On November 25, 2013, Dakota State University announced that philanthropist, T. Denny Sanford, together with PREMIER Bankcard President and CEO, Miles Beacom and his wife Lisa, pledged to donate $5 Million to create a state-of-the-art facility where students are trained in the latest technological advances. With this gift, Sanford and the Beacoms became the largest donors to the University. The donation resulted in the construction of a new college of computing, renamed the "Miles Beacom Institute of Technology."
- The state-of-the-art $11.4 million facility allows faculty across disciplines to develop and refine new teaching methods.
- The facility contains a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (“SCIF”) which allows DSU faculty and students to do security work for the Federal Government. Only 20 such facilities at Universities around the country exist today.
- To date, the university's cyber-related majors have more than doubled in enrollment, drawing students from across the nation, and DSU is recognized by the National Security Agency, along with only a handful of others.
Then, on August 20, 2017, Denny Sanford and Miles Beacom joined with Governor Daugaard and Senator Mike Rounds at the Beacom Institute of Technology Grand Opening. Together, the team announced an historic $60 million donation to enhance cybersecurity education at DSU.
- T. Denny Sanford, Miles and Lisa Beacom contributed $30 million, working with Governor Dennis Daugaard to add an additional cybergift donation of $10 million in state funding.
- Senator Mike Rounds added another $20 million in federal funding to bring the total donation to $60 million.
- The cybergift will fund construction of a second facility, the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs) building, beginning in the Spring of 2018. This facility also seeks to position South Dakota as a key player in national defense and cyber security.
- The donation will also be used to increase scholarships, bring 5G internet to Madison and increase Dakota State University's presence in Sioux Falls
These generous donations not only helped to further the mission of DSU, they also hold true to the values of Sanford and Beacom, who carry a strong appreciation of technology in their own businesses. Both appreciate the amount of technology expertise DSU instills in their students and graduates.