Stadium donor has a history of philanthropy

Sanford has given hundreds of millions to various organizations over the years.

Stadium Donor T. Denny Sanford and Athletics Director Joel Maturi stand in front of the unfinished TCF Bank Stadium before a tour last Tuesday. Sanford donated 6 million dollars which is the largest personal gift towards the stadium.

Jules Ameel

Stadium Donor T. Denny Sanford and Athletics Director Joel Maturi stand in front of the unfinished TCF Bank Stadium before a tour last Tuesday. Sanford donated 6 million dollars which is the largest personal gift towards the stadium.

South Dakota investor, philanthropist and University of Minnesota alumnus T. Denny Sanford committed to giving a $6 million gift to TCF Bank Stadium last Thursday. The multimillion-dollar gift is not SanfordâÄôs first to the University, nor is it his largest gift to any organization. Sanford has a history of giving large sums of money to organizations âÄî especially those that have roots to his past. Sanford made his wealth as the owner of First Premier Bank and Premier Bankcard of Sioux Falls, S.D. He is now the owner of United National Corp., the holding company. In 2004, Sanford donated $1 million to renovate the Chi Psi fraternity house at the University. He was a member of the fraternity during his time at the University before he graduated with a degree in psychology in 1958. He also donated $5 million in 2006 to the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business, named after his friend Miles Beacom , according to the UniversityâÄôs student newspaper, The Volante . He also donated $20 million to its school of medicine, called Sanford School of Medicine as of 2005. His largest donations were a $70 million gift in 2006 to transform a mine in Lead, S.D., into an underground science laboratory, now called the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake , and a $400 million gift pledged in early 2007 to the Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System, which was renamed Sanford Health in February 2007 . Ron Wheeler, executive director of the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake , said $20 million of the gift is for what will be named the Sanford Science Education Center, with exhibits. Wheeler said Sanford donated to the laboratory because of the impact it will have on teaching math and science. He said he was grateful for the donation. âÄúIt was marvelous,âÄù Wheeler said. âÄúWithout his contribution, it couldnâÄôt have happened.âÄù SanfordâÄôs donations to Sanford Health go beyond the $400 million. In 2004, Sanford gave $16 million for the new Sanford ChildrenâÄôs Hospital, $5 million in 2007 to create the Mayo Clinic/Sanford Health pediatric collaboration and $20 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in LaJolla, Calif., to establish the Sanford ChildrenâÄôs Health Research Center in California and South Dakota . Sanford Health announced on April 8 that the final payment of the $400 million was received, completing the gift five years ahead of schedule. âÄúBy completing his pledge in just over two years, Mr. Sanford has once again taught us the value of commitment, the strength of a promise and the power of finishing what one begins,âÄù Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby K. Krabbenhoft said in a press release. âÄúHis pledge was the largest in history to a healthcare organization, and now his final payment makes that a reality.âÄù Brian Mortenson , president of the Sanford Health Foundation, said the $400 million gift has various focal initiatives, one of which is called the Sanford Project, which focuses on finding a cure for type I diabetes and an investment in children through a research institute and childrenâÄôs clinics. As for the $6 million gift to the TCF Bank Stadium, Sanford said at a news conference last Thursday that his donation is for the students. âÄúIt belongs to the kids, so they feel part of it and part of the University,âÄù he said. Mortenson said he spoke to Sanford the day his gift to the University was announced. âÄúI knew that the University means a great deal to him, obviously,âÄù he said. âÄúHe speaks of the U with a tremendous sense of gratitude and appreciation for his benefit from his education.âÄù