South Dakotan Spring-Summer 2014 - page 4

Dear Alumni and Friends,
2014 is a big year! We invite you to be a part of it.
2014 is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the USD Alumni Association.
As small group of alumni assembled in the parlors of East Hall for a celebratory
dinner following the university’s second commencement, the proud and
appreciative group of alumni had already recognized the impact the university
experience had on their lives. During the course of their dinner visit, they
determined that it was important to maintain contact between alumni and to
provide support for new graduates following in their footsteps. The USD Alumni
Association was founded on June 12, 1889—six months prior to South Dakota
being granted statehood. The June 1889
identified the formation of the
alumni association as an important step of great interest to the institution:
“The alumni give character and standing to their alma mater. As they are so will the
institution be. They are its most powerful of friends in times of trouble and the most zealous
in spreading abroad its advantages and fame. When banded together for mutual pleasure
and support, they form a power for good to the institution. As the years go by and the
graduating classes swell the number of the alumni, the University of Dakota will find in
them its warmest friends and staunchest supporters.”
Before the close of the century, the alumni association directors established membership dues and began to
maintain a roll of graduates. Today, that modest list of alumni has evolved into a robust database of nearly
70,000 living alumni. The ways in which we communicate and keep alumni connected is more dynamic than
ever, but throughout the past 125 years, our objective has remained constant–to help advance the mission of
the university, to recognize graduates who are an honor to the institution, and to keep alumni connected to
their alma mater. Just as in 1889, the success of the university is dependent upon the support and involvement
of alumni.
We invite you to show your USD pride and help us celebrate 125 years by becoming an involved
member of the Alumni Association.
Learn more at
or call 800-655-2586.
We will celebrate the
100th Dakota Days Oct. 10 –11
and we encourage you to make plans to return
to Vermillion for a special homecoming weekend. You will find a tentative schedule on the inside cover.
Dakota Days, originally referred to as South Dakota Day, was started by USD President Robert Slagle, who,
coincidently, also initiated Hobo Days at SDSU. Featured in this issue of
The South Dakotan,
you will find a
look back at Dakota Days through the years; learn how the bond of teammates lives on long after graduation
day and how a young alumnus is enjoying professional success launched at USD.
Looking ahead to the fall, we will be on the road again with the USD Coyote football team hosting tailgate
events around the country. The 2014 season opener will be Saturday, Aug. 28 at the University of Oregon in
Eugene. In conjunction with the Oregon weekend, we have put together a Pacific Coast day tour for USD
alumni and friends to enjoy along with the game. In the spring we invite alumni to travel with us to Germany
and Austria in March and to England, Scotland and Ireland in June. To see details on these and all alumni
events around the country, visit
With all the great things happening, there’s never been a better time to be involved with the USD Alumni
Association! I hope you’ll join us.
With warm regards,
Kersten Johnson, ’87 B.A., Executive Director
The USD Alumni Association
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