Look What We Started

South Dakota State University is in the midst of one of the greatest growth spurts in its 130-year existence. Campus leaders continue to leverage record levels of private gifts and investments from It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University to transform SDSU.

With a goal to raise $200 million by the end of 2012, SDSU has undertaken the largest fund-raising drive in state history. By midsummer, nearly 80 percent of the goal had been reached.

The campaign is designed to increase scholarships for students, strengthen faculty excellence, support expanded research opportunities, build and revitalize facilities, and invest in athletics, museums, the arts, and international experiences.

Several projects of It Starts with STATE will be celebrated this fall. They are highlighted here. Watch for further details at www.ItStartswithState.org. We invite you to visit campus and “look what we started.”

Couple funds ROTC obstacle course to honor family’s U.S. military service

A new obstacle training course was awaiting ROTC cadets when they returned to campus in August. Nestled near a shelter belt north and east of the Performing Arts Center, the course includes a rappel tower, small incline wall, and ten ranger stations that will train ROTC cadets for military service.

Gene and JoAnn Goodale of Pekin, Illinois, visit with military personnel at the construction site of the Goodale-Renz ROTC Confidence Obstacle Course on June 14. The obstacle course was constructed by the 153rd Engineer Battalion of Huron, South Dakota, and the 424th Engineer Company of the Vermont Army Reserve. The Goodales, both SDSU graduates, are funding the ROTC course in honor of their family’s U.S. military service.

The Goodale-Renz ROTC Confidence Obstacle Course was funded by private donations from alumni Gene ’57 and JoAnn ’59 Goodale of Pekin, Illinois, in honor of their family’s commitment and service to the U.S. military.

Named in honor of the Goodales’ generosity, the course will be dedicated Friday, September 30, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The public is invited. Transportation to the site will be provided from the Performing Arts Center parking lot.

“Our hope is that the Confidence Obstacle Course will strengthen SDSU’s ROTC program and encourage future young men and women to serve their country,” says Gene Goodale.

Gene was active in Air Force ROTC as an SDSU student from 1953-57 and attained the rank of captain during his service as a communications officer. Nearly thirty years later, Gene and JoAnn’s daughter, Diane, met her future husband, Evan Renz, in the Armory as enrolled Army ROTC students at SDSU.

Diane earned the distinction of Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as a Regular Army Officer in 1983, the same year she earned her bachelor’s degree at SDSU.  Colonel Evan M. Renz earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from SDSU in 1983 and received his regular Army commission as a Medical Service Corps officer that same year; he later completed medical school. He currently serves on active duty as director of the Burn Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Gene and JoAnn’s son, Sergeant Michael Goodale, served in the Army from 1990-94; he was an Army ranger in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, also known as Black Hawk Down.

The obstacle course was constructed during the summer as a joint training exercise and building project of the 153rd Engineer Battalion of Huron, South Dakota, and the 424th Engineer Company of the Vermont Army Reserve.

Weary Wil to claim permanent home on Jackrabbit Green

Pictured is the clay model, or maquette, of the 8½-foot-tall Weary Wil bronze sculpture that will take its place on campus in November.

Beloved Hobo Weary Wil is giving up his vagabond ways of roaming the country to become a year-round fixture on the South Dakota State University campus. An 8½-foot-tall bronze statue of the Hobo Day icon will stand guard outside the Hobo Day Gallery on the Jackrabbit Green to the north of the University Student Union, providing a daily reminder of homecoming traditions.

The statue will be unveiled at a ceremony on Friday, November 4—the day before the 99th Hobo Day. The public is invited. Watch www.ItStartswithState.org for details.

The Weary Wil statue is the brainchild of sculptor David Anderson, a 1966 animal science alumnus who lives in Loveland, Colorado. David Blegen, a former Hobo Day Committee member and Grand Pooba, is the model. Blegen is a 1964 mechanical engineering alumnus who lives in Rochester, Minnesota. As a sophomore, Anderson served on Blegen’s Hobo Day Committee. Both are members of the SDSU Foundation’s Council of Trustees.

Anderson began sculpting as a hobby after a career in pharmaceutical research. He has worked for two years to create the piece to honor Weary Wil.

Blegen was chosen as the model, Anderson says, because “he looks like Weary Wil—he has a shiny top, a whiskery beard, and is self-confident.”

The Hobo Day Gallery, part of most recent addition to the University Student Union, was dedicated in October 2010. The 3,000-square-foot gallery is the new permanent home to the restored 1912 Model T Bummobile and homecoming memorabilia spanning nearly a century.

The 2012 Hobo Day will mark the event’s 100th anniversary. Weary Wil, originally called Weary Willie, first presided over homecoming events in human form in 1950.

Anderson has donated his services to the sculpture project, and the casting costs for the bronze are being provided by an anonymous donor. All other costs associated with the project are funded by private gifts.

Giving opportunities to the Hobo Day Gallery remain. To give online, visit www.ItStartswithState.org. Or, contact Ryan Howlett, development director for the SDSU Foundation, toll-free at (888) 747-7378 or at Ryan.Howlett@sdsufoundation.org.

Dairy processing plant renovated, expanded to provide state-of-the-art laboratory

Holy cow! There’s a new and improved Dairy Bar on campus. The dairy microbiology building and dairy processing plant underwent an extensive renovation and expansion this past year—the first major update to the facility in fifty-one years.

The updated Dairy Bar provides a modern place for people to enjoy their favorite SDSU ice cream.

A dedication is planned for Friday, October 21, to pay tribute to leaders of the industry. The renovated dairy microbiology building has been renamed the Alfred Dairy Science Hall in honor of the late Alfred Nef and Alfred Gonzenbach, two Swiss immigrants who founded Valley Queen Cheese Factory in Milbank. The newly added plant has been named the Davis Dairy Plant in honor of the Davis family, owners of Davisco Foods International of Le Sueur, Minnesota.

In addition to remodeling the existing dairy plant area, the project added 10,850 square feet of space, creating a state-of-the-art facility totaling 17,900 square feet. The entire project, including equipment, cost $9.3 million. All but $1 million was privately funded.

Vikram Mistry, professor and head of the Dairy Science Department, says the renovation will ensure that the dairy industry in South Dakota and the region will remain cutting-edge and globally competitive. The SDSU Dairy Science program is one of only two in the United States that effectively combines both dairy production and dairy manufacturing, which is demanded by today’s global, science-based dairy industry.

The project is made possible by financial support from dairy processors, producers, suppliers, and private individuals from across the country. Watch www.ItStartswithState.org for details.

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