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The University of South Dakota
Motto Veritas
Established 1862[1]
Type Public
Endowment $114.7 million[2]
President James W. Abbott
Staff 400+
Undergraduates 7,098[3]
Postgraduates 2,519
Location Vermillion, SD, USA
Campus 216 acres (0.87 km2)
Mascot Coyotes
Colors Red and White
Website The University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota, the state’s oldest university, was founded in 1862 and classes began in 1882. Located in Vermillion, South Dakota, USD is home to South Dakota's only medical school and law school. USD is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents, and its current president is Jim Abbott. The university has been accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools since 1913.



The University of South Dakota was founded in 1862 by the Dakota Territorial Legislature. It is the state's oldest university. It is one of six universities governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. USD has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913 and is an active member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The school houses the state's only law and medical schools and the lone College of Fine Arts.

USD is also home to the state's oldest, and largest political science department. Within the program is the Farber Fund, named for storied university professor Dr. William O. Farber, which provides subsidy to political science and criminal justice majors to attend conferences, participate in study tours, complete internships, and study abroad.

Since 1897 The University of South Dakota has had an extensive Greek system as well. The college is home to the fraternity chapters of Phi Delta Theta, Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Nu, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Kappa Theta[4]. Sororities include the following: Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi and Alpha Xi Delta.

The Sanford School of Medicine, a community-based program, emphasizes family medicine and primary care with the support and participation by practicing physicians and community hospitals throughout the state. Community hospitals and clinics provide teaching sites and the practicing physicians are teachers. The Lee Medical Sciences building houses the basic science education. It is said that the admissions committee for the school of medicine are some of the most qualified individuals in the nation.


Residential Halls

North Campus consists of four residence halls: Beede, Mickelson, Richardson, and Olson. All rooms in the North Complex are double occupancy. Coed-floors in the North Complex house men and women on the same floor on opposite sides with lounges, laundry, and restrooms as a visual barrier.

McFadden Hall is for upper-class, graduate, professional and non-traditional students. With 25 four-person apartments and furnished individual single bedrooms, socialization and privacy are as simple as closing or opening your bedroom door.

South Campus consists of two complexes, each having its own uniqueness. Both the Burgess/Norton Complex and the Julian/Brookman Complex focus on smaller communities. Julian and Brookman Halls are on the southwest side of campus near Akeley Science Center and the Shrine of Music.

Burgess and Norton Halls are near Dakota, Noteboom, East Halls, Delzell Education Center, and the Arts and Sciences Building.

Redwood Court offers 40 one bedroom efficiency apartments consisting of a kitchen, living room, one bedroom and a private bath. These apartments are available to sophomore students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.[5]


The second largest university in the state, behind South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota boasts the state's only accredited business, law, and medical schools. As of 2007, the university offers has seven colleges and universities, offering 60 graduate programs among them:


U.Radio (formerly The Core)

In 2007 KAOR FM was renamed as U. Radio, following the University of South Dakota's U. theme. The central on-campus headquarters for KAOR Radio is the Al Neuharth Media Center while the transmitter lies atop Slagle Hall on USD's campus.

The Volante

The Volante has served as the campus newspaper since 1887. It is published every Wednesday morning during the school year. Managed entirely by students, The Volante prides itself as being editorially independent.

The paper has won numerous awards including a number of Best of Show and Pacemakers. In October 2006 it was awarded its 6th Pacemaker Award, sometimes referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of College Journalism, by the Associated Collegiate Press.

The paper includes news, sports, opinion and verve (arts and entertainment) sections. The paper also has a frequently updated website, which includes campus news, staff blogs and podcasts. The Volante generally maintains a staff of 50 students.


The school's athletic teams are called the "Coyotes" or "Yotes". The school colors are red and white. USD competes at the NCAA Division I-AA level as a probationary transitional member, and is a member of the Great West Conference for all sports. A majority of the sporting events at the University are held at the DakotaDome. The school's homecoming, typically held in early October, is known as Dakota Days.

The Coyotes had long shared a spirited intrastate rivalry with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, until 2004 when SDSU made the transition to Division I athletics. There has been widespread anticipation among fans of both schools of a potential revival of the rivalry now that the Coyote athletics have joined the D-1 ranks, in fact both schools have an open date on the football schedule on November 20, 2010. While both schools indicated a desire to resume the rivalry, it may not be feasible until their respective athletic programs have finalized a partnership with a conference. On August 2, 2007, the school announced that it would be joining the Great West Conference along with North Dakota for the GWC's inaugural all-sports season in 2008.[6] It was announced on April 15, 2009 that USD has accepted an invitation to the Summit League, the University of North Dakota has not been invited due to their controversial Native American ("Fighting Sioux") mascot and nickname.


The University of South Dakota is based on a 216-acre (0.87 km2) campus situated along the bluffs near the Missouri River in the southeast corner of the state. The most prominent academic facility on campus, while simultaneously serving as one the school's symbols, is Old Main. Old Main was built in 1883, burned down in 1889, and ultimately restored in 1997. Along with several classrooms, it houses an Oscar Howe Museum, the University Honors Program, and Center for Academic Engagement. Farber Hall, a 190 seat theatre utilized mainly for speaking engagements, is also located within Old Main.

One of the newest additions to the campus is the Al Neuharth Media Center, named for the founder of USA Today. Dedicated in September 2003, the Neuharth Center houses all of the news and media organizations on campus, including the Freedom Forum’s South Dakota operations, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the U’s Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, the national headquarters of the Native American Journalists Association, campus newspaper The Volante, campus radio station KAOR, and television station KYOT. Formerly the athletic armory, the building was converted into a media center through donations made by Al Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate.

The DakotaDome serves not only as the home venue for the school's football, basketball, volleyball and track and field teams, but also a recreational center for the student body. It is South Dakota's only domed football stadium, hosting the state's high school football championships in November.

USD opened the doors to the newly constructed Theodore R. and Karen K. Muenster University Center (MUC) for student use February 17.[7] The MUC houses the Student Activities Center, a campus dining facility, coffee shop, book store, convenience store and a number of lounge and TV areas for students to relax and/or study.

USD is currently in the process of constructing a new Business School.


For the 2006-07 academic year, the Beacom School of Business boasted graduating seniors who collectively scored in the top five percent in a national exit exam.[citation needed]

USD's Department of Political Science routinely attracts well-known speakers and produces students who garner top national awards such as the Truman Scholarship. Four USD Political Science grads have been named Rhodes Scholars.[8]

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


External links


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