This is a paid piece from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Simplified: The Spirit of Sioux Falls Scholarship helps college and technical school students who are pursuing a degree in business, and its history is rooted in the important role the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has played in the region's economic development.

Why it matters

  • The scholarship honors the Sioux Falls men who were killed in a tragic plane crash more than 30 years ago – David Birkeland, Angus Anson, and Roger Hainje. On April 19, 1993, a small, state-owned airplane crashed in eastern Iowa, killing eight people, including Gov. George Mickelson, who were returning from an economic development meeting in Ohio.
  • The flight had been returning to Pierre after an important meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio with leaders from John Morrell, whose parent company was facing years of losses and starting to divest from its meat division. The plant was ultimately saved.
  • Thirty years later, the Foundation honors those lost in the crash with a scholarship to support the next generation of business leaders.
"The work of economic development is extremely important, and the Development Foundation has been a driving force; continuing the legacy of these three leaders and professionals who dedicated their careers to the community," said Karen Ruhland, director of research, membership and communications for the Foundation. "This scholarship is one small way of furthering that work."

Tell me more about the scholarship

Applicants must live in Lincoln or Minnehaha County, even if they go to school outside the area. Those who attend school in either county may also apply.

Applicants must also be pursuing a degree in business and be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of business in American society.

  • Awards will also take into consideration an applicant's motivation, ability to succeed, academic excellence, and community involvement.

The Foundation plans to award two $5,500 scholarships for 2024.

How can I apply?

Applications are open now until March 15. Learn more and apply here.