Southwest high school has a long history of excellence and service. Please support Southwest and its great students--past, present, and future--with a gift today.

Southwest High School

Southwest High School

About the Foundation

The Southwest Foundation supports Southwest High School, recognized nationally as one of the top public high schools in Minnesota.  Located in the southwest corner of Minneapolis, Southwest was founded in 1940 and quickly became an academic, athletic, and artistic powerhouse. As state funding for education ebbs and flows, Southwest’s community steps in to fill important gaps and ensure that the students at Southwest continue to receive an excellent education.

The Southwest Foundation represents a merger between former alumni and parent fundraising efforts. In the early 1980’s, recognizing the increasing importance of a college degree, Southwest alumni organized the Southwest Foundation to raise money for student scholarships. Named scholarships, recognizing former Southwest teachers, students, and volunteers were established and now help over 26 graduating seniors each year. 

In the early 2000’s, parents at Southwest organized the Quality Education Campaign, later named the Southwest Education Fund, when they saw declining budgets impact Southwest’s ability to ensure that every student, regardless of background, receives the tools they need to succeed. In 2013, the alumni and parent fundraising groups combined to create the new Southwest Foundation, which continues to work to provide an exceptional experience for all Southwest students.


Seniors at Southwest may apply for scholarships from the Southwest Foundation in the spring of their senior year. Southwest's guidance counselors provide information about what scholarships are available and how to apply online through the Naviance system. Scholarship winners are announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. See the list of 2016 scholarship winners here.

Annual campaign

In the 2016-17 school year, the Southwest Foundation will support Southwest's students with a huge variety of programs. The Foundation's goal is to raise $110,915 to fund approved projects submitted to the Foundation in the spring of 2016 by teachers and the administration.

Here is a list of what the Foundation hopes to provide, with your help:

  • science and math supplies and exam fees;
  • the 9th and 10th grade play and guest artists and actors;
  • ACT preparation classes and tools to improve Advanced Placement test scores;
  • 9th grade academy to build community and school spirit;
  • student scholarships to make International Baccalaureate exams affordable for all;
  • clubs, activities, and leadership programs;
  • library books;
  • the new coffee and snack shop;
  • guest artist residencies for alumni composers Libby Larsen '68 and Carl Schroeder '01;
  • a Wellness Fair to focus on student mental and emotional well being;
  • field trips, classroom supplies, and all supplies for homeless students;
  • collaboration with Project Success;
  • professional development resources for teachers and professional staff;
  • and technical personnel to support assemblies, classes, rehearsals and performances in the auditorium.

Please give to the Foundation here to help give Southwest's diverse student body the tools and experiences they need to thrive.

upcoming foundation board meetings 

The Southwest Foundation Board meets at 6:00 p.m.every other month in Southwest's new conference room just inside Door 1 (the new atrium door on 47th Street). Everyone is welcome! If you are interested in attending a meeting or serving on the Foundation's Board, please contact Kristin Ruffner, Board Chair, at for our next meeting date.

The original entrance to Southwest High School, September 2014.                                                   Photo by Jana Freiband