VERMILLION, S.D. -- John A. Day, professor emeritus of art at The University of South Dakota, will deliver the keynote address to more than 260 graduates during USD’s 80th Summer Commencement ceremony on Thursday, July 30 at the DakotaDome on the USD campus.
Day, former director of the University Art Galleries and curator of the University's distinguished Oscar Howe Collection, will deliver remarks to a graduating class of 262. Before joining USD's art faculty in 1976, Day began his teaching career at Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D. In addition to serving as chair of the Department of Art, he was also dean of the College of Fine Arts from 1980 until 2004. Day also served as USD Vice President for Academic Affairs during the 1984-85 academic year.
As director of the University Art Galleries since its beginning in 1977, Day has overseen more than 50 major exhibitions, including several nationally touring exhibits. His expertise on the life and art of renowned Native American artist Oscar Howe was instrumental in establishing the Oscar Howe Archives and Oscar Howe Memorial Association at USD. Day has lectured and written on Howe for more than 30 years as well as organized several Howe exhibits. A recipient of the South Dakota Governor’s Award for Outstanding Support for the Arts by an Individual, Day holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 2003, he received the Western American Award from the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The U's 80th and final summer commencement is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. USD, the only state university to hold three commencements throughout the year, has elected to follow other South Dakota Regental institutions and award degrees during the two commencement exercises in May and December.
A photograph of Day is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/John_Day.jpg.