VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two distinguished alumni from The University of South Dakota will be honored with Alumni Achievement Awards during Dakota Days. Recipients will be presented with their awards during the All-Alumni Banquet at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Masaba Mining Equipment Co., which is located at 1617 317th St. in Vermillion.
Alumni Achievement Award recipients are individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life of the community in which they live and have contributed to USD by recruiting students, serving as a member of a board, or supporting The U financially. Honored alumni this year are: retired William “Bill” L. Donaldson (BA ’58) of Omaha, Neb., for his Outstanding Contribution to his Community, and John J. Hall (BA ’59) of McLean, Va., for Outstanding Success in a Profession or Career.
Since graduating from USD with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Donaldson enjoyed a successful career in the newspaper industry. After graduating from The U, he worked for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader as advertising director. Two years later, Donaldson moved to Omaha where he began a 37-year career at the Omaha World-Herald serving Nebraska’s largest daily newspaper in several capacities, including advertising sales representative, director of circulations, vice president of sales, and senior vice president and general manager. Following his retirement, he served on the newspaper’s board of directors for seven years. Throughout his life, USD has always been a priority to Donaldson. In addition to presiding on the USD Foundation Board of Trustees, he served as vice chair of the Allen H. Neuharth Fund for Excellence and, in 1989, he was named a "Distinguished Alumni" of the Beacom School of Business. A member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Donaldson and his wife, Beverly (BA ’58), presently reside in Omaha.
Upon receiving his degree from USD, Hall’s extraordinary commitment to making a difference impacted his community, his country and his alma mater. He entered the United States Army in 1959 having received his commission as a 2nd Lt. as a Distinguished Military Graduate of USD’s ROTC program. In addition to serving with distinction in the Adjutant General’s Office in the Pentagon for 30 months, Hall was a special courier for the Department of Defense to Europe and other areas of high military sensitivity. In 1961, he was awarded the Department of Defense Support Achievement Award. While serving in the Army, Hall attended graduate school at the University of Maryland and earned his M.B.A. with an emphasis in real estate. In 1964, following his honorable discharge from the Army, he founded International Realty as well as International Investments, Inc., both of which were the vehicles for residential real estate sales as well as several real estate syndications in the areas surrounding Washington, D.C. Hall’s real estate and business enterprises expanded into Missouri and Minnesota where he was involved in the development of a national bank in suburban Minneapolis and construction of two multi-tenant office buildings in Eden Prairie, Minn. In addition to his career success, Hall has contributed greatly to USD as a member of the USD Foundation’s Board of Trustees and he is a past recipient of the School of Business Alumnus of the Year Award. A member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Hall and his wife, Patricia (BA ’60), reside in McLean, Va.
For more information about the Alumni Achievement Award winners or the All-Alumni Banquet, please contact the Alumni Association at (605) 677-6734 or 800-655-ALUM.