Boldly Building the Future

South Dakota State University, President Barry Dunn and the College of Arts and Sciences are focused on and committed to a future filled with a bolder vision. In true South Dakota style, bolder vision is not marked by arrogance, rather by confidence and a commitment to hard work.p25-Reynolds,-Rina-(4c300)

It is time to be bold.

Bold like the alumni in economics who quietly gave to establish SDSU’s first Student-Managed Investment Fund. Following the first year of investment performance, our team competed at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) VII Forum. The three-day event in New York City brought together more than 1,500 students and faculty mentors representing 157 colleges and universities. The participants were from 41 countries, 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

The SDSU team was one of 18 selected to present to the judges. They won.

A bold vision and an investment with real returns.

President Dunn has presented a bold vision to significantly increase support of scholarships for students embarking on their academic journey at State. Over the past three years, a humble alumna in Nebraska, who doesn’t like much fanfare, has been quietly funding eight scholarships for undergrads in the College of Arts and Sciences. In February, she committed an estate gift to endow those scholarships when she is no longer living.

In May, she returned to visit campus with her college roommate, more than 40 years after graduating. She saw firsthand the bold improvements happening on campus. She started with one scholarship, helping one student. Her giving is now bolder.

The Performing Arts Center began quietly but boldly in conversations led by President Sherwood Berg and Dean Allen Barnes in 1972 and continued by President Peggy Miller and deans Herb Cheever and Jerry Jorgensen, who led the fundraising and opened Phase I in 2003.

President David Chicoine and Dean Dennis Papini began the planning and fundraising for a major expansion. President Dunn built upon their bold work, committing $6 million in funds and triggering the April groundbreaking for the $50 million expansion.

The completed facility will house the bold new School of Performing Arts. Designed by arguably the nation’s finest architectural and acoustic performing arts design team, the facility will open in 2019 and boast a professional proscenium theater, a recital hall with a pipe organ unsurpassed in the Midwest, a professional dance studio and teaching and support spaces for all faculty and students in dance, music and theater.

Alumni of all backgrounds have given to support the $27 million in private gifts. More are needed to help provide the final $625,000 of a bold matching challenge provided by First Bank and Trust of Brookings and Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback, who agreed to match new gifts to the project—dollar for dollar—up to $750,000.

Bold is a combination of vision and action. We have bold goals of establishing 150 new scholarships, building endowments for academic departments and the college, and endowing professorships throughout the college. Achieving those bold goals actually begins with quiet conversations.

I look forward to discussing bold ideas with you.

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