USD receives $1.325 million gift The University of South Dakota Foundation has received a $1.325 million gift from the estate of Katharine M. Norton of Rapid City.
The gift will fund a new scholarship endowment for South Dakota undergraduate students at the university. The announcement was made at the annual meeting of the USD Foundation Trustees in Vermillion on Friday, Oct. 12, by Betsy Groves of Rapid City, niece of Mrs. Norton.
The new scholarships will be named in honor of Mrs. Norton's parents, Glen and Florence Martens and of Mrs. Norton, at the suggestion of her family. The Martens were prominent Pierre residents where Mr. Martens founded a leading law firm and was active in public affairs. The Martens were natives of Big Stone City in Grant County.
Born in Pierre, Mrs. Norton graduated from USD in 1936. She and her husband, James Norton of Rapid City, lived in several parts of the world and the United States before returning to South Dakota. Mr. Norton, a professional geologist, contributed to the endowment by directing his share of his wife's estate to the scholarship endowment. Mrs. Norton passed away in February 2001.
USD Foundation President Ted Muenster said the new endowment is the second largest of its kind ever received by the university, exceeded only by the Rawlins Scholarship endowment, which also provides undergraduate awards for South Dakota students attending USD.
"Mrs. Norton never forgot where she came from and how important her education at USD was in her life. She wanted to make the opportunity to attend her university available to future generations of South Dakotans and honor her parents at the same time," said Muenster.
The first Martens-Norton scholarships are expected to be awarded for the 2003-2004 academic year, totaling about $65,000 in the first year.