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Scholarship Fund Created in Honor of Stacey Hunter Hecht

Stacey Hunter Hecht was a beloved professor, well-respected for her political commentary on local media, and chair of the Department of Political Science at Bethel.

Associate Professor of Political Science Stacey Hunter Hecht died in 2015 after a battle with cancer. On April 7, David Schultz—a political science professor at Hamline University and Hunter Hecht’s friend and co-author—announced on TPT’s Almanac that he and his wife Helene have seeded a scholarship fund in honor of Hunter Hecht.

“Stacey and I met originally years ago when we appeared together on Almanac,” writes Schultz. “We hit it off so nicely, and after a while…we would purposively get to the show early so that we could talk and socialize. I so much cherish and remember those times.”

Both professors were regular commentators on local and national politics, and in 2015 they combined efforts to compile Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter.

“Stacey first suggested we collaborate on something, and eventually we came up with the idea of a book on presidential swing states,” Schultz remembers. “We worked very closely together on the project, and even as she fell ill she was diligent and brave in terms of pulling her weight. We became very close because of our book, and I knew how much she loved her students and Bethel. Helene and I decided that this scholarship would be a perfect way to commemorate her life.”

Hunter Hecht and Schultz shared a passion for their students and fostering respectful political debate. Their dream was to teach a joint political science course where Bethel and Hamline students—who often have opposing political views—could engage in dialogue. 

“As the recent election has shown, too much of America lives in a bubble. We need to do a better job talking to one another and to those who have contrary opinions,” Schultz says. “Having students from two different schools together in one class would have been our little way of breaking down some of the institutional and other barriers that divide the USA.”

Though the class they dreamt of never took place, their vision of solid political science training within liberal arts settings will live on through the Stacey Hunter Hecht Scholarship Fund. The endowed fund will provide funds to Bethel University students who are pursuing careers in political science. To contribute to this scholarship fund online, select "Other" and enter "Stacey Hunter Hecht Scholarship Fund." All gifts to Bethel University are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Please consult your tax advisor for details.

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