May 13, 2013

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

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Prominent officials, journalists, colleagues, friends, and others inspired by his vision and legacy will celebrate the life of South Dakota native Al Neuharth during a public tribute, 10 a.m., Friday, May 17, at the University of South Dakota.

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 beginning 10 a.m. CDT, May 17. SDPB will record the event for a statewide broadcast, 3 p.m. CDT, Sunday, May 19.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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