Woster receives Lohr Award for Volunteer Leadership

Jim Woster ’64 was honored with the Jerome J. Lohr Award for Volunteer Leadership in recognition of his involvement and support of the South Dakota State University Foundation.

The award was announced Oct. 4 in conjunction with the SDSU Foundation’s fall council of trustees meeting. The announcement was made by Jerry Lohr, one of SDSU’s largest benefactors and namesake of the university’s Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

Woster has emceed hundreds of events for the university over the years, including the Foundation’s Donor Celebration and the Jackrabbit Athletic Scholarship Auction. He has also been honored as a Distinguished Alumni.

He and his wife, Penny, were honored with the naming of Woster Celebration Hall in the expanded Lohr Building. Woster Celebration Hall is the signature event space in the expanded facility that looks out to the university’s famed Coughlin Campanile.

The SDSU Foundation created the award in 1999 as a tribute to Lohr, who has actively served on the Foundation board without interruption since 1988. The award is designed to recognize an individual “who demonstrates exemplary volunteer leadership on behalf of the Foundation and outstanding philanthropic support of SDSU.” The award is not just about financial contributions, but significant contributions of time and expertise to the betterment of SDSU.

Lohr personally selects the winner, in consultation with Foundation staff and leadership. Woster is the first recipient who was not a board member. “If there is one person who deserves to be the exception to that rule, Jim Woster is that person,” Lohr said.

“This recognition has become one of the highlights of the trustees’ fall meeting,” said Steve Erpenbach, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “There is so much prestige in being honored by Jerry Lohr.”

Woster is the 16th recipient of the prestigious award. Other recipients include:

  • Anson Yeager, former editor of the Argus Leader and lead donor of Yeager Hall who died in 2005;
  • Roland Jensen, a former energy industry leader who served on the board until his death in 2006;
  • Dr. Charles “Scotty” Roberts, a physician and local philanthropist until his death in 2004;
  • Bill Larson, a Colorado rancher who earned three degrees at SDSU in the 1960s;
  • Aelred J. Kurtenbach of Brookings, a co-founder of Daktronics;
  • Duane Sander of Brookings, a co-founder of Daktronics;
  • Errol EerNisse of Salt Lake City, an electrical engineering graduate and founder of multiple research-based companies;
  • Barbara B. Fishback of Brookings, a home economics graduate who is active in local, regional and statewide organizations;
  • Dana Dykhouse, an agricultural business graduate and CEO of First PREMIER Bank in Sioux Falls;
  • Duane Harms, an agricultural business graduate and owner and president of Harms Oil Co. in Brookings;
  • Paul Moriarty, a homebuilder, developer and apartment owner in Brookings;
  • Bill Folkerts, real estate investor and owner in Watertown;
  • Keith Bartels, former vice president of The Martin Group Inc. in Mitchell;
  • Cathy Voelzke, former nutrition marketing program manager for Midwest Dairy Association in Brookings;
  • John “Jack” Marshman, former president of Sioux Falls Construction who died in 2018.