News Release


New Gifts Received for MMC Avera Science and Nursing Complex

Published Date12\16\2013
Mount Marty College is pleased to announce that two $50,000 gifts have been made by Dr. Al and Irene Kurtenbach and Jim and Joyce Donohoe and Jerry and Elaine Donohoe. The gifts to the college are intended for naming opportunities in the new Avera Science and Nursing Laboratory Complex. The naming rights will be a lasting tribute to Sr. Evangeline Anderson and Sr. Marie Helene Werdel.

Dr. Al and Irene Kurtenbach of Brookings, SD provided this generous gift for Mount Marty College as a way to honor Sr. Marie Helene Werdel. As a long time employee at Mount Marty, Sr. Marie Helene has a long history with the College as well as the Kurtenbachs. She began her time at Mount Marty when she attended Mount Marty High School. She went on to a teaching career which is where her path crossed with Al Kurtenbach. As his sixth grade teacher, Kurtenbach remembers her as young teacher that had a nice way of dealing with unruly boys. Sr. Marie Helene went on to be business manager and ultimately supervised the buildings on campus which included overseeing the construction of Corbey Hall and the Roncalli Student Center among others. She retired after working 37 years for MMC.

When Dr. Kurtenbach's schedule calls him to Yankton for MMC Board of Trustee meetings, a visit with Sr. Marie Helene usually takes place as well. This gift was important to the Kurtenbachs to not only honor a past teacher, but also to help promote science education in the area. As a former science instructor, Dr. Kurtenbach feels the Mount Marty Science Center Project is a worthwhile cause.

Sr. Evangeline Anderson was the inspiration for the gift from the Donohoe family. Their mother, Ruth, was a faculty member at MMC while Sr. Evangeline served as the College's President (1957-1974). Because of that relationship, the brothers have known her and many of the Sisters their entire lives. The Donohoes felt that making this gift and providing a naming opportunity in Sr. Evangeline's name was a great way to pay tribute to her. Both Jim and Jerry served on the Mount Marty College Board of Trustees and have long memories with the College and the Sacred Heart Monastery. Those memories range from participating in plays while in high school and before the college was co-educational to serving mass in the chapel and eating delicious home cooked breakfasts afterwards.

Retired lawyers, Jim and his wife currently reside in Dallas, Texas while Jerry and his wife reside in Chicago, Illinois.

Chief Advancement Officer at Mount Marty College, Barb Rezac, thinks these gifts are a wonderful tribute to two very deserving women. According to Rezac, "Through the years both Sr. Evangeline and Sr. Marie Helene were important contributors to the success of Mount Marty College; one a former president of the College and the other an essential part of the administration. I don't think Mount Marty would be the same place today if it wasn't for women like these two. The generosity of the Kurtenbach's and Donohoe's - that is really an example to live up to. To give so openhandedly in someone else's name is incredible."

The Mount Marty College science and nursing center project is currently under construction of Phase 1 with an anticipated completion date of summer 2014. For more information on the Mount Marty College science and nursing center complex and donation opportunities, please contact Chief Advancement Officer, Barb Rezac, at 605-668-1292 or barbara.rezac@mtmc.edu.