News Release


Mount Marty Science Center Receives Major Gift

Published Date4\11\2013
Mount Marty College is pleased to announce that Fred and Joan (Van Well) DeRouchey, a MMC '72 nursing graduate, have given a major gift to the college for the naming of two classrooms in Phase 2 of the renovation of the old Library and High School building into the new Avera Science and Nursing Laboratory Complex. The naming rights of the two classrooms will be a lasting tribute to Joan's aunt, Sr. Stanislaus Van Well, a native of Hoven, SD, also Fred and Joan's hometown. Sr. Stanislaus provided a lifetime example of Christian living for the Van Well family, and she is part of Mount Marty’s heritage as one of its founders.

"The donation is in appreciation of my nursing education that I received at Mount Marty. It is also a thank you to Sr. Stanislaus and to all the Benedictine sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery for their foresight in growing the spirit-filled Mount Marty and Sacred Heart communities," stated Joan. "We were on campus for the All Schools Reunion last summer and being back on the beautiful campus, we experienced the warmth of the Benedictine community of Sisters, faculty, alumni and students. After touring the campus we began to realize the immediate building needs of the college. We decided that we want to be a part of a generation who helps put resources in place to support Mount Marty's rich history and traditions that encourage spiritual growth and lifelong learning."

Chief Advancement Officer at Mount Marty College, Barb Rezac, thinks the DeRouchey gift is a wonderful example for others. According to Rezac, "Through the years many sacrifices were made by many people, especially the Sisters, in providing affordable Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts education at Mount Marty College. It's so important for the next generation to pick up the torch, in gratitude, and help usher the institution into the next generation."

The extent to which the Sisters have given to the Yankton community and region was apparent as Fred and Joan spent time on campus. "A walk through the Monastery cemetery among the identical white cross headstones of deceased sisters is such an overwhelming, humbling experience. It is a testimony to their many years of service and faith," stated Joan.

The DeRouchey's, who recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, currently reside in Mitchell, South Dakota where Fred is semi-retired from the cattle business and Joan is retired from her nursing career at the Avera Community Clinic in Chamberlain. They have three sons, Jon, Joel, and Jeff, and three grandchildren.

The Mount Marty College science and nursing center project is currently in the final planning phase where formal architectural plans are being finalized for Phase 1. An anticipated start date for construction is slated for later this year. 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.