Dignitaries set to pay tribute to Al Neuharth on May 17 at USD

Neuharth, founder of SoDak Sports, USA TODAY, Freedom Forum and the Newseum, died at his Cocoa Beach, Fla., home on April 19. He was 89. Neuharth, a 1950 USD alumnus, was a frequent visitor to South Dakota in his later years. Because of his appreciation for the state, its people and their free spirit, he directed that this “final celebration” take place at USD.

The memorial celebration at Slagle Hall Aalfs Auditorium includes remarks from the Neuharth family; U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; columnist and USD alumna Marilyn Hagerty, who was Neuharth’s first editor in 1948; USD President James W. Abbott; journalist Mary Hudetz, vice president of the Native American Journalists Association; and Chris Jessen, an Al Neuharth Scholar at USD who followed in Neuharth’s footsteps as editor of USD’s Volante.  There also will be tributes from Ruth Ziolkowski, CEO of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, and NBC’s Tom Brokaw, a 1964 USD alumnus. Jack Marsh, president of the Al Neuharth Media Center, is master of ceremonies for the event, which will feature the “Freedom Sings” band of Nashville, Tenn.

Doors to Aalfs Auditorium will open at 9 a.m. A live webcast of the memorial celebration will be streamed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting at www.sdpb.org/live beginning 10 a.m. CDT, May 17. SDPB will record the event for a statewide broadcast, 3 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 19.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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