SDSU accepts $6 million gift for new student-athlete center

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

In April of 2004, a master plan study for the athletic campus at South Dakota State was developed by the athletic department to improve the existing sports facilities. Student athletes have been recruited with the promise that they would have first-class facilities by the time they were seniors. Since 2004, however, SDSU has lacked the resources to put this master plan into action and fulfill those promises to its student-athletes.

On Nov. 17, this changed. Seed gifts totaling $6 million from the Dykhouse family and T. Denny Sanford were presented at a press conference to SDSU officials.

Dana Dykhouse, a 1979 graduate of SDSU and former Jackrabbit football player, presented the gifts for his family and Sanford and spoke to the crowd.

While this is a lot of money, he said, it does not get the whole job done. “These seed gifts will get the building built,” Dykhouse said, “but we need help ? to raise the funds to equip this facility with the top-of-the-line furnishings and equipment that will provide SDSU athletes with the resources they need to compete at the highest level, both on the field and in the classroom.”

Dykhouse mentioned the first Division I game SDSU played, where they lost substantially to UC Davis. “I’m sure many people in South Dakota were wondering just what we had gotten ourselves into,” he said.

Since then, he said, SDSU athletes have shown that they have what it takes to compete at the D-IAA level. “It’s time to give our student-athletes those first class facilities,” Dykhouse said. “It is time to make that commitment. The coaches have done an outstanding job with the facilities they have. The student-athletes have far exceeded what any of us could have anticipated during these four years of transition. They hav