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USD surpasses halfway goal as 250 million dollars campaign launches

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota supporters, faculty and students celebrated the launch of the public phase of a $250 million fundraising campaign Oct. 10 with news that the Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota had achieved its leadership phase goal.

That was set at $134 million — to exceed the $133,950,064 raised by Campaign South Dakota, which began in 2001 and concluded in 2006.

According to Steve Brown, president and CEO of the USD Foundation, the generosity of donors pushed that ambitious goal to $135,223,415. “We’ve long described the Onward campaign as an expression of unapologetic pride in the University,” he said. “USD supporters obviously share that conviction.”

In addition to many significant gifts made earlier in the leadership phase of the Onward campaign, three from distinguished former faculty of the USD Sanford School of Medicine were announced on Friday. They include the first endowed chair in the history of the University’s Sanford School of Medicine. It was established by a $1 million gift from the estate of Dr. Karl Wegner; the first recipient is Dr. Keith Hansen of Sioux Falls. A second faculty chair will be endowed as the result of a $3.7 million gift by Dr. Charley and Elizabeth Gutch. The late Dr. Gutch was associate dean of the Medical School from 1983-88, and retired as professor emeritus of the medical school.

Dr. John C. Sall committed more than $330,000 to establish the John C. Sall, MD Professorship in Medicine — the first professorship in the history of School of Medicine.

The most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the University, Onward will create scholarships, professorships, educational enrichment opportunities and facilities improvements. The latter includes the USD Sports Performance Enhancement Complex — with a 6,000-seat basketball and volleyball arena and an outdoor track — on which construction has begun; expansion of the USD National Music Museum; and improvements to the Law School and the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.

Tom Gallagher of Spearfish Canyon, S.D., who co-chairs the Campaign with his wife Nancy, noted that 10,600 alumni and friends have declared support during the two-year leadership phase of the campaign. “There are 138 whose gifts are of a magnitude that will truly transform the University.”

Now, he said, the campaign shifts its emphasis from depth to breadth. “The success of the Onward Campaign will depend on the breadth of support from alumni and the community at large.”


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News