VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will confer degrees to more than 1,100 candidates and honor two distinguished alums during spring commencement exercises at 9:30 a.m. in the DakotaDome on Saturday, May 9.
Stephen and Mary Lynn Myers, graduates of The University of South Dakota, will receive honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees during the 122nd spring commencement. Married for 41 years, the Myers will also deliver the keynote address, "It's All About You."
A native of Pierre, S.D., Stephen Myers embarked on a distinguished career of professional service to the state of South Dakota after graduating from USD in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He entered the investment business in Chicago shortly after graduation, working as a retail broker with Goodbody & Company in 1968 and Lehman Brothers two years later as a Midwest Institutional Representative. Upon creation of the South Dakota Investment Council (SDIC) in 1971, Stephen returned to South Dakota where he became the state’s first chief investment officer. From the beginning, the South Dakota Investment Office was successful under his leadership, performing within the top 1 percent of state retirement plans. Following his retirement as Chief Investment Officer of the SDIC in 2005, he serves as CIO Emeritus for the SDIC. Stephen is also a co-founder and past president of the South Dakota Investment Society, and served as a member of the South Dakota Retirement Board of Trustees for three decades.
Mary Lynn Myers, originally from Sioux Falls, S.D., also worked in Chicago following her graduation from The U in 1967. She was appointed the first director of the South Dakota Division of Human Rights in 1972. In 1976, President Gerald Ford named Mary Lynn a White House Fellow and appointed her as the special assistant to Secretary of Commerce Elliot Richardson. Two years later, Mary Lynn joined First Bank of South Dakota (now US Bank) where she managed human resources, retail banking and commercial lending before retiring as senior vice president in 1996. Additionally, Mary Lynn has been generous with her time as a volunteer with several local, regional and national organizations, including the Girl Scouts. After 12 years on the local board in Sioux Falls, Mary Lynn served as the Girl Scouts’ national treasurer for six years where she managed a $100 million budget. In 2002, she was nominated for the board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. A past member of the Board of Directors of the USD Alumni Association and the USD Foundation, Mary Lynn was also a member of the International Board of Directors of the Olave Baden-Powell Society and served on the board of directors for the Sioux Empire United Way, the South Dakota Symphony, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to honoring Stephen and Mary Lynn Myers, USD will award degrees to 1,150 candidates. The University will also pay tribute to distinguished faculty members from the 2008-09 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.
Candidates for degrees are available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/news/2009_SpringCommencement.pdf.