- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - A retired businessman from Huron is donating $1 million to Mitchell Technical Institute - the largest cash donation ever made to a technical school in South Dakota.

The school plans to rename its Trades Center after Earl Nordby, 83, a former longtime owner of a regional soft drink bottling company.

Nordby is making the donation to MTI with his daughters, Diane DesLauriers and Linda Scher, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1woDzUP ).

“We so admire MTI for what they do for the communities and for the students, and then for the businesses,” Nordby said. “It just seemed to be a wonderful thing to advance.”

The school will use $250,000 of the money for scholarships, $250,000 for signs along Interstate 90 and $500,000 for an endowment to help fund faculty wages.

“A lot of times our teachers step back from well-paying jobs to come and teach,” said Julie Brookbank, the school’s director of marketing and communications. “To be able to take a look at wages for faculty and to be able to make teaching positions more attractive financially, that’s a definite benefit to our students.”

South Dakota Secretary of Education Melody Schopp called Nordby’s donation an “unprecedented gift.”

The Mitchell school offers programs in a wide variety of fields, including health sciences, engineering, agriculture, transportation, energy, business, construction and manufacturing. MTI has 1,259 students enrolled this fall.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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