‘This gift is just extraordinary’

'This gift is just extraordinary'
Students studying for a career in healthcare at The University of South Dakota now have a new way to help fund their education. Thanks to the generosity of Margaret and Matthew Faithe, an $8.7 million gift is being used to create the Faithe Family Scholarship Endowment at The University of South Dakota Foundation.

Students who receive the scholarships each year will be known as Faithe Scholars.

� Margaret Faithe, who died June 13, 2005 and Matthew Faithe, who died on Nov. 22, 1990, bequeathed the largest one-time gift to the university, which is also believed to be the largest single gift ever given to any South Dakota higher education institution.

"This gift is just extraordinary," said Rich Cutler, USD Foundation chair and co-chairperson of Campaign South Dakota. "We couldn't be more thrilled about Matthew and Margaret Faithe's commitment to education and medical training in this state. This endowment will allow the USD Foundation to assist South Dakota's future healthcare leaders for many, many years to come. I am always amazed by the commitment made by South Dakota professionals and their willingness to give back to our community in so many ways."

The announcement of the new scholarship endowment was made in Sioux Falls Oct. 6, with the first Faithe Scholars in attendance to accept their scholarship certificates. The Faithe estate provided $125,000 for scholarships for the current school year, an amount which will increase substantially in the future to about $300,000 annually, providing scholarships to many graduate and undergraduate healthcare students.

"One of the greatest needs of medical education in South Dakota is scholarship support so that everyone with a passion for medicine can have the opportunity to contribute to improving the health of the people of South Dakota," said Dr. Rod Parry, dean of the USD School of Medicine. "Our USD health students will benefit greatly from this generous gift as the cost of health related education continues to climb."

The Faithe Family Scholarship Endowment will provide assistance to students majoring in fields identified by the Faithes as important components of a total healthcare system. The funds will be applied, as needed, in the following fields of study: anatomy, anesthesia, health services administration, medical technology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social work concentrating in the medical arena.

Awards will be given to students who are enrolled or accepted by USD who meet all departmental graduate and undergraduate requirements. Preference will be given to candidates who show financial need, have outstanding accomplishments and who hope to serve the healthcare delivery system.

"We are proud of our School of Medicine and the entire Health Science division. The university has trained South Dakota's medical professionals for over a century and with the help of this tremendously generous gift, we'll continue teaching South Dakota's brightest and best for a very long time," said USD President James W. Abbott.

This year's Faithe Scholars include: Amanda Adams, Ethan, junior, medical technology; Lindsey Keill, Sioux Falls, sophomore, medical technology; Crystal Andresen, Hartington, NE, senior, social work; Anna Bourne, Sioux Falls, senior, social work; Kelly Cimpl, Wagner, second year student, nursing; Susan Lefevre, Casper, WY, second year student, nursing; Christopher Schieffer, Tabor, graduate student, physical therapy; Elizabeth Bright, Rapid City, graduate student; occupational therapy; Christopher Johnson, Yankton, fourth-year medical student; Carmen Schwartz, Estelline, second year medical student; Heather Stevens Spader, Arlington, VA, third year medical student; Jennifer Meyer, Madison, first year graduate student, health services administration and Laurie Samuelson, Fennimore, WI, first year graduate student, health services administration.

Matthew Faithe was born Dec. 25, 1898, in Argentina. At a young age he contracted a kidney disease and when his family moved to New York City, he was left to live with his grandmother. Physicians at the time told his grandmother he wouldn't live to be a teenager. He survived and at age 12 moved to New York City to join his parents.

Matthew was a tremendously gifted person and attended a school for gifted male students. He trained to become a certified public accountant after his father took him to visit a New York bank. Matthew was also an avid pilot and served as a pilot with the Lafayette Esquadrille in France during World War I. He also taught U.S. airmen to fly during the 1940s.

Matthew had an intense interest in Egypt and developed an interest in archeology and anthropology. He earned three Ph.D.'s in education, anthropology and archeology. He was a ballet dancer, played the piano, violin and the mandolin. He was a gifted teacher who taught his students to question everything.

After a flying accident that broke his back, Matthew started the Museum of Visual Materials in Kenyon, MN. It was here that he met and married Margaret Aase Emerson. It wasn't until the age of 91 that his kidney disease caught up with him. Matthew died Nov. 22, 1990, a month shy of his 92nd birthday.

Margaret Faithe was born on Jan. 30, 1921 in West Concord, MN to John and Pearl Emerson. She graduated from West Concord High School and received a B.A. from Augsburg College in Minnesota, magna cum laude in 1941. She received an M.A. from the University of Chicago in 1944.

After two years at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine (which was a two-year school at the time) in Vermillion, she received her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, in 1954. She took a rotating internship at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton in 1954-55.

Margaret practiced general and family medicine in Wakonda from 1955-69. She then became assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

In 1970, she became assistant professor of family medicine at UNMC and helped start the Department of Family Practice there from 1970-72. She received full professorship in family practice in 1977 and continued until her retirement in 1987. While at UNMC, Margaret helped teach 30 Vietnamese physicians the art of family practice. All 30 became physicians in Nebraska following their studies.

In 1987, Margaret joined the South Dakota Family Residency for two years. She then headed up the McKennan Free Clinic from 1989 until 1999, when she retired completely. She also held a faculty appointment with the USD School of Medicine as professor in the Department of Family Medicine from 1988-91.

Margaret died June 13, 2005, at the age of 84.

Margaret and Matthew had no children.

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