VERMILLION, S.D. -- During a dedication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, the University of South Dakota announced that the newly renovated auditorium in Robert L. Slagle Hall will be named the Bailey and Kathy Aalfs Auditorium, in honor and appreciation of Bailey and Kathy Aalfs who made the lead gift in the historic Campaign South Dakota to fund the renovation of the facility.
Previously known as Slagle Auditorium, the 38,000 square foot facility was constructed in 1925 and was recently renovated at a cost of $8.2 million. Renovations to Aalfs Auditorium, which include lighting upgrades for performances, enhanced electrical service to the building, better acoustics, accessible seating, new stage floors and improved sightlines turning it into a dazzling performance arts center in the heart of the USD campus.
The Aalfs are both natives of Sioux City, Iowa, and USD alumni. Bailey (B.A. 1960) majored in mathematics and Kathy received her two-year teaching certificate the same year. After graduation, Bailey was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Bailey’s career began in Sioux City with Tower Construction Services. From 1964 to 1971 he worked with HyGain Electronics in Lincoln, Neb. He founded Lunar Communications in Lincoln, and managed the Sioux City office after selling his interest. In 1977, Bailey started Sabre Communications in Sioux City and managed the highly successful business until selling to a New York investment firm in 2006. Kathy worked briefly for a Sioux City bank and was a homemaker and mother to their three children, Kimberly, Scott and Jeff.
Both are trustees of the USD Foundation and have been active in civic and cultural affairs in their community. Kathy has served on the board of Girls, Inc., Jackson Recovery Center and the USD Foundation while Bailey has served on the board of trustees of Briar Cliff University and several corporate boards.