Former faculty commit millions to USD

The University of South Dakota Foundation announced three major gifts to the university Friday.

According to Steve Brown, president and CEO of the USD Foundation, three distinguished former faculty members of the USD Sanford School of Medicine have created faculty endowments in support of medical student education.

The first endowed chair in the history of the University of South Dakota's Sanford School of Medicine has been established thanks to a $1 million gift from the estate of Dr. Karl Wegner. The initial recipient is Dr. Keith Hansen of Sioux Falls.

A second faculty chair will be endowed as the result of the generosity of Dr. Charley and Elizabeth Gutch. Their $3.7 million gift will establish the Charley and Elizabeth Gutch Chair. The late Dr. Gutch was associate dean of the Medical School from 1983-88. On retirement, he was named professor emeritus of the medical school.

Dr. John C. Sall committed more than $330,000 to establish the John C. Sall, M.D. Professorship in Medicine. This creates the first professorship in the history of the Sanford School of Medicine.

The announcement comes the same day the foundation is set to launch the public phase of the $250 million Onward: The Campaign for South Dakota. Nearly 700 University supporters, faculty and students will gather in the Muenster University Center to celebrate. The guest list includes Gov. Dennis Daugaard, USD President James W. Abbott and former Brandon resident Cody Jamison Strand, star of "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway and on tour. The evening event will also include an announcement of funds raised during the leadership portion of the campaign.

The foundation calls this campaign the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. Onward will create scholarships, professorships, educational enrichment opportunities and facilities improvements. Those facility improvements include the USD Sports Performance Enhancement Complex, expansion of the USD National Music Museum and renovations to the School of Law and the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.