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Author to address USD students with program on suicide prevention

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Author Eric Marcus will present the program “Surviving Suicide: Living Life in the Aftermath of a Loved One’s Suicide” to students at the University of South Dakota at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at Farber Hall, Old Main. “Surviving Suicide: Living Life in the Aftermath of a Loved One’s Suicide” includes a panel discussion with family members who have lost loved ones to suicide as well as a Q&A with audience members. The program is presented by Nikki’s Fund, USD and Sanford Vermillion.

Marcus, a former associate producer for CBS Morning News and Good Morning America, is the author of several books for teens and parents, including “Why Suicide? Questions & Answers About Suicide, Suicide Prevention and Coping with the Suicide of Someone You Know.” He currently serves on the national board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and his presentation, which is part of National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 4-10, is free and open to the public.

“Eric Marcus tells the courageous stories of so many people who have lost loved ones from the tragedy of suicide,” said Janine Harris, manager of the Al Neuharth Media Center at USD, whose daughter Nicole Vallie Harris committed suicide on June 15, 2005. “With suicide claiming the lives of more than 30,000 people each year and more than five million people impacted because of someone they know has committed suicide, it’s important that we support suicide prevention and other mental health needs for students.”

National Suicide Prevention Week culminates with the fifth annual Nikki’s Fund 5K Run/Walk at Prentis Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Vermillion. Nikki’s Fund, established in memory of Nicole Vallie Harris, supports suicide prevention programs and other mental health needs for USD students. Registration for the race or walk is $10 before Sept. 8 and $15 the day of the race. The event begins at the corner of Plum and Clark Streets and continues through beautiful downtown Vermillion and concludes at Prentis Park. Fruit and water is provided by local merchants. All proceeds from the 5K Run/Walk will be donated to Nikki’s Fund.

For more information about Eric Marcus, please visit Additional information about the Student Counseling Center is also available on the Web at and to register for the Nikki’s Fund 5K, go to A photo of Eric Marcus is available for download at


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 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News