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SDSU Foundation sets 1-year fundraising record

BROOKINGS — Donors committed more than $63 million to the South Dakota State University Foundation in 2013, breaking the previous record for gifts and pledges in a single year by $10.4 million.

The 2013 total of $63,027,612 came from 9,268 different donors. The previous one-year high of $52.6 million was set in 2008.

The record-breaking fundraising comes on the heels of It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University, which received $255.7 million in gifts and pledges over a six-year period.

The campaign officially ended April 24.

The foundation had received $30.9 million in pledges and gifts between January 1 to April 24 of 2013 as donors made a strong push to be part of the historic campaign. In the fi nal eight months of 2013, another $32.1 million was raised.

“It would not be unusual for donors to pause and catch their breath after being the driving force behind a record-setting campaign,” said Steve Erpenbach, president and CEO of the foundation. “The fact is, our donors have been energized by the extraordinary progress made by SDSU as a result of the comprehensive campaign and continue to invest in this university in a very generous fashion.”

In the past seven years, donors have now committed just shy of $290 million to SDSU. Prior to the campaign, giving to the Foundation averaged about $14 million a year.

The leadership gifts for the proposed new football stadium is an example of that momentum. Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford and the Dana and La Dawn Dykhouse family announced $12.5 million in gifts during halftime of this year’s Hobo Day game to jumpstart the fundraising effort for a new stadium. Other leadership gifts from 2013 included seven-figure commitments for the Thomas A. Daschle Center for Public Policy and Leadership, a proposed development to construct a new Alumni Center as an addition to the Foundation’s Lohr Building and the expansion of the Performing Arts Center.

Forty-five new named scholarships were created and 52 named endowments (41 that will ultimately support scholarships, 11 that will support programs) were also started in 2013.

An endowed professorship in structural and construction engineering initiated by 1953 civil engineering graduate John M. Hanson was completed. Dr. Nadim Wehbe is the fi rst holder of the John M. Hanson Endowed Professorship.

“The commitment donors continue to make to our students, faculty and institution is truly remarkable,” said Keith Mahlum, the foundation’s vice president for development.

“Their investments are making a profound impact on our campus, within our state and throughout the region. We appreciate their generosity and look forward to forging new relationships as we set our sights on future opportunities.”

University leaders and the Foundation have announced a new initiative aimed specifically at student success. The effort includes the Jackrabbit Scholarship Initiative, which seeks to raise an additional $2.1 million annually for scholarships; endowed faculty and professorships; and capital improvements that include the renovation of 99 existing classrooms over the next fi ve years.

For further information, contact Steve Erpenbach at (605) 697-7475.