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Glenda K. Corrigan Science Center

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Science Center Donors

Paul & Donna ChristenGlenda K. & Fredric W. CorriganArlene Gates


Paul & Donna ChristenPaul & Donna Christen

Paul and Donna Christen both graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University. Donna received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951 and Paul in 1950. They married following her graduation.

They have been involved in many facets of the business world, including retail, banking, wholesale distribution and professional sports.  Aside from their professional lives, they have been involved in countless state and community organizations.

Donna was instrumental in the establishment of the Spirit of Dakota award. She served as an officer of the Methodist Hospital in Mitchell, and she currently serves on the board of directors of the South Dakota Community Foundation.  She is the cofounder and chairman of the Christen Hohm Lusk Greater Huron Area Foundation and chairman of the James and Zelda Ruddy Nursing Scholarship Foundation.

Paul, too, has received many awards, including the first Excellence in Economic Development award in 1994, given by the South Dakota Governor’s office in honor of the late Gov. George S. Mickelson.  Currently, he serves as president and CEO of Christen Group, LLC, and is an officer of CG Properties and Christen Company, all in Huron.  Paul served 12 consecutive years on the Dakota Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and was chairman of the board for six years.

Donna and Paul established and served as officers for several First Western foundations in the communities of Belle Fourche, Custer, Hot Springs, Spearfish, Sturgis and Wall.

In addition to their many other awards, they received the Outstanding South Dakota Philanthropists of the Year award in 1990 and the Distinguished Civil Service award from the Huron Chamber of Commerce in 1991.

The Christens have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

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Glenda & Fritz CorriganGlenda K. & Fredric W. Corrigan

Glenda and Fritz Corrigan met and married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1969.  She was teaching high school and he was working for Cargill, Incorporated at the time. 

Glenda was born in West Liberty, Iowa, and graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1964.  Fritz was born in Minneapolis, Minn., and graduated from Dartmouth College in the same year. 

Glenda taught school for seven years and then raised three terrific children, now responsible adults with their own families.  Fritz continued at Cargill for 38 years before retiring as its executive vice president in order to become the founding CEO and president of The Mosaic Company, a large global producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers.

Today they are retired, enjoy their children and six grandchildren, love to travel, play golf, ski, and give back to the institutions that helped launch them into their careers and lives together.

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Arlene GatesArlene Gates

Arlene Gates was born in Parker, S.D.  She received her R.N. degree in 1954 from Sioux Valley School of Nursing. She dedicated her life to nursing, working in Sioux Falls, Minnesota and Arizona, before returning to Mitchell in 1967.  After her return, she worked at both Methodist Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital.

In 1968, she married Ron Gates Sr., and a year later they purchased Mitchell Retirement Home where Arlene served as director of nursing. In 1984, Ron and Arlene purchased Firesteel Healthcare Center where Arlene worked until her retirement.  For more than 40 years, the Gates family, including Ron Gates Jr. and his wife, Rose, a DWU nursing graduate, offered clinical experience to hundreds of nursing students from Dakota Wesleyan University, and they also employed many DWU graduates.

In 1990, Arlene and Ron received the DWU Outstanding Citizens Award.  Ron also served as a member of the DWU Board of Trustees.

To support and encourage the education and training of healthcare professionals, they established the Ron and Arlene Gates Nursing Scholarship.

Arlene was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, along with Ron.  She taught Sunday school, delivered roses to families of newborns, and she also served on the board of directors for Wesley Acres.  For many years, Arlene played Mrs. Claus for the nursing home, bringing smiles to many faces.

In addition to her stepson, Ron Jr., and his wife, Rose, and their three children, Arlene and Ron shared one daughter, Lauri, who lives in Lexington, Ky., with her husband, Mark Robinson and their two children.

After a courageous battle with cancer, Arlene passed away on May 30, 2011. 

To honor her life and her commitment to the nursing profession, Dakota Wesleyan University is proud to name the DWU nursing department the Arlene Gates Department of Nursing.

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Last updated: 10/21/11