South Dakotan Spring-Summer 2014 - page 11

As the University of South Dakota prepares
to celebrate its 100th Dakota Days this fall,
several alumni reflect on their fondest D-Days
memories and what the rich traditions of USD
mean to them.
Spring/Summer 2014
Linda (Wilke) St ruck, ’64
I have many happy memories of
Dakota Days. Unfortunately one of my
favorite memories is of an activity that no
longer takes place. I enjoyed helping plan
and build the house decs and it was always
a treat to view all of the other house decs.
As the 50th Miss Dakota, I vividly
remember Larry Pressler coming over
the day before Dakota Days to tell me
I had been selected as queen. It sort of
took away the element of surprise at
the coronation, but I think that is a
practice they have discontinued, which
is a good thing.
I also remember halftime of the game
where Pressler presented me with a bouquet of roses. At that time,
we wore suits and hats, which looked silly! The photo in the ‘64
yearbook will show you what I mean!
Students today need to take advantage of all of the Dakota Days
activities. You can always return for Dakota Days, which I do every
year, but it’s never quite the same as being a student.
Alissa VanMe eteren, ’13
When I was a student, Dakota Days was one of the most
highly anticipated events of the year. My peers and I spent
weeks looking forward to the weeklong eruption of school
pride and the return of alumni from all corners of the country.
As a student, Dakota Days showed me that I was a part of
something bigger. It meant that although I was only a student,
I was a member of a network of professionals who had all
earned their beginnings at the same place I was currently
calling home.
It is inspiring to go back to campus and see what has
become of the programs, departments and activities I once
enjoyed. As an alumnae, Dakota Days also gives me an
opportunity to be a role model for current students. I now have
the chance to be one of the professionals I admired and strived
to be like.
Above all, Dakota Days shows current students and alumni
that although we may be scattered across the country, we all
have a place to call home.
Dakota Days is a symbol of the exceptional experience
one gains in attending the University of South Dakota.
As an alumna, it represents an opportunity to return to
the place in which so many memories were made. As a student,
it represents an opportunity to make new memories which
will inevitably last a lifetime. Those memories are unique
from that of students and alumni from other schools.
As alumni, we realize how lucky we are to have such an
exceptional school to come home to.
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