Sanford Donates $30 Million to Scholarship Endowment

Jan 29, 2018

T. Denny Sanford received the Horatio Alger Association Award in 2016.
Credit Horatio Alger Association

Denny Sanford is establishing a 30 million dollar scholarship endowment with the Horatio Alger Association. Seven universities in South Dakota are among twelve in the nation receiving an allotment from the new scholarship program. 

The Horatio Alger Association provides college scholarships to students facing economic hardship and personal adversity. Scholarships are awarded based on an application process and a personal essay. Meg Kane is a spokesperson for the association.  She says the extraordinary thing about Horatio Alger scholars is the way those young people are facing adult issues.

“Some of them are caring for younger siblings, some are dealing with socio-economic challenges that are pretty significant, some have lost a parent, some have interesting relationships with parents that they continue to struggle with," Kane says. "And yet here are 18-year-olds that are writing eloquently about their desire to go to college and what that would mean to them.”

The 30-million dollar gift from Denny Sanford is the largest in the association’s 70-year history. The Horatio Alger-Denny Sanford Scholarship program provides a yearly allotment to twelve universities for ten years.

Seven of the universities Sanford selected are in South Dakota. The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University are receiving $250,000 a year in scholarship funds. The University of Sioux Falls, Augustana University, Dakota State University, Black Hills State University, and South Dakota School of Mines are receiving $150,000 a year.

Meg Kane says Horatio Alger scholarship applications are open to any student, but special attention is going to the universities Sanford selected for this program.

“For the universities selected, we will work in close partnership with their admissions office to make sure students who may qualify for the Horatio Alger scholarship are brought forward and identified and given that opportunity," Kane says.

The new endowment takes effect in fall of 2019.