Three USD Student Groups Honored for Academics, Service and Leadership

VERMILLION, S.D. – Three student groups at the University of South Dakota were recognized by the South Dakota Board of Regents for their academic achievement, community service and organizational leadership.

Kappa Alpha Theta received the Award for Academic Excellence, holding the top sorority grade point average on the USD campus for 41 of the past 45 semesters. It recently broke its own record with a cumulative GPA of 3.545, including 41 members with perfect 4.0 GPA. Chapter members represent more than 25 different majors and are involved in 31 different pre-professional organizations. Kappa Alpha Theta President Brianna Davis of Dell Rapids received the award.

The Community Service Award went to Alternative Week of Off-Campus Learning (AWOL), which encourages active citizenship through service-learning experiences held off-campus. AWOL President Ashley McKeown of Sioux Falls accepted the award. Through AWOL students are exposed to diverse social issues and are encouraged to apply their experiences after they return to campus. Core values of diversity, education and application are stressed.

Lambda Chi Alpha received the Award for Organizational Leadership for its program stressing extracurricular involvement on campus and in the community. Recent projects include serving in the USD Student Government Association, sorority and fraternity life, ambassadorships, sports activities and the Campus Activities Board. The chapter hosts speakers each week who talk about a wide range of topics from professional development to career networking. Lambda Chi Alpha President Nicholas Bratvold of Brandon received the award.


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 205 undergraduate and 73 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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Michael Ewald
USD News