Heartland to support scholarships with philanthropic investment

November 3, 2021

Students in Heartland customer communities will benefit

Heartland Consumers Power District is sponsoring a $1.5 million gift to Dakota State University to primarily be used for scholarships over a 10-year period. This financial support from Heartland reflects an investment in both their customer communities and DSU.

Heartland provides wholesale electric energy to 29 municipal electric systems in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Their new scholarships will support students attending DSU from their customer communities. These are primarily rural communities, most with populations under 3,000.

“Part of Heartland’s vision is to add value to the communities we serve,” said Heartland CEO Russell Olson. “This is an opportunity for Heartland to directly impact students across our customer base, as well as invest in our local university.”

Heartland has long been a supporter of DSU, sponsoring various events throughout the year to raise money for the university. These new endowed awards allow Heartland to invest a one-time annual donation, creating more efficiencies while providing company-named scholarships.

Heartland strives to be a community partner, and is a strong supporter of economic development, offering programs in their customer communities to help businesses start-up or expand. This investment will help Madison grow and is a great opportunity for economic development for Madison and the greater Madison community, Olson shared.

In addition to scholarship funding, Heartland’s gift will also support the development of new athletic facilities.

“As DSU continues to grow and lead the way in technology and cybersecurity, we are proud to partner to help bring more students to Madison,” Olson added.

In honor of their significant support, Heartland will be given naming rights to the hospitality area in the new facilities.

“We’re grateful for Heartland’s investment in Dakota State and their ability to see our vision and stand up to support it,” said Jon Schemmel, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and CEO of the DSU Foundation and Alumni Association. “When we looked at the influence of DSU within Heartland customer communities, it was clear that this was a perfect opportunity for them to support their customer communities and the local university.”

“Madison supports DSU like no other college-town can compare,” he added. “This special partnership underscores that support and continues to show our students that the Madison community wants to help them rise. I look forward to hosting students, supporters, community members, and Trojans of all types in the new hospitality area named after Heartland.”

This partnership is one of the largest single gifts to the university from community members. It will help both organizations continue to grow, develop, and rise together.