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Majors & Degrees

Changes announced to DSU’s Institutional Advancement staff

July 2, 2018

Dakota State University’s office of Institutional Advancement announces recent staff changes.

Wendy McDonnel joined DSU on June 4 as a development officer, primarily working with Sioux Falls-area alumni. McDonnel has worked in the Sioux Falls area for many years, most recently as director of operations with the Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Association. She was also director of development at Kilian Community College, and at the Sioux Empire Red Cross. McDonnel has been active with the Chamber of Commerce, having served on the Diplomat Committee and a term as its chair. She was a member of the fundraising team that raised the resources to build the Scheels Iceplex.

Wade Merry, a DSU alumnus and member of the DSU Hall of Fame, will begin his duties as a development officer on August 1. Since 2005 he has been the Executive Director of the South Dakota Golf Association. He also created and launched The First Tee of South Dakota (2007), a statewide initiative of the SDGA Junior Golf Foundation. He also designed the GREATLife Great Plains Golf Expo in 2009, which was the only EXPO in the U.S. owned and administered by a state golf association. For these efforts he won the International Association of Golf Administrators Gold Tee Award for best practices in Alternative Revenue Streams and Corporate Partnerships. Merry was also a sports writer and editor at the Argus Leader from 1992-2005. He will work with DSU donors and alumni in the Sioux Falls area and throughout the region.

Jona Schmidt After 23 years as alumni director, Schmidt assumed the role of director of major and planned gifts effective July 1. Her long affiliation with the university and her desire to engage more directly with major donors and major donor prospects makes her well-suited for this position.