difficult to recruit great professors for. “Great professors
attract great students,” Keller said. “To get the best, we must
be willing to pay highly competitive salaries.”
Jerry Kerkhove ’69, an accountant and Centennial,
Colo. resident, recognized this need, and when he recently
revised his will to include a large estate gift to the USD
Foundation, he created an endowed fund establishing
graduate student assistantships in ­accounting. “I knew I
wanted to do something meaningful,” Kerkhove explained.
When I first thought of USD, I decided I wanted to create
a scholarship.” After further consultation with Susan Tuve
of the USD Foundation and Professor Tom Davies of the
accounting department, Kerkhove decided to narrow the
focus of his gift and endowed a graduate assistantship,
bridging the gap between student and professor and
benefitting both. Graduate assistants help professors do
great teaching and great research, making a scholarship like
this a double benefit to the school.
Development of new academic programming is also
part of the projected growth and the Beacom School
of Business has been fortunate to have recently had
generous benefactors provide large discretionary gifts
for program development and all it entails. The key
programs created with these funds have centered around
experiential service learning. High quality, hands-on
service projects run like businesses by students are
what Keller believes will continue to separate the USD
Beacom School of Business from other business schools
across the country.
USD’s Coyoteopoly, a student-run corporation that
began in 2004, is an example of experiential learning. Its
projects have included support of the Vermillion Food
Pantry and the creation of the South Dakota Shakespeare
Festival. Given scholarship support and class credit, students
develop and execute all aspects of these charitable projects.
Keller believes that students benefit from experiential
learning projects because they offer real-world
experiences. “Business isn’t theoretical,” he said. “It’s
­
action-based, and through these projects, our students
get to experience all aspects of running their own
business. Our competitors do not offer the quality
experiential learning that we provide at Beacom.”
Students at Beacom have bright futures. Thanks to
donors, Beacom Hall is as fine an academic building as
any in the world. With the continued support of friends
at the USD Foundation, its faculty and programs will
continue to compete effectively with the best in the
AACSB Division I of business education.
Fall
2012 11
Business isn’t theoretical, it’s
­
action-based, and through
these projects, our students
get to experience all aspects of
running their own business.
Our competitors do not offer the
quality experiential learning that
we provide at Beacom.’
Jerry Kerkhove ‘69
Coyoteopoly supports community organizations
such as the Vermillion Food Pantry.