as a full-time student for classes on campus.