The USD foundation announced a new board of directors this October. Ryan Taylor and Tyler Tordsen began their tenures Oct. 1 as the new board chairs of the USD foundation.
Taylor appointed Nathan Peterson and Paul Hanson to the board of directors, who will serve two-year terms with Taylor. Kyle Jorgenson, Jafar Karim, Terry Kurtenbach and Brandee Schultz were elected for three-year terms to the board of directors. Deb Peters and Jack Hopkins were re-elected to serve on the board as well.
The USD foundation has been in place since 1922 and has funded more than $250 million in scholarships as well as campus improvements.
Taylor said the foundation was created to support students through private philanthropy.
“Its purpose is to raise money for purposes of scholarship for construction projects, like the new buildings that have gone up in the last few years, and to supplement academic programs in the various schools,” Taylor said.
Nick Kotzea, the chief governance officer for legal counsel, said private philanthropy is critical for the foundation to continue its work.
“Part of the joy of the work we do is connecting donors with the needs of the university and positioning those donors to make an impact in students’ lives, and that’s central to what we do,” Kotzea said.
Kotzea said that the foundation does more than just scholarship work. He said the foundation fundraises for new building advancements and research projects, as well as for students who want to study abroad.
“We’re instrumental in connecting donors with those opportunities to enhance the facilities across the USD campus,” Kotzea said.
Kotzea said that there are two different types of funding at the foundation: current funds and endowments.
Current funds are money given by donors for the university to spend to support students in scholarships and other capacities. Endowments are funds that are invested in the school, which are then used to support student scholarships, Taylor said.
“The endowment for the foundation is about $330 million. So, we have various committees that oversee its annual audit,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the committee oversees how the money is invested and monitors how it is being distributed so that it gets a good return in scholarship and university projects.
“Many of our students have significant financial barriers, and so the private support of our donors is critical to a lot of students being able to succeed in getting into college and getting through college, and then also positioning students to pursue their passions once they get out of college,” Kotzea said.
Taylor said the goals for his term are to hire a good president to represent the USD Foundation and to create a new campaign that will hopefully increase alumni interaction.