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Nursing simulation rooms renamed

The nursing simulation rooms inside South Dakota State University’s Wagner Hall have been renamed to honor some of the most impactful alumni and philanthropists from the College of Nursing. A ceremony to celebrate the renaming was held Oct. 7. 
 
“I want to thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the generosity of three groups of donors who have collectively made a tremendous impact on the College of Nursing through their philanthropic efforts,” said Mary Anne Krogh, dean for the College of Nursing. “Erica and Shane DeBoer, Paul Schmidt in honor of Dr. Marlene Wellman Schmidt, and Maxine Wilcox—each of whom have established a legacy that will live on through their gifts to the College of Nursing in the Berkland Simulation Center.”
 
The Diana and Tom Berkland Simulation Center, which was dedicated last spring to honor the lasting impact of Berkland, underwent renovations thanks to the gifts of the DeBoer family, the Schmidt family and the estate of Maxine Wilcox—each of whom will have a room named after them.
 
Wilcox was a 1954 graduate of SDSU and had a storied career, culminating in her receiving the SDSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982. She died in 2021.
 
“By all accounts, she lived a full life committed to helping others,” Krogh said. “I wish I could have met her. She had quite a story.”
 
Her estate presented the college with a gift that was used to create an annual endowed nursing scholarship, develop an endowment for simulation lab equipment and develop a sizable emergency fund for students. Her legacy will be honored through the naming of a simulation room. 
 
“This gift will have a lasting legacy for generations to come,” Krogh said. “I want to thank the Maxine Wilcox estate for this outstanding gift.”
 
The technology control room in the simulation center was renamed in honor of Erica and Shane DeBoer, two longtime SDSU supporters. Erica is a 1997 graduate of the College of Nursing and currently serves as the chief nursing officer for Sanford Health. She got her start in the Sanford system under the leadership of Berkland. 
 
“What inspires me most and why we appreciate the opportunity to share the gift of simulation is I have a love of technology and the advancements that it can have on our nursing students, but also to our patients and the nurses we serve inside the walls of our hospitals and in our clinics,” Erica said at the Oct. 7 event. “Simulation is really one of the pieces that will help continue to leverage time and efforts of our staff and the ability to take care of patients, as well as teaching nursing students to do their work differently and to understand how to collaborate with those they’re caring for.
 
“It’s an honor to be here and a privilege to be contributing to our practice of nursing in this way,” Erica added. “I can’t wait to see our SDSU grads continue to come and join our teams, not only at Sanford but across the nation.”
 
The final simulation room was renamed in honor of the late Marlene Wellman Schmidt, a 1971 SDSU nursing graduate. After graduating from SDSU, she went on to work in infection control and epidemiology and then in a number of academic positions. A Sioux Falls native, she also served 32 years in the United States military, being the chief of nursing services and a field station general.
 
“Dr. Schmidt dedicated her life to serving others and building a legacy of strong work ethic and loyalty,” said Beth Zimmerman, Marlene’s daughter. “She was always on a mission, and she always succeeded. Dr. Schmidt impacted thousands of students, mentored countless colleagues and shared her faith over her prestigious career, and we are blessed to be able to give this to the next nursing students.”
 
The Schmidt family gift was also used to set up a scholarship for nursing students. 
 
“I want to thank the DeBoer, Wilcox and Schmidt families for your generosity to the College of Nursing,” Krogh said. “Truly, we could not do what we do without people like you who want to give back and really make a difference for the next generation of nurses.”
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