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Eric Albrecht and Charles Black Lance join board of Marshall H. and Nellie Alworth Memorial Fund

The Marshall H. and Nellie Alworth Memorial Fund, founded in 1949, has named Eric Albrecht and Charles Black Lance to five-year terms on its Board of Directors. They join other Board members and staff in providing $1.2 million in scholarships each year to northern Minnesota students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, science, engineering and medical fields of study.

The award amount in 2024 is $24,000 per recipient. Approximately 75 students are selected each year.


Albrecht, with two decades of diverse leadership experience in the banking industry, is President of National Bank of Commerce. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Duluth program, Albrecht resides in Hermantown, Minn. His other community involvement includes roles with LSBE Dean’s Business Advisory Council, Hermantown Amateur Hockey Association, Never Surrender ALS Association, Involta Financial Advisory Board and others.

Black Lance

Black Lance has been heavily involved in Brainerd Lakes Area organizations for years, including serving on the Brainerd School District’s Board of Education and the Initiative Foundation’s Board of Trustees. A graduate of the University of North Dakota who lives in Baxter, Minn., Black Lance is Central Lakes College’s Director of TRIO Student Support Services, a program that helps students complete associate degrees and successfully transfer to a four-year college or university for their bachelor’s degree.

“The Alworth Memorial Fund is pleased to welcome the expertise and unique perspectives of Eric Albrecht and Charles Black Lance to our board,” said Board President Patty Phillips. “They are the type of leaders who will help further this organization’s 75-year commitment to helping dedicated northern Minnesota students make a difference for future generations.”

In addition to Phillips, Albrecht and Black Lance, other current Alworth Memorial Fund board members are Kurt Brooks, Marieta Johnson, Maggie Skelton, Jim Spreitzer and Jeff Wig.

Since 1949, the Alworth Memorial Fund has granted a total of $55 million in scholarships to more than 5,400 students.The Fund is available to students in 60 high schools, plus those who are homeschooled, in these 10 northern Minnesota counties: Aitkin, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Lake, Itasca, Koochiching and St Louis.

As of 2023, there are over 260 active participants in the Alworth Scholarship program pursuing their degrees in colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad.Learn more at