October 20, 2007

Shakopees give big bucks to Gophers

U of M receives $12.5 million gift from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux CommunityLeaders of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) joined University of Minnesota officials today to announce a $12.5 million gift from the SMSC to the university. Ten million dollars will go to support the construction of TCF Bank Stadium and $2.5 million will go to a matching endowment fund, creating a $5 million endowment to provide scholarships, with a preference given to American Indian students. The $10 million stadium gift is the largest single private gift ever to Golden Gopher Athletics.

"The Dakota people, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and all tribes in Minnesota have traditions that extend back thousands of years," said university President Robert Bruininks. "This gift will tangibly link those traditions with new, shared traditions that we will celebrate and enjoy together, further enriching the legacy of TCF Bank Stadium."

"We thought it important to support this cause as a way to encourage a better understanding of the history and role of Indians in Minnesota," said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Stanley R. Crooks. "The U of M is a fine institution of higher learning and what better place to promote the role of Indians in this state. The endowment will provide opportunity for more Indian students to seek out a college education at the university so that they can better serve their tribal communities. We need Indian doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and leaders to help Indian people be self-sufficient."

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