SMSU University Gala to Be Held Virtually October 25, to November 1

Marshall, MN – The Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation will continue the tradition of the University Gala by hosting a Virtual Event, October 25 through November 1, 2020. The annual University Gala is the premier scholarship fundraising event for SMSU and is in its 31st year this year. Due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty around Homecoming early on, the decision was made to go virtual with a week-long event at the end of October. Since the University Gala’s inception, proceeds from the annual event have supported over $950,000 in student scholarships.

This year the Gala will provide opportunities to purchase auction items online through In addition, a generous anonymous donor has provided a matching opportunity up to $20,000 for any direct scholarship donations from $100 to $800. This matching opportunity will help replace scholarship support that would have previously come from event registrations.

The virtual event will also feature a trio of video messages throughout the week from President Kumara Jayasuriya, Bruce Saugstad, ’89, SMSU alum and SMSU Foundation Board member, and Muna Mohamed, ’18, SMSU alumna. Premier auction items will be featured throughout the week, along with other items on the silent auction platform.
To donate to this scholarship fundraiser, and to register for the silent auction, go to: Stay up-to-date on this event at 

For more information regarding the upcoming 2020 Virtual University Gala or to learn about sponsoring the event, please contact Meredith Hyatt, Director of Annual Giving, at or 507-537-6582.


Investing in Students. Investing in Southwest.

Since 1963, the SMSU Foundation has been funding scholarships, programs and projects benefiting SMSU and our students.

Last year, the SMSU Foundation gave back over $3.5 million to SMSU, including $1 million for student scholarships.


Jean Brobst visited campus Wednesday, Oct. 7 to tour the SMSU Residence Halls. Exciting improvements were recently made to the GW Complex residence hall thanks to the generosity of Jean and her late husband John, who passed on Jan. 19, 2020. Jean was delighted with the results of the renovation, and is shown with President Kumara Jayasuriya and Assistant Director of Residential Life Jessica Bentley. During Jean’s visit, Resident Assistant Elizabeth Zoya spoke about how the students are enjoying the updates, which include new landscaping, windows, furniture, cupboards, stoves, paint, lighting and air conditioning in the common areas. GW complex includes Sirius, Titan, Kamasutra and El Dorado. The Brobsts have been long-time friends of SMSU since moving to Marshall in 1971. John was an early member of the Foundation Board of Directors and a managing partner with Brian Hoffman of the Hoffman & Brobst accounting firm. The SMSU Foundation is grateful for the support and generosity of the Brobst family that is making a difference in the daily lives of our on-campus students!



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