You would think that during a pandemic that donations would be down, but that wasn't the case in Brookings, SD last weekend.

The SDSU Jackrabbit Auction raised a record $1.7 million for scholarships on Saturday night as they tried to navigate a much different fundraising environment.

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event became a virtual event but that didn't stop the support for South Dakota State.

Last week we talked to SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell and he was hoping they would exceed $1 million but completely blew by that number by over $700,000.

He was very excited about the results of Saturday's event.

"We had high expectations going into this year's auction, but the response from Jackrabbit Nation is nothing short of extraordinary.  To set a record for athletic scholarships and raise another half-million dollar for other important causes in our campus community and state speaks to how special our university is to so many people."

According to the SDSU athletic department, that total was bolstered by a 2-1 match from an anonymous SDSU donor.

The $1.7 million included a record of $1.15 million for athletic scholarships with $372,000 going to Feeding South Dakota during this tough time and $207,000 for high need scholarships at South Dakota State.

SDSU's impact outside the scholarships is huge with over $372,000 going to Feeding South Dakota during this pandemic which will, in turn, provide 1.1 million meals to the state.

For more information on SDSU athletics, you can visit their website at

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