Foundation honors new lifetime giving society members

New members commit more than $63 million to SDSU

The South Dakota State University Foundation recognizes cumulative giving and financial commitments throughout a donor’s lifetime with membership in its lifetime giving societies. The nearly 1,000 members of the Lifetime Giving Societies have gifted and pledged a combined $306 million to support SDSU.

Kevin Roberts, chair of the SDSU Foundation Board of Governors, addresses the audience at the Foundation’s annual Donor Recognition Event April 28. The Foundation inducted 162 new members into its eight lifetime recognition societies.

On April 28, the Foundation inducted 162 new members into its eight recognition societies. Those donors, as a whole, account for $63.2 million in gifts and financial commitments to SDSU. Twenty-two of those donors surpassed $1 million in lifetime giving totals, while twelve became the inaugural members of a new society.

Those giving numbers continue to rise with the strong response to It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University. With fewer than eighteen months remaining, the campaign has raised $162.5 million—81 percent of its $200 million goal.

A complete list of the lifetime giving society members is available on It Starts with STATE Web site.

This year, the Foundation introduced a new Lifetime Giving Society—the first to be named in honor of a non-alumnus. The Mildred Stoker White Society recognizes donors with lifetime commitments of $2.5 million up to $5 million.

Mildred and husband, Roger, both graduated from Washington High School in Sioux Falls. She graduated in 1930; Roger in 1929. Because of the Great Depression, neither was able to graduate from college. Roger, a track star in high school, briefly attended South Dakota State. The Whites started a furniture factory at Pontiac, Illinois. Two years after Roger’s death in 1972, Mildred sold the company; she died in March 2002.

White’s cumulative lifetime giving of $3.6 million was the first transformational gift for SDSU athletics. Her first contribution to SDSU, a $40,000 gift in October 1992, was—at the time—the largest gift of its kind in support of the Athletic Department. It was followed up with fourteen different five- and six-figure gifts in the next four and a half years.

The inaugural members of the Mildred Stoker White Society are:

  • Stephen F. and Beatrice Briggs Family
  • Nathelle M. DeHaan
  • Dana J. and La Dawn S. Dykhouse
  • Thomas and Marilyn Gannon
  • Alyn R. and Connie Holt
  • Aelred and Irene Kurtenbach
  • Gordon A. Larsen
  • Ethel Austin Martin
  • Larry F. and Diane Ness
  • South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and South Dakota Corn Growers
  • Mildred Stoker White
  • Virgil H. and Josephine Wintrode

The Charles L. Coughlin Society, named for the 1909 alumnus who funded the construction of the Campanile, was created in 2010 to recognize giving and commitments of $10 million or more.

Jerry Lohr ’58 was inducted into the Coughlin Society in April.

The Theodore ’28 and Esther ’27 Schultz Society was named in memory of Theodore’s 1979 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The Schultz Society honors donors who give $5 million to $9,999,999.

The William Mibra and Byrne Griffith Foundation was inducted into the Schultz Society this spring.

The Foundation has commissioned nationally recognized artist Dale Lamphere to create distinct pieces of artwork for members of the top three societies.

The other lifetime giving societies are: Stephen F. Briggs Society ($1 million to $2,499,999), Ethel Austin Martin Society ($500,000 to $999,999), William M. Griffith Society ($250,000 to $499,999), Distinguished University Patrons ($100,000 to $249,999), and Distinguished University Benefactors ($50,000 to $99,999).

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