Sanford Health donates $5 million to Northern State University

Northern State University and Sanford Health

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Sanford Health has pledged $5 million to Northern State University’s Regional Science Education Center to support educational activities and create new student scholarships and permanent endowments.  

NSU President Dr. Timothy Downs said the university is thrilled with the generous gift.

“This commitment to Northern and our students is overwhelming and provides resources that will impact multiple generations of students and our community,” Downs said.

Sanford Health’s gift will help advance educational and research opportunities for the university and entire region. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2018 on the NSU Regional Science Education Center. On Nov. 6, the project's building committee approved the final design and price of the facility, which will be funded entirely by private donations.

In addition, the gift includes a $500,000 Sanford Health scholarship endowment for Northern students and a $200,000 Sanford Health faculty development endowment.

“The NSU Foundation is very excited about this gift, especially given that there will be two endowments that benefit students and faculty,” said NSU Foundation President and CEO Todd Jordre.

Along with the endowed Sanford Health student scholarships, the donation includes more than $200,000 a year in additional scholarships. These are expected to benefit students in a wide array of disciplines, including students preparing for advanced studies and careers in health care. Sanford Health presently assists Northern students and alumni with employment opportunities and summer research experiences.

“Sanford Health is proud to invest in the communities we serve,” said Ashley Erickson, executive director of Sanford Aberdeen. “Sanford Health and Northern State have a strong history of supporting each other, and we are excited to continue that partnership.”

Northern and Sanford both hope the partnership helps develop student loyalty to and appreciation for Aberdeen and the surrounding area – with the goal of keeping students in the region after graduation.

“This gift from Sanford further affirms our mutual commitment to the development of students, with the intent of assisting students to identify and prepare themselves for careers,” Downs said. “This gift confirms that Sanford Health is one of our primary stakeholders and partners in the success and future of our students."

As part of the ongoing partnership, Sanford Health will be the exclusive sports medicine provider for Northern State University athletics through the 2034-2035 academic year.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is one of the largest health care systems in the nation, with 44 hospitals and nearly 300 clinics in nine states and four countries. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and serving the Upper Midwest, with nearly 1,400 physicians, Sanford Health is dedicated to several initiatives, including global children’s clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. Sanford Health has 28,000 employees, making it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford over the past decade have transformed how Sanford Health can improve the human condition. For information, visit