Philanthropist and model of volunteer leadership passes away at age 90
Alexandra “Sandy“ Klas, a longstanding and generous benefactor of Inver Hills Community College, passed away May 31, 2021, at the age of 90. Sandy and her late husband, Bob, were exceptionally munificent proponents of Inver Hills students, the college’s mission and the Inver Hills Foundation.
Kimberly Shaff, executive director of the foundations at Inver Hills and Dakota County Technical College, reported that Bob and Sandy established the $150,000 Robert & Alexandra Endowed Scholarship in 2005. Kim added that they donated $350,000 to build the iconic Alexandra Klas Tower as an addition to the Fine Arts building on the north side of the college’s mall. The tower was completed in 2010.
“Bob and Sandy also donated to Gail’s Fund, which was created to help support single parents attending college,” Kim said. “They supported Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed scholarships, Building Brighter Futures scholarships, the Cheryl Frank Emerging Leader Endowment, emergency funds for students undergoing financial difficulties, and many other initiatives at the college over the years.”
Gail Morrison, former Inver Hill Foundation executive director, worked with Sandy on a number of significant projects over the years.
“Sandy Klas was a true friend of Inver Hills,” Gail said. “She frequently shared stories of the students’ and programs’ successes with others in the community. As an artist, she admired the pretty campus and with her husband, Bob, created a beautiful entrance to the college’s Fine Arts building. I believe her greatest joy, however, was meeting scholarship recipients, learning about their challenges and dreams, and encouraging them in their journeys.”
“Sandy was a strong advocate for students and a delightful person. Sandy and the Klas family have left a lasting legacy for students at Inver Hills.”
Inver Hills Community College
Dakota County Technical College
“Sandy was a gift and such a breath of fresh air,” Kim related. “She was energetic, kind and very funny. Her philanthropy changed lives and inspired many people. In addition to the generous financial gifts she gave students and Inver Hills, she also shared her knowledge, life experiences, and great sense of humor, all of which made our campus community better. I will miss Sandy’s many stories and her ability to always leave me smiling and energized after our conversations.”
“When I was 17, I lived in a residence for young Catholic women. The residence director and her friends called themselves the Catholic Big Sisters. They were single women who worked as school teachers and nurses. They took very good care of us—like loving aunts.
“They opened a bank account so that all 21 women living in the residence could go to college. My husband, Bob, served in the Korean War and went to Hamline on the G.I. Bill. We received so much help when we were younger and that’s why we give back.”
Alexandra “Sandy“ Klas
Philanthropist and Volunteer Leader
More about Sandy Klas…¹
Frances Alexandra Bride “Sandy” (neé Boardman) Klas, September 27, 1930 – May 31, 2021, passed away at age 90 at her home in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, with family at her side. Born and raised in Saint Paul, Sandy was the second of three children to Lawrence and Margaret Boardman.
A 1948 graduate of the Convent of the Visitation School, Sandy was a resident of the St. Wilhelmina residence for women when she met her future husband, Bob, who was a student at Hamline University.
Bob and Sandy were married in August 1950 while Bob was still an undergraduate. Less than five years after getting married, they were the parents of four children and Bob had begun his business, the Tapemark Company. They were to eventually have six children as Bob grew the business and Sandy raised the children.
Learn more about the Inver Hills Foundation by contacting:
Inver Hills Foundation
Dakota County Technical College Foundation