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Majors & Degrees

DSUnite Shatters Fundraising Record

April 24, 2023

The Dakota State University Foundation (DSUF) is thrilled to announce that this year's DSUnite, held on April 21 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, has raised an astonishing $510,000, far surpassing the initial goal of $300,000. This annual fundraising event, focusing on scholarship support, has once again brought together the DSU community and its supporters. The funds raised will directly benefit student scholarships at Dakota State University.

Compared to last year's record-breaking amount of approximately $330,000, DSUnite 2023 has outdone itself with the generosity of its attendees and sponsors. The event featured a diverse range of fundraising activities, including silent auction items, raffle tickets, live auction items, ticket sales, and donations. One of the most memorable highlights was a $100,000 donor match, turning the event from a $350,000 fundraiser to over half a million.

DSUnite was graced with exceptional support from its sponsors. Presenting Sponsor: First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard; DSUnite Sponsor: Journey Group; Mobile Giving Sponsor: Hausmann Construction; Matching Gift Sponsor: Lawrence and Schiller; Technology Sponsors: SDN Communications and Fortinet; Social Hour Sponsor: DA Davidson; Photo Lounge Sponsor: High Point Networks; Trojan Spirit Sponsor: Architecture, Inc. and JLG Architects; Take Home Treat Sponsor: Sanford Health; Sweet Treats Sponsors: First Bank & Trust and Sodexo; and Event Partners: The Event Company and Pinnacle Productions.

Jon Waldman, a proud graduate from 2004 and 2006 and event participant, shared,

"Being a part of DSUnite this year was an incredibly rewarding experience. It's amazing to see the DSU community come together and demonstrate their unwavering support for the university and its students. Knowing that our contributions will directly benefit student scholarships and help shape future leaders in various fields fills me with pride. I am honored to be a part of such a compassionate and dedicated community."

The event featured a livestream hosted by student Lizzy Elder, with emcees Kazzi Foster-Teel ’00 and Hans Verhoeven ‘19. The evening's program included a social hour, a welcome address from DSU alumnus Tony Nour '03, Senior Vice President of Relationship Banking at First PREMIER Bank, updates from Dakota State University, a lively heads or tails auction event, a live auction, the fund-a-need segment, an update from DSU President Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, and closing remarks and raffle prize drawing.

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, President of Dakota State University, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support at DSUnite, stating, "The astounding success of this year's DSUnite is a powerful testament to the dedication and generosity of our community. This incredible event not only raises funds for student scholarships but also ignites a sense of unity, pride, and shared purpose among our alumni, friends, and partners. Together, we are making a tangible impact on the lives of our students, empowering them to pursue their passions and become the innovative leaders of tomorrow. I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support and commitment shown by everyone involved in DSUnite."

Scholarships are crucial to the growth and success of Dakota State University, as they provide deserving students with the resources they need to excel academically and make a lasting impact in their fields. The outpouring of support from the DSU community at this year's DSUnite event is a testament to the commitment and dedication of its members to the university's mission and its students.

Jill Ruhd, Chief Development Officer and '07 Dakota State graduate said, "We are absolutely thrilled with the overwhelming generosity displayed at this year's DSUnite event. The incredible support from our sponsors, attendees, and the entire DSU community has significantly impacted our students’ lives.  Raising over $500,000 for scholarships demonstrates our community’s commitment and dedication toward the success of our students and the future of Dakota State University. On behalf of the DSU Foundation, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to this remarkable achievement."

For more information about DSU's fundraising efforts, including the recently announced $250 million Trojans Unite Comprehensive Campaign, visit TrojansUnite.org.


The Dakota State University Foundation, located in Madison, SD, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the vision and opportunities of Dakota State University and developing and stewarding resources to advance those visions and opportunities, now and in perpetuity. Established to support Dakota State University, the Foundation is guided by its mission to be a high-functioning, invaluable asset that maximizes philanthropic and external engagement potentials.

In July 2020, the DSU Foundation launched the Trojans Unite Comprehensive Campaign, the first comprehensive capital campaign at Dakota State, with a fundraising goal of $250 million. Chaired by Miles and Lisa Beacom, the campaign focuses on three pillars: Trojans Unite Building Champions, Trojans Unite Cyber-Research Initiative, and Trojans Unite Academic Success.

For more information about the Dakota State University Foundation, visit trojansunite.org. For media inquiries, please contact the DSU Foundation at 605-256-5693 or foundation@dsu.edu.

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Emily Wollmann
Annual Giving and Communications Officer | DSU Foundation

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