BROOKINGS - South Dakota State University has completed the largest higher-education fundraising effort in state history.

Campus officials on Friday announced nearly $256 million in gifts and pledges during a rally on campus.

President David Chicoine thanked the leadership of the SDSU Foundation for accepting the challenge of spearheading the It Starts With State campaign. He says the generous donations will allow aspirations to become reality and enable the university to make a difference for people in South Dakota and the region.

The fundraising effort focused on strengthening the faculty, opportunities for students, new and revitalized facilities, athletics and funds that enrich the student experience.

The Council of Trustees of the SDSU Foundation in 2008 voted to support a campaign with a working goal of $190 million.

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