Michael Gartner to address 121st Spring Commencement at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Gartner, chairman and principal owner of the Iowa Cubs baseball team, will deliver the keynote address at The University of South Dakota’s 121st spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10.

A lifelong journalist and third generation Iowa newspaperman, Gartner, 69, has been Page One Editor of The Wall Street Journal, editor and president of The Des Moines Register, editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, general news executive of Gannet Co. and USA Today, and president of NBC News. In 1997, he received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing as editor and co-owner of The Tribune of Ames, Iowa. Additionally, Gartner has appeared as a regular columnist for the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal and the editorial page of USA Today. He has also served as a commentator for Iowa Public Radio and the Voice of America.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Gartner graduated from Carleton College in 1960 and received his law degree from New York University in 1968. Today, he is principal owner of the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. He also remains active in journalism as director and part-owner of Big Green Umbrella, a company that owns an alternative newspaper in Des Moines, and as a trustee in the Freedom Forum’s Newseum in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Barbara McCoy Gartner, a former copy editor with The Wall Street Journal, reside in Des Moines but also maintain a residence in New York City.

In addition to Gartner’s address, USD will acknowledge distinguished faculty members from the 2007-08 academic year, including recipients of the Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching; the Richard and Sharon Cutler Awards in Liberal Arts; the John Wesley Jackson Memorial Award presented to the outstanding professor of law; and the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professor Award. Spring commencement exercises will begin at 9:30 a.m. inside the DakotaDome on The University of South Dakota campus.