The goal that alumni and friends have worked toward for the past 5 ½ years was reached August 3.
Officially, leadership gifts totaling $18 million for the proposed Indoor Practice and Human Performance facility pushed It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University beyond the $200 million goal. But that was only because of the 90,004 gifts that came before it.
Having reached the goal five months before the scheduled end of the campaign, there’s the obvious question: What now? We can look to another very recent university milestone for the answer.
When the men’s basketball team qualified this March for its first-ever NCAA tournament – a goal it has held since the program moved to the Division I level in 2004 — the Jackrabbits didn’t stop and declare themselves satisfied.
Neither will It Starts with STATE.
Our university has grown and evolved over the past 131 years because people saw the potential to do more. We still find inspiration from the words of 1909 alumni Charles Coughlin who, when asked by then-President Charles Pugsley how much he was willing to spend to finish the famed Campanile, said: “The sky’s the limit.”
The six-year campaign will end in less than five months, having produced 11 new and renovated buildings, new and expanded programs and tens of millions of dollars in direct aid to students. We will celebrate the successful completion of the largest campaign by any higher education institution in South Dakota history but not until the full potential of It Starts with STATE is realized.
For all that’s been done, more is possible. And in reality, 21,441 donors weren’t motivated to give simply to reach $200 million. Donors that spanned 80 years – from a 1932 graduate to one that earned their diploma this past May – have given because they know SDSU to be a special place and know that their gift can make a difference.
Every month in this final year of the campaign, 200 new donors who haven’t made a gift to SDSU since at least 2006 are contributing to It Starts with STATE. That is a tangible sign of the growing excitement for what this campaign is doing for our university.
Surpassing $200 million doesn’t mean our work is done. It is more an affirmation of what we’re capable of doing when we work toward a common vision. Together, look what we’re doing. With your gift, we can do more.
President & CEO