Dakota Wesleyan University is celebrating a major gift. Two families have donated a total of $10 million to the private college in Mitchell.
Administrators made the announcement Thursday and also shared how they plan on using this generous donation.
"In the past 18 months, we received the two largest gifts in the history of the institution, a total of $10 million," chairman of the DWU Board of Trustees Jack Billion announced.
It doesn't take rocket science to know $10 million will go a long way in education these days. In DWU's case, the money is about science.
"We know that if we were going to become the leader and best private undergraduate university in the region for science, we needed a new building," DWU president Bob Duffett said.
That new building will be a state of the art health science center built on an open field next to the Wellness Center.
The four-story, 48,000-square-foot building will contain chemistry, biology and physics labs, four nursing simulation labs, classrooms and more.
The donors, who've been longtime supporters of DWU, say it's not about the building but the students and future generations.
"I wanted to see a program to build a strong education program for this institution that was most important thing," Paul Christen of Huron said.
"We look at our charitable giving and it's all geared toward young people and helping develop their values and getting them prepared for the career opportunities that lie ahead," Fritz Corrigan of Edina, Minnesota, said.
The new health and science center will replace an older building. It's 100-years-old and because of its age, students say they were limited in some of the things they wanted to do.
"We didn't always have enough space to do some of the stuff we wanted to do or have as many kids in the labs at one time as we could have if the labs were bigger and more updated," senior bio-chemistry major Danielle Bellet said.
Crews will break ground later next month on the new Health Science Center. It's expected to open in the fall of 2013.