John Vucurevich Photo

John T. Vucurevich

John T. Vucurevich was born in Yugoslavia in 1912 and at the age of eight immigrated to the United States with his family. John attended public school in Lead, South Dakota, but joined the workforce before he earned a diploma.

John worked in a variety of jobs and became a businessman in his own right. He owned several businesses, but his real passion became banking with the purchase of his first bank in 1951. He was a successful banker for over 50 years, owning several banks in the upper Midwest. He developed a reputation as an expert in the development of publicly traded bank holding companies and served on a number of gubernatorial advisory committees. John also felt community service was very important and he served in both the South Dakota House of Representatives and Senate.

Rapid City and the Black Hills area were very important to John, and he remained active in the community throughout his life. John was a generous philanthropist, often providing support anonymously to a variety of causes during his life. He wanted his philanthropy continued through his Foundation after his death.

John passed away in 2005 at the age of 92. The John T. Vucurevich Foundation became fully funded in 2007. John’s legacy of philanthropy continues, with the Foundation providing grants to organizations in our area, “to make a piece of the world a brighter place.”

History of the Foundation

John T. Vucurevich’s philanthropic passion stemmed from a genuine desire to uplift those less fortunate and provide support to those in need. Recognizing the importance of addressing local needs, John established the John T. Vucurevich Foundation in 1986. Although the foundation awarded its first grant in 1989, it wasn’t until 2007, after John’s passing in 2005, that it achieved full funding.

Over the years, the Foundation has evolved from a small, part-time organization to a permanent establishment with a dedicated team of five full-time employees and a board of directors.

In 2014, Vantage Point Historical Services was entrusted with developing an internal operating document to ensure John’s philanthropic vision endured and to gain insight into his identified priorities. Guided by John’s values of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and inclusiveness, the Foundation remains committed to carrying out his vision “to make a piece of the world a brighter place”.

John believed deeply that his charity should benefit the most vulnerable in our  community, particularly low-income families. Our grantmaking seeks not only to directly benefit these individuals, but also support their long-term economic mobility. We believe that our investments align with John’s vision of “ to make a piece of the world a brighter place”.


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