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DSU Heritage Foundation gifted old foundation building

The Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation announced Friday that it received a gift of the previous Dickinson State University Alumni and Foundation building.

The DSU Heritage Foundation was gifted the old DSU Foundation building by a group of business owners. (Submitted Photo)
The DSU Heritage Foundation was gifted the old DSU Foundation building by a group of business owners. (Submitted Photo)

The Dickinson State University Heritage Foundation announced Friday that it received a gift of the previous Dickinson State University Alumni and Foundation building.

The gift was made by a group 39 individuals, brought together by Joelle Fruh, Sandy Frenzel and Carla Porter. Together, they raised more than $750,000 to purchase the property and its contents.

"The DSU Heritage Foundation is doing all it can to grow support for student scholarships. As a group of private citizens, we want to see the DSU Heritage Foundation have a building where they can continue their work of supporting the university, students and alumni," said state Rep. Mike Lefor, R-Dickinson, in a press release on Friday. "The contents of the building are of historical value to DSU. We are pleased that in addition to the building, we were able to secure the contents and donate them to the DSU Heritage Foundation for preservation."

The group, which calls itself the Blue Hawk Partners, entered into a purchase agreement with the state receiver, Sean Smith, on Oct. 19. The group plans to continue to raise funds for operating and maintenance costs of $25,000 per year for six years, which Lefor said would give the foundation "plenty of time to get up and running."

"Our idea is to gift the building, and to ensure the operation and maintenance costs are covered for the first several years," Lefor said. "The DSU Heritage Foundation is focused on raising funds to support the university. We do not want any expenses for the building to detract from that goal."

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DSUHF Board President Tom Arnold said board members are appreciative of the support shown by the Blue Hawk Partners.

"When we came together to establish the DSUHF last year we began with nothing," Arnold said in a press release. "We had absolutely no assets, but we had faith in the institution, in our alumni and in our community."

The DSUHF was established after the previous Dickinson State University Foundation was forced into financial receivership and dissolved by North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

The current scholarship organization has been operating out of the university's May Hall, but the hope was to bring the new foundation into the building that once held the DSUF. But because of funding, the university cancelled a purchase agreement in April to buy the building back.

DSU President Tom Mitzel said the gift was completely unexpected but reflects the generosity of the community.

The Blue Hawk Partners will finalize the real estate transaction this month. The property will be leased to the state receiver for six months to allow time for the state to complete outstanding court processes. The office and staff are expected to occupy the building in July 2017.

Related Topics: DICKINSON STATE UNIVERSITY
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