Retired businessman donates $1 million to MTI
MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – A retired businessman from Huron is donating $1 million to Mitchell Technical Institute – the largest cash donation ever made to a technical school in South Dakota.
The school plans to rename its Trades Center after Earl Nordby, 83, a former longtime owner of a regional soft drink bottling company.
Nordby is making the donation to MTI with his daughters, Diane DesLauriers and Linda Scher, The Daily Republic newspaper reported.
“We so admire MTI for what they do for the communities and for the students, and then for the businesses,” Nordby said. “It just seemed to be a wonderful thing to advance.”
The school will use $250,000 of the money for scholarships, $250,000 for signs along Interstate 90 and $500,000 for an endowment to help fund faculty wages.
“A lot of times our teachers step back from well-paying jobs to come and teach,” said Julie Brookbank, the school’s director of marketing and communications. “To be able to take a look at wages for faculty and to be able to make teaching positions more attractive financially, that’s a definite benefit to our students.”
South Dakota Secretary of Education Melody Schopp called Nordby’s donation an “unprecedented gift.”
The Mitchell school offers programs in a wide variety of fields, including health sciences, engineering, agriculture, transportation, energy, business, construction and manufacturing. MTI has 1,259 students enrolled this fall.