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SDSU Foundation Elects New Council of Trustees’ Chair

Rita Edwards, chair of the SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees
Rita Edwards has been elected chair of the SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees.

Rita Edwards of Madison was elected chair of the SDSU Foundation’s Council of Trustees. She began a two-year term Jan. 1.

A Belle Fourche native, the 1981 speech graduate has served as a trustee since 2014. She has been on the board of governors since 2016. The 100-member council is comprised of some of the university’s most ardent financial supporters and advocates. Thirteen trustees are elected to serve on the board of governors.

“It’s an extraordinary honor to have the opportunity to serve my alma mater in this way,” Edwards said. “My years as a Jackrabbit undergraduate and graduate student did so much to shape my life, and I view this as another way to continue giving back to South Dakota State.”

Edwards is chair of the audit committee. Along with her husband, Jim, a 1982 electrical engineering graduate, she has been a champion for the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center, SDSU athletics and the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

Edwards retired in September 2019 as an attorney with the Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz law firm in Sioux Falls. Her husband, Jim, retired from East River Electric in Madison.

The board also elected Marc Mooney as chair-elect. He will succeed Edwards in 2023. A 1992 business economics graduate, Mooney is a senior vice president for First Dakota National Bank in Yankton. He and his wife, Julie, also an SDSU graduate and current member of the SDSU Alumni Association board of directors, have three children. Their sons, Ben and Sam, attend SDSU.

The SDSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that raises and administers funds to benefit SDSU.

Founded in 1946, the SDSU Foundation has secured nearly $900 million in gifts and commitments for SDSU in those 74 years. That success includes It Starts with STATE: A Campaign for South Dakota State University, which raised $255.7 million for students, faculty, facilities athletics, and other university programs from January 2007 to April 2013. The organization is in the leadership phase of the university’s next comprehensive campaign. The foundation holds more than $252 million in assets, including a $178 million endowment. It has 41 full-time employees and approximately 20 students on a part-time basis.