The Allene R. Chiesman Fund for Civic Education was established for the purpose of promoting civic education with special attention to creating a greater awareness of the meaning of democracy and democratic ideals, to the role of law and the nature of citizenship in a democratic society and to the relationship of economics and democracy.

Allene R. Chiesman, a South Dakota native, was a philanthropist who supported the American and democratic way of life. Her beliefs were rooted in the fundamentals of hard work and giving back to society a fair share of what one gains through living in a democratic society. 

Besides founding the Chiesman Foundation For Democracy and establishing an endowment to meet its mission and goals, she established scholarships and endowments at USD. The scholarships have helped many students meet their educational goals and the endowments fulfill the goals of preparing individuals to become active citizens and leaders within South Dakota.