Fishbacks kick off university’s largest fundraising campaign


Sdsu Foundation News Release

The SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees voted April 25 to accept the findings of a feasibility study that recommends a working goal of $175 million to $190 million for a Comprehensive Campaign that will enable the University to achieve goals set out in its strategic plan.

The working goal is based on an extensive study by the J.F. Smith Group. That amount would be the largest ever undertaken in South Dakota.

This week, Fishback Financial Corporation of Brookings signed a pledge for $1 million to enable the Foundation to proceed with staffing and internal decisions necessary to move forward with the campaign.

The Foundation and university will now move into a leadership phase that could last 24 to 30 months before a goal is determined.

“The Foundation prides itself on being good stewards of the gifts it receives to support scholarships, programs and building projects on campus. We are committed to keeping administrative costs low in order to maximize the support that impacts SDSU,” said Jane Sebade, chair of the SDSU Foundation’s Board of Governors. “The Fishback gift is unprecedented and historic in that it is designated specifically to help the Foundation cover some of the overhead costs associated with a campaign of this magnitude.”

SDSU President David Chicoine praised the Council of Trustees and Fishback Financial for the partnership and foresight to enable the campaign to move forward. “The Foundation’s feasibility study drew counsel from nearly 2,200 alumni, supporters and campus leaders in the most extensive survey of the SDSU family ever conducted,” Chicoine said. “That thorough and inclusive approach, coupled with the extraordinary generosity of this long-time supporter of the University, gives me every confidence that this campaign will be successful.”

The Fishback Financial gift was pledged by Bob Fishback, chairman of Fishback Financial Corporation and First Bank & Trust in Brookings; Van Fishback, president and chief executive officer of Fishback Financial Corporation; and Kevin Tetzlaff, president of First Bank & Trust in Brookings. The gift was announced at an evening banquet on April 24 honoring SDSU donors.

The campaign is in response to campus-wide strategic planning that was started in early 2007. SDSU faculty, administrators, students and community leaders developed strategic plans to create the vision for future growth on the campus.

While April 25’s vote established the working goal, further study will now occur to determine the final amount and the timing of the campaign, said Steve Erpenbach, president and CEO of The Foundation.

“This is an extraordinary time in the life of SDSU, and we are grateful for the leadership displayed by President Chicoine, our Trustees and Fishback Financial for allowing us to proceed with this campaign,” Erpenbach said.

It will be the university’s first campaign since the $50 million “Visions for the Future” that concluded in late 1997. That campaign exceeded its goal, raising $54 million.