Anonymous donor gives $150,000 to USD

Anonymous donor gives $150,000 to USD An anonymous South Dakota donor has given The University of South Dakota $150,000 to endow the first of a new category of scholarships named in memory of former South Dakota Gov. George S. Mickelson.

The endowment, the first in USD's new "Mickelson Scholarship Program" will be called the "South Dakota Scholars Endowment." The scholarship will provide full tuition, fees, and room and board to an outstanding South Dakota student each year. It will be awarded for the first time for the 1999-2000 school year.

"The South Dakota Scholarship is the first of a new type of scholarship at the university," said USD Foundation President Ted Muenster. "When the state ended its Mickelson Scholars program, the university resolved to replace it with its own Mickelson Scholarship Program. The donors of the endowment that will fund the first of this new category of scholarships prefer to remain anonymous, but they are prominent South Dakotans who feel that higher education is an investment in the future of our state."

Recipients of the new scholarship will be selected from the most academically gifted South Dakota high school graduates. Recipients must have demonstrated leadership in school and community activities in addition to high academic achievement. Preference will be given to students with an indicated interest in remaining in South Dakota following their education.

"In recent years, too many of South Dakota's best and brightest high school graduates have chosen to attend college out of state. This scholarship and others like it will help reverse that trend," said USD President James W. Abbott. "The University of South Dakota provides an education that is second to none. This new 'South Dakota Scholars' scholarship affirms that excellence."

The endowment that funds the "South Dakota Scholars" program will be managed by the USD Foundation. The foundation provides private financial resources for the university, in order to increase the excellence of the educational experience provided by USD, with the goal of creating the best small public university in the nation emphasizing excellence in teaching. Total new giving to the USD Foundation last year was almost $4 million, up 33 percent from the previous year. Total net assets of the foundation increased by 16 percent in FY98, to $50 million in assets as a result of generous gifts and bequests from alumni and friends of USD. Last year, the USD Foundation granted more than $1.5 million in scholarships, about $1.1 million for support of the academic departments of the university and over $540 thousand for capital projects and equipment. New endowments for scholarships or other purposes that benefit the university may be created within the USD Foundation for as little as $5,000, contributed over three years.

For more information, contact the USD Foundation at (605) 677-6703 or http://

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