Janklow praises creation of $85 million education foundation Student Loan Finance Corp. of Aberdeen has transferred $85 million to a new non-profit charity that is investing the money and will distribute the earnings for the benefit of South Dakota's school children.
Gov. Bill Janklow worked for months behind the scenes in helping set up Great Plains Education Foundation, Inc. The foundation's creation was publicly announced at a ceremony Friday afternoon in Aberdeen.
"This truly is a historic day for South Dakota," Janklow said. "This is the largest foundation South Dakota has ever had. This will help schools do more for our students, especially in areas such as computer and Internet technology where South Dakota schools are becoming recognized as leading not only the nation but the world.
The money became available when Student Loan Finance Corp. converted to a taxable corporation from a non-profit organization. A 1996 change in the federal tax code by Congress led to the conversion. An independent appraisal determined after the conversion a value of $85 million, which was transferred to the new foundation.
The board of directors appointed by the governor will oversee Great Plains Education Foundation. The current members are Chairman Harvey Jewett, Vi Stoia and Jack Thompson, all of Aberdeen, and Curt Jones of Britton.
Student Loan Finance Corp. now is employee-owned and operated for its current and future employees' benefit. It is independent of the State of South Dakota and the U.S. government. Student Loan Finance Corp. was founded in 1978 to provide loan services for leaders and students throughout the United States of America. It has assisted more than 300,000 students, with currently $700 million in loans outstanding.