University of South Dakota
Motto in EnglishTruth
TypePublic flagship
EndowmentUS$ 155.9 million[2]
PresidentJames W. Abbott
Admin. staff423
Location414 E. Clark St.
, South Dakota, United States
CampusUrban 321 acres (130 ha)
ColorsRed and White            
WebsiteThe University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota (or informally USD or the U) is a public coeducational university located in the small town community of Vermillion, South Dakota. USD was established by the Dakota Territory legislature in 1862, 37 years before the establishment of the state of South Dakota, USD is the oldest public university in the state.

On a 286-acre (116 ha) campus, USD is situated in the southeastern portion of South Dakota, approximately 63 miles (102 km) southwest of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 39 miles (63 km) northwest of Sioux City, Iowa and north of the Missouri River.

The University of South Dakota 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 athletic teams compete in the NCAA's Division I as members of the Summit League, except football which competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.


The University of South Dakota was founded in 1862 by the Dakota Territorial Legislature. It is the state's oldest public university, and 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 emeritus 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.

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.


Main CampusEdit

The University of South Dakota is based on a 216-acre (87 ha) 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.

North CampusEdit


A $15 million, 61,000-square-foot (5,700 m2) wellness center opened in the spring of 2011. Located just north of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts, the center includes state-of-the-art workout equipment, a multi-story climbing wall, multiple courts for basketball and volleyball, racquetball courts, and a three-lane walking/jogging track.[4]

The DakotaDome serves not only as the home venue for the school's football, softball, swimming, 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.

East CampusEdit

USD opened the doors to the newly constructed Theodore R. and Karen K. Muenster University Center (MUC) for student use February 17, 2009.[5] 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 or study.

West CampusEdit


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 Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, campus newspaper The Volante, campus radio station KAOR, and television station KYOT. Formerly an armory and athletic field house, the building was converted into a media center through donations made by Al Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate.

USD's Beacom School of Business moved into a new building in the fall of 2009. The previous building, Patterson Hall, is currently housing the sciences (Earth Science, Physics, Astronomy) until Akeley-Lawrence science building renovation is completed.


South CampusEdit

Residential HallsEdit


USD Residence Halls are divided into East Campus and West campus sides.

North Complex on the East side consists of four residence halls: Beede, Mickelson, Richardson and Olson. Richardson is the only non-freshmen hall in North Complex. 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.


Burgess/Norton Complex are located just south of North Complex and are part of East Campus. Burgess and Norton Halls are near Dakota, Noteboom, East Hall, Delzell Education Center, and the Arts and Sciences Building. They consist of 3 floors each with single sex floors and typically house sophomores.

West Campus consist of McFadden Hall, Coyote Village, and Brookman. McFadden Hall is for non-freshmen, graduate, professional and non-traditional students, outfitted with 25 four-person apartments and furnished individual single bedrooms.

Brookman hall is single rooms for upperclassmen, international students and graduate students.

Coyote Village, the university's newest residence complex, opened in 2010. Located just south of the DakotaDome, the four-story, 175-unit complex provides suite-style and apartment living for 548 students. Monthly rental rates for Coyote Village range from $453 to $658. All units are fully furnished and have wireless Internet. Coyote Village housing is available to all students.All full scholarship athletes live in Coyote Village.[6]


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 2010, the university has seven colleges and universities offering 132 undergraduate and 62 graduate programs, among them:



The University of South Dakota sponsors six sports for men (football, basketball, swimming & diving, cross country, track & field and golf) and nine sports for women (basketball, swimming & diving, cross country, track & field, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball). The school's athletic teams are called the "Coyotes" (pronounced Ki Yoat) and nicknamed the "Yotes" (Yoats). The school colors are red and white. USD competes at the NCAA Division I level (Football Championship Subdivision in football) as a probationary transitional member, and is a member of The Summit League for all sports except football. 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 a long spirited intrastate rivalry with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, until 2004 when SDSU moved to Division I athletics and the two schools stopped competing in major sports. USD completed transition to Division I athletics for the 2012-2013 academic year. In the Fall of 2011, SDSU and USD resumed regularly scheduled contests in most sports as the Coyotes joined the Summit League (SDSU became a member in the Summit League in 2007). USD joins the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2012 (SDSU joined the MVFC in 2008).

Student LifeEdit

Student BodyEdit

Student OrganizationsEdit

Greek LifeEdit

Since 1897 The University of South Dakota has had an extensive Greek system as well. The university 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.[7] Sororities include the following: Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Phi and Alpha Xi Delta.



Student MediaEdit

Coyote News In the Fall of 2005, USD's Contemporary Media & Journalism Department revived its weekly live 30 minute television newscast, Coyote News. It is entirely produced, directed & reported by USD students. The newscast airs Wednesdays at 5:00 PM with an encore broadcast at 6:00 PM on KYOT-TV, Cable Channel 21. The newscast can be viewed throughout Vermillion as well as numerous other cities in southeast South Dakota. The program was originally entitled "Coyote News" but was renamed in 2007, following the University of South Dakota's adoption of the U. marketing theme. In 2011, it was changed back to "Coyote News." Also in 2007, U. News Radio newscasts began airing Wednesdays at noon on KAOR-FM, 91.1 U. Radio. The 15 minute live radio newscast is entirely produced and reported by USD students. The individual stories and features of U. News Radio and TV can be viewed online on the U. News web pages located at, the website of USD's student newspaper, The Volante. The KYOT-TV & KAOR-FM studios are located in the Al Neuharth Media Center on USD's campus.

Coyote Radio In 2011 KAOR FM was renamed Coyote Radio, following the University of South Dakota's decision to end the U. Campaign. 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 2011 it was awarded its 8th Pacemaker Award, sometimes referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of College Journalism, by the Associated Collegiate Press.[8]

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.

Department MediaEdit

The Vermillion Literary Project Magazine is a literary journal published by the English Department of the University of South Dakota. The VLP Magazine is staffed by undergraduate and graduate students in the school and advised by faculty. Submissions are received from around the world and evaluated via a blind review. The award-winning publication is annual and in 2012 will celebrate its 30th year of press.

South Dakota Public BroadcastingEdit

The university is home to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, or SDPB for short. It is a network of PBS television and NPR radio stations serving the state of South Dakota. The stations are operated by the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunication, a state agency. The studios and offices are located at 500 N. Dakota Avenue in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the west edge of campus.


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.[9]

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.[10]

Notable alumniEdit





Notable Faculty


  1. "University of South Dakota". Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "About USD". Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  5. Muenster University Center to open Feb. 17 at USD
  6. [2], Coyote Village.
  7. [3], Phi Kappa Theta South Dakota Alpha Xi.
  10. "America's Best Colleges 2008". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2007-11-20.
  11. "South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  12. "Nebraska Governor Dwight Willard Burney". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  13. "South Dakota Governor Carl Gunderson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  14. "South Dakota Governor Leslie Jensen". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  15. "South Dakota Governor Sigurd Anderson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  16. "South Dakota Governor George S. Mickelson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  17. "Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) biography". Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  18. "South Dakota Governor William J. Janklow". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  19. "Frank Farrar". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  20. "Merrell Q. Sharpe". National Governors Association. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  21. "BOTTUM, Joseph H., (1903 - 1984)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  22. Martin, Douglas (May 2, 2012). "Earl Rose, Coroner When Kennedy Was Shot, Dies at 85". The New York Times (New York). Retrieved April 1, 2013.

External linksEdit

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