Scholarship honors Ren Todtenbier

The family of Ren Todtenbier established a scholarship at Northwestern State University in his memory. From left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, Michele Maggio Todtenbier, Ryan and Erika Todtenbier.

NATCHITOCHES – The family of Reynold H. Todtenbier has established a Northwestern State University scholarship that will immediately help a student and also support NSU in the long term through an endowment.

The Reynold H. Todtenbier Memorial Scholarship will be presented to a student pursuing a degree in business with preference given to a student from Natchitoches Parish. The recipient must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and will initially be awarded $500 per year for the duration of their studies. Another portion of the annual donation will be set aside as an endowment.

“This endowment was established in such a manner that a portion can be awarded as a scholarship as soon as possible, which is crucial for many of our students. The endowment is a long-term goal, but the scholarship dollars meet an immediate need,” said NSU Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE. “Many times we visit with students for whom $250 or $500 makes the difference in getting their degree.”

The scholarship was established by Michele Maggio Todtenbier with her son Ryan and daughter-in-law Erika to honor their husband and father, the late Ren Todtenbier, who passed away January 12. Mr. Todtenbier was a long-time resident of Natchitoches and graduated from NSU in 1977. Early in his career, he served as a chaplain’s assistant in the Seventh Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, primarily in Germany where he and Michele, who were married in 1978, resided during his military career.

Upon his return to the U.S., Mr. Todtenbier pastored several small churches, operated family restaurants, and spent his last 20 years working in insurance, where he focused on his passion for seniors and their healthcare needs.

NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio said “the endowment honors a great man as a legacy that will help many students for years to come. This is personal. This is family. Knowing Ren, I know this would mean so much to him and this endowment is for a lifetime. This is a great benefit for our community and for our family,” Maggio said.

Ryan is a 2007 NSU graduate and a partner at a local CPA firm. His wife Erika is a 2005 NSU graduate and a teacher at NSU Elementary Lab School. Michele is a well-known local Realtor who has serviced the Natchitoches community for the past 20 years. Also, in recent years, she has taken up Ren’s passion for helping seniors with their insurance needs. The family hopes this gesture in honoring their loved one by supporting NSU will inspire others in the community to do the same.

“NSU offers much more to the Natchitoches community than we realize. In addition to educating students, NSU has a significant impact on our community and local economy. Students not only support local businesses during their time at NSU, but many stay after graduation to join the Natchitoches community, helping it to grow even further. Dad loved NSU and Natchitoches. He would be pleased to know an act like this will help both continue to thrive,” said Ryan.

“I could tell when I sat down with Ryan to talk about this scholarship that it had been on his mind and that establishing it in memory of his father meant a great deal to him and his mother,” Bankston said. “You could feel the emotion in Ryan’s words as he explained why they wanted to establish the scholarship at NSU.”

Information on establishing a scholarship to honor a loved one is available by contacting Bankston at (318) 357-4241, at, or visiting