May 8, 2006

Over 1,000 Candidates to Receive Degrees During 2006 Spring Commencement at The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Over 1,000 students are expected to receive their degrees during commencement ceremonies at The University of South Dakota in May. The students will celebrate with the Spring Commencement on May 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the DakotaDome. Internationally recognized humanitarian Greg Mortenson will deliver the keynote address.
Mortenson is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute, an organization dedicated to promoting education to underprivileged children. To that end, he has set up over 55 schools which have provided over 20,000 children with the gift of an education.

Mortenson grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and later served as a medic in the U.S. Army during the Cold War, where he received the Army Commendation Medal. Mortenson graduated from The University of South Dakota in 1983 with a bachelor’s of liberal studies and an associate’s degree in nursing. He is one of only a few Americans who have worked in Afghanistan, a region now considered the front line of the war on terror.

He is the co-author of his own biography “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Quest to Change the World, One School at a Time,” and provided an inspirational chapter in the book “Chicken Soup for a Better World.” Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, said of Mortenson “[he] doesn’t just climb mountains, he moves them.”

The official 2006 Spring Commencement program can be viewed in .pdf format here:

A photo of Mortenson is available for download at

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.


Doug Murano -- Marketing & University Relations
University of South Dakota
(605) 677-6258
(605) 677-6534 - Fax
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