U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson to deliver keynote address at USD's 127th Spring Commencement

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Brendan Johnson, the chief federal law enforcement officer for the state of South Dakota, will deliver the keynote address as the University of South Dakota celebrates its 127th Spring Commencement at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 10.

Johnson, a 1998 USD graduate with a B.S. degree in history and political science, was nominated by President Barrack Obama as the 40th United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota and was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on Oct. 15, 2009. As South Dakota’s chief federal law enforcement officer, he supervises the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters in which the United States government has an interest. Prior to being confirmed as U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, Johnson was a partner at Johnson, Heidepriem, Abdallah and Johnson, LLP; and a state prosecutor in the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Office. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2001. Johnson and his wife, Jana, are the parents of four children.

In addition to Johnson’s keynote address, USD will confer degrees to more than 1,200 candidates at the DakotaDome. The 127th Spring Commencement ceremony will also honor distinguished faculty from the 2013-14 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.

Download a photo of Johnson.

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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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