One of BSU’s young alums has made the fight against COVID-19 a top priority, not only in his home country of Myanmar, but by investing in Bemidji State nursing students.

As president of the Yangon Region Young Entrepreneurs Association, Than “Alan” Lwin ’05, led the group’s campaign to gift medical supplies to area healthcare workers and raise more than $150,000 to fund meals for the doctors, nurses and lab experts fighting COVID-19 in Myanmar.

As COVID-19 cases rose globally, Lwin felt a strong desire to put the future registered nurses from the BSU class of 2020 on the fast-track to making a difference in the health of their communities by gifting funds to help pay licensure exam fees for BSU’s 49 recently-graduated nursing students.

The National Council Licensure Examination is the standardized test used to determine if a candidate is ready to become licensed as an entry-level nurse.

“This thoughtful and generous donor, after seeing what nurses are doing in this time of a global pandemic, is honoring those ready to enter the field of nursing and thereby making an impact on the future of nursing,” said Marci Maple, professor and chair of BSU’s Department of Nursing.

Lwin, who graduated with a business administration degree, is the president of Proven Technology Industry Co., Ltd., one of Asia’s largest automotive product distributors. He visited Bemidji with his family during Homecoming 2019 – his first return to Bemidji since graduating. During that visit, he received BSU’s Young Alumni Award at the Alumni & Foundation’s annual Honors Gala.

“I sincerely hope my gift will help both BSU and the nursing students to get them ready to assist the community of Bemidji,” Lwin said. “I am so honored to be part of the program.”