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Initiatives Focused on Leadership Development, Student Success and DEI Selected for Investment by Women in Philanthropy

VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota Women in Philanthropy has selected four new initiatives it will support with financial investment to promote leadership development; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); student success and more. Representatives from each of the initiatives will provide details on their efforts Saturday, Sept. 11, at 9 a.m. at the Muenster University Center.

All who are interested in empowering women and USD students are encouraged to attend the event. Attendees can reserve a table for eight guests for $400 or purchase individual tickets for $50. Registration is available online.

The new initiatives selected for funding this year include the following.

President’s Senior Leadership Institute: As USD Women in Philanthropy’s main initiative for the year, the President’s Senior Leadership Institute was selected for the role it will play in developing the next generation of South Dakota leaders. The institute connects senior-level students with leaders across the state to offer personal and professional development opportunities to prepare them for life after USD. The program seeks to foster soft skills and non-academic knowledge needed to be a young professional, including personal strengths awareness, financial literacy, responsible citizenship and more.

Knudson School of Law Women Leaders Speaker Series: This speaker series brings law school alumnae to campus for panel discussions focused on excellence, service and leadership to help current female law students learn how they can build a career path and be an advocate for these values. This is an investment in the legal capabilities of South Dakota and future lawyer leaders.

Native Student Services Living Learning Community: Partnering with University Housing, the Native Student Services is establishing a Living Learning Community to help Native American students transition to college and create healthy living environments. The community will offer opportunities to participate in cultural and traditional workshops on cultural preservation, tribal sovereignty, language revitalization and betterment of Native nations. Through these efforts, the community will help boost retention and graduation rates among Native students.

Cultural Wellness Coalition: The Cultural Wellness Coalition (CWC) is looking to expand its ability to bring different experiences and perspectives to campus through its Cultural Film Festival, mentorship opportunities, events for meaningful conversation and more. Its goal is to better represent minority students and ensure accessible spaces and resources needed for their personal, academic and professional success. Through these efforts, the coalition hopes to build stronger bridges in the community and a sense of awareness and welcoming for all.

Register now for the USD Women in Philanthropy event happening Sept. 11 to learn more about these initiatives and ways to get involved.

The USD Women in Philanthropy network is a movement – a uniting of like-minded women using diverse talents, backgrounds and experiences to enhance the university and positively impact its students. Inspired by a shared mission, USD Women in Philanthropy is providing a platform where women can pool their resources, passion and philanthropic insight to make a difference not only in the lives of students but also in their respective communities. By providing opportunities for engagement, women discover their passions and interests and connect with other women to become visionary investors supporting the University of South Dakota.

The University of South Dakota Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, has inspired philanthropy and managed charitable gifts for the benefit of the University of South Dakota since 1922.


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News