‘We owe it to this institution ?’

'We owe it to this institution ?' USD President James W. Abbott formally announces the public phase of Campaign South Dakota during a press conference on June 8. Also participating in the announcement were, from left, Dean Belbas, chair of the USD Foundation, and Linda Mickelson Graham and Richard Cutler, co-chairs of Campaign South Dakota. Not pictured but present were Ted Muenster, president of the USD Foundation, and Mark Wiedenfeld, president of the USD Alumni Association. by M. Jill Karolevitz Students, faculty and alumni of The University of South Dakota have a bright future ahead of them with the anticipated success of Campaign South Dakota, USD�s $60 million comprehensive capital campaign.

Believed to be the largest fund-raising effort in the history of South Dakota, Campaign South Dakota was announced June 8 by USD President James W. Abbott. Under his leadership and with the support of the USD Foundation, the aggressive capital campaign has three goals: to increase endowed scholarships by $16.7 million to attract and retain the state�s and region�s best and brightest high school graduates; to raise $10 million for endowments to augment faculty salaries; and to provide $33 million in funding for new and restored facilities.

Abbott is confident the fund-raising effort will reach each goal by December of 2006 � or before.

�These are challenging goals of historic proportion,� Abbott said at the June 8 news conference. �But I�m confident that our alumni and friends will come forward and give generously to help USD become the best it can be.�

Former First Lady Linda Mickelson Graham, a USD graduate and Campaign South Dakota co-chair, said she and other USD alumni must step forward to support their alma mater.

�Now it�s our turn to build on our experiences here for future generations,� she said. �We have an obligation to those who came before us � those who built this university � and to those who will come after us. We have to think of the significance USD has for them.�

She also said the needs of the university are many and the challenge is great to meet those needs. Her Campaign South Dakota co-chair Rich Cutler, a Sioux Falls lawyer, agreed.

�We know the government isn�t in the position to provide the capital for things that need to be done at the university and for faculty,� he said. �We know those needs are not going to be met in any other way, but now they are being addressed with private funds.�

�We all owe it to this institution that gave us so much,� Abbott added. �And with the success of Campaign South Dakota, The University of South Dakota will better capitalize upon its many strengths and stand out strong as a regional leader in education.�

The blueprint for Campaign South Dakota notes that �an energetic and intellectually curious student body is the most important single ingredient of a quality university environment.� However, many high school students in South Dakota are drawn to other states, hence, the campaign�s �Students for a New Century� scholarship endowment program, to enhance the university�s ability to offer competitive financial aid to the best among its prospective students.

To supplement its existing scholarship programs, USD seeks to increase its scholarship endowment by $16.7 million, yielding an increase in annual scholarship funds of $835,000 with the following priorities: Mickelson Legacy and National Merit Scholarships, $11,455,000; Presidential/Alumni Scholarships, $3,166,000; and other scholarships and awards, $2,079,000.

�USD must compete for top scholars,� Abbott said. �It�s our first priority.�

With �Faculty for a New Century,� Campaign South Dakota will work to protect USD�s academic excellence by being more competitive in attracting and retaining the best faculty. The goal is to develop new endowments totaling $10 million to provide annual stipends to leading teaching faculty and academic leaders across the undergraduate, professional and graduate programs of the institution. The endowment goal is divided as follows: eight Distinguished Professorships, $500,000 endowment each, $4 million total; 20 Faculty Fellows, $300,000 endowment each, $6 million total.

To provide the best possible learning environment in USD�s service to its students, Campaign South Dakota�s final component includes fund-raising goals to restore current buildings and build new facilities.

The Old Armory will be renovated to house admissions, financial aid, registrar, academic counseling and other student programs. The estimated cost for the project is $2.2 million. Built in 1905, the Old Armory was the original gymnasium and ROTC headquarters for USD. In later years it was the center for women�s physical education and more recently has housed the campus maintenance shops.

Essentially unchanged sin ce its construction in 1925, Slagle Auditorium will receive a facelift at an estimated cost of $3.5 million. The auditorium will be refurbished with modern electronics, air conditioning and seating. Included in the plan is the restoration of the Skinner pipe organ, one of a few remaining examples of its type in the world.

In order to ensure continuity in the instructional and research programs of the USD School of Medicine, a phased rebuilding of the Andrew E. Lee Medicine and Science Building is planned at a total cost of $28.5 million. More than half of that is expected to come from various state and federal funding sources. Campaign South Dakota�s goal is to seek the remaining $12.5 million from private funding.

Although the faculty and scientific equipment are excellent, the building�s inadequacies make education and research increasingly difficult in a rapidly advancing group of academic disciplines in the life sciences. The rebuilt medical sciences complex will be state-of-the-art, preparing physicians and other health care professionals and researchers to serve the state region and nation for many decades.

A new School of Business is also needed, as the program has outgrown the 40-year-old Patterson Hall, which is also outdated for training the high-tech business professionals of the future.

Recognition of the need for a new business facility came in the form of a $1.7 million lead construction gift as part of an overall $8.5 million bequest to USD from the late Walter H. Buhler, a 1960 graduate of the USD School of Business. The building will be named for him. The total cost of the new facility is $12.8 million, which will be funded entirely by private gifts because no state funds are anticipated.

Other Campaign South Dakota goals for USD facilities include $700,000 for the Alumni/Foundation Center and $1.6 million for other capital improvements.

To date, the USD Foundation has raised a total of $39,750,000 in gifts, pledges, and deferred gifts of which $21,372,000 is targeted to specific Campaign South Dakota projects.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>