The Prostrollo family has been named the 2018 Philanthropist of the year at Dakota State University.
Over more than six decades, three generations of this Madison family have supported the university in numerous ways, said Suzy Collignon-Hodgen, president of the DSU Foundation Board of Directors. She presented the family with the award at the 2019 DSU Gala held March 22, 2019.
The partnership began with family patriarch Jerry Prostrollo, who founded Prostrollo Motor Company in 1957.
Jerry’s grandson Nick Prostrollo said “Our family’s partnership with DSU goes back a long way. Jerry was very passionate about anything that had to do with Madison, Lake County, and our state.”
Nick recalled that when Jerry heard rumors that Dakota State might close in the early 1980s, Jerry called the governor to insist that Dakota State remain open, citing the economic impact closure would have on Madison and surrounding area.
That phone call helped bring about the 1984 mission change “that helped propel DSU to what it is today,” Nick stated. Legislative action in 1984 required Dakota State to incorporate technology and a technology focus with all programs of study.
Jerry served on the DSU Foundation Board of Trustees, and was inducted into the DSU Innovators and Influencers Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also active in the partnership between the city and university which resulted in the Madison Community Center, a joint-use wellness facility that opened in 2000.
Jerry died in 2012, but the family’s relationship with Dakota State remains strong today, through the efforts of Jerry’s son Pat and wife Deb, Jerry’s daughter Angie and husband Nick Bahr, and Pat’s son Nick and wife Renae. The family’s businesses – Prostrollo Automall and Madison Lawn Care – provide sponsorship gifts, employ DSU alumni, and develop critical economic opportunities for the community, region, and state. Renae, a 2005 DSU alumna, is a member of the DSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
“Through these long-term, multi-generational connections with DSU, we are proud to support [Dakota State] whenever we can,” said Nick. “As DSU evolves, and becomes an even larger player on the national platform, this will undoubtedly continue to help the Madison area grow.”
The Philanthropist of the Year award was established in 2006 to acknowledge donors who make significant personal contributions of time, talent, and resources to DSU.