This is a paid piece from Midco.

Simplified: Midco has made significant donations to Augustana University – especially in the last year. Here's a look at how that support is creating programming to prepare students and student athletes for the future.

Why it matters

  • Augustana University broke ground last week on the Midco Arena, which was made possible, in part, by Midco's support. The Arena will house a NCAA Division I hockey team, the first of its kind for the university, city and state.
  • The arena announcement came in the months after Midco announced a $1.35 million gift to the university, funding the creation of the Midco Media Campus and Midco Production Center, as well as enlarging the company's athletic sponsorship.
  • These gifts show Midco's commitment both to the university and to the community at large.
"The centrality of this geographically has a lot of symbolism," Midco President and CEO Pat McAdaragh said. "We want Augustana to be the core, the center of the community, the hub of activity for all age groups."

Tell me more about the media center

The technological upgrades bring Augustana's new multimedia entrepreneurship major – housed in the music department – "lightyears further," said Peter Folliard, dean of the school of music.

The center, located in Augustana's humanities building, includes two main components:

  • A control room including a video switchboard and audio mixing board.
  • A production studio with cameras, lights and green screens for production.

The goal, Folliard said, is to give students the tools they need to function in not only the music industry, but also journalism, athletics, communications and more.

"Music is 12 notes," he said. "It's been the same 12 notes since the beginning of time, but technology has been the force multiplier that's changed everything."

Midco also donated two miles of fiberoptic cable, bringing incredibly fast internet speeds to the campus, which will allow massive amount of data to send in nanoseconds, Folliard said.

  • This will give the athletics department the tech to do instant replays, for example.
"Take out your compass, put your point down in Sioux Falls and draw a five-hour radius, and you're not going to have a program that touches anything like this," Folliard said. "It's that forward-leaning."

Tell me more about the arena

The 3,000-seat arena will be located at the southeast corner of 33rd Street and Grange Avenue, on the south side of Augustana's campus.

It's estimated to be a $40 million project, with funds coming from Midco, T. Denny Sanford, Sanford Health and others.

For Midco, it's also an opportunity to elevate the work in athletics the company is already supporting through the Midco Sports Network.

"This is a way to take our sports production business to a whole new level," McAdaragh said. "The tie between the Midco Sports Network and all the work they do, and this naming of this arena just is a perfect fit for us."

What happens next?

The Midco Arena is expected to open in 2023. Augustana plans to have a hockey coach hired by next summer.

The Midco Media Center opened this fall, and will continue to hold courses for students, including the 12 who signed up for the new multimedia entrepreneurship major, Folliard said.