President Hensrud Donates Cadillac to BSU Foundation to Celebrate Retirement

The Hensruds ride their Cadillac during a Homecoming parade at BSU

The Hensruds ride their Cadillac during a Homecoming parade at BSU

A staple of Bemidji State University Homecoming parades during her six years as Bemidji State’s president, Dr. Faith Hensrud and her husband, Neil, donated their all-original 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible to the BSU Foundation to help create a lasting legacy on campus following her July 1 retirement.  

When Faith was appointed president in 2016, Neil acquired the car from his cousin.  

“It was the perfect color for BSU with green and white,” he said. “When I bought the car, it was my intent all along that we donate it to the Foundation at the end of Faith’s presidency.” 

The Cadillac is all original, save for new Coker correct white sidewalls — the original spare remains in the trunk — including the Jade Fire Mist paint, white leather interior and white convertible top. The car sports a 500cc overhead eight-valve engine and Hydramatic transmission and has been driven less than 49,000 miles. 

The car was sold June 27 to John Puglisi of Puglisi Classico, LTD. Proceeds from the sale were donated to support priority needs for Beaver Athletics, and added to The Dr. Faith and Dr. Neil Hensrud Scholarship endowment to benefit first-generation students. 

“Neil has always collected cars, and the green and white Cadillac was a fun addition for parades and just driving around Bemidji,” she said. “We are pleased to provide this support for Beaver Athletics and for BSU students through an endowed scholarship.” 

Tracy Dill, director of athletics at Bemidji State, thanked the Hensruds for their ongoing support for Beaver Athletics and BSU student-athletes. 

“The money raised will provide scholarship support for student-athletes and truly make an impact in the lives of our students,” he said. “Beaver Athletics appreciates this support from the Hensruds.” 

It is the second car donated to a university foundation by the Hensruds. They previously donated a Rolls Royce to the University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation. 

Josh Christianson, BSU’s executive director of university advancement, said the donation of the iconic vehicle demonstrates one of the many creative ways donors can contribute to the foundation. 

“This contribution shows that there are many ways to support BSU students,” he said. “We thank Faith and Neil for their steadfast support of our students and wish them both endless happiness in their next adventures.”