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Otto Ullrich Memorial Botanical Laboratory to Be Erected with $150,000 Gift


Published Date6\28\2012
Mount Marty College is pleased to announce that the Otto Ullrich Trust Fund has gifted $150,000 to the college to erect the "Otto Ullrich Memorial Botanical Laboratory", as part of the new science center project. Ullrich loved nothing more than to help the community and the youth of it and the opportunity to create a memorial laboratory at Mount Marty College is a great way to honor him and the legacy that he hoped to leave.

Ullrich spent most of his life as a clerk at the Manhattan Bar and Cafe, in Yankton. He was an active member of the Elks Club and proud of the opportunities that Yankton presented to its youth. Before he passed away in May of 2006, he established the Otto Ullrich Trust Fund to benefit the community that he loved. He loved to see progress and economic development, especially when it involved youth. Since 2006 the Otto Ullrich Trust, under the direction of trustees, Jim Ullrich, Dick Kulbel and Duane Frick, have dispersed more than $400,000 to various education based charities and civic organizations.

Chief Advancement Officer, Barb Rezac, is excited about the Otto Ullrich Memorial Botanical Laboratory. "The botanical laboratory project was presented as an opportunity that would fit within the objectives of the trust and we feel it will publicly and prominently memorialize Otto and his tenacious spirit in the Yankton community. We were glad to see that the trustees felt the project was a good fit and are excited to work with them further in the coming phases of the project."

The Otto Ullrich Memorial Botanical Laboratory will provide a controlled atmosphere to study biological principles in living organisms. Students will have access to living specimens that illustrate the complexity of life as well as changes associated with environmental stress. This will provide unique opportunities that enhance the biological science experiences at Mount Marty College. The laboratory will provide natural light for growing a variety of plants that will provide plant material at various stages of development for life science lab exercises. Diverse plant species will be grown in the laboratory throughout the year for biology and ecology labs to emphasize biodiversity, which is especially helpful during winter months in South Dakota.

"This gift will tremendously benefit science education in our area," continues Rezac. "With a great number of our students coming from the surrounding areas, the educational opportunities that this laboratory poses are boundless. Anytime that you improve the educational experience for students you are impacting the future. It's been exciting to see the increase in enthusiasm for the project and we're excited to work on the other gifts that are out there."

The Mount Marty College science center project is currently in the final planning phase where formal architectural plans are being finalized. An anticipated start date for construction is slated for later this year. For more information on the Mount Marty College science center complex and donation opportunities, please contact Chief Advancement Officer, Barb Rezac, at 605-668-1292 or barbara.rezac@mtmc.edu.