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Fundraising initiatives raise over $1.1 million for Dakota State University scholarships

June 10, 2015

Two Dakota State University fundraising initiatives have raised over $1.1 million for the DSU Foundation. The two initiatives have brought in funds for key areas in supporting student success, both in academics and athletics.

The first program established a partnership with the Beacom family and the DSU Foundation to raise $200,000 in new and existing scholarship endowments that the Beacom family would match, ultimately raising $400,000. An ardent supporter of the University, Miles Beacom is a 1981 graduate of DSU and the current President/CEO of PREMIER Bankcard.

The partnership resulted in over 40% of the endowment donors engaging with the initiative. Ninety-five donors contributed to the endowment match with 21 being new donors and 23 new endowments created. Many existing donors built upon their current endowments or re-engaged in their giving to the University.

The endowment challenge assisted in developing a more sustainable scholarship program for the Foundation and the University, which supports the future of DSU and its students.

“Academic scholarships mean much more than the dollar amount to me; they showed me that someone had faith in my abilities as a student,” said Caleb Clements, a business administration, finance and marketing graduate. “I was able to find success in the classroom at DSU. I will always be appreciative of the faith and trust a DSU donor had in me.”

With a large percentage of DSU students receiving some sort of financial assistance, scholarships are a vital part of making college achievable for a majority of students.

“The University is fortunate to have donors like the Beacom family, who are committed to supporting student scholarships,” said Dr. Marysz Rames, Interim President of DSU. “For many of our students, they would not be able to fulfill their dreams of attending DSU if they had not received scholarship support.  Thank you to all of our donors for helping these students reach their goal of earning a degree from Dakota State.”

The second initiative raised over $750,000 for athletic scholarships over the next five years. The initiative was a team effort between a group of Trojan athletic alumni, the DSU Foundation and Jeff Dittman, DSU athletic director. Beacom, who was also a DSU athlete, led the event with Randy Schaefer, State Farm agent and SD Board of Regents’ President, and Brian Kern, owner and CEO of Rosebud Manufacturing, Dakota Custom Cabinets and Homes, Makenda LLC and Bek Consulting. Over 80 friends of the University attended the event and contributed to the largest athletic scholarship initiative to date for the Trojans.

“This was a game-changing night for the Dakota State Athletic Department,” said Dittman.  “With this financial support, we will have a much better chance of winning the recruiting battles for regional student-athletes that will allow our teams to compete for North Star Conference titles and qualify for national tournament berths.  The coaches are extremely appreciative of the commitment we have received from these donors and for the tremendous support Miles, Randy and Brian have given to us throughout the years.”

The challenge continues for DSU alumni and friends to match the $750,000 raised.  Commitments can be made for $1,000 or more each year over a five-year period. Scholarship dollars will go to student-athletes, which make up 20% of the on-campus student population. 

To participate in this challenge, please contact Jeff Dittman at 605-256-5229.  To contribute to other scholarship programs, please contact the DSU Foundation at 605-256-5693.