VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will honor graduating Native American students at the Native Student Graduate Honoring Ceremony on Friday, May 6 at 5 p.m. in the Freedom Forum Conference Room , which is located at the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus.
The Graduate Honoring Ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of Native American Students that are graduating in a manner representative of their cultural heritage. The graduates and their supporters will gather for a dinner and ceremony featuring the wearing of regalia, singing of honor songs by the renowned drum group, Elk Soldier, and other appropriate cultural protocols. The event precedes The University of South Dakota’s 124th Spring Commencement at the Dakota Dome on Saturday, May 7.
Keynote speakers for the ceremony are Wayne H. White Wolf-Evans, Ed.D, professor emeritus, USD School of Education, and Danielle Ducheneaux, outreach services coordinator, Presentation Lakota Campus.
Evans earned both a master’s degree (1968, educational psychology) and doctorate (1971, educational psychology and personnel services) from USD. He has been involved with Indian education for 49 years. In the course of his career, Evans has served as an elementary school teacher, as an elementary school principal, as the director of the USD Upward Bound Program, as the director of Native American Students Services at USD, and as a faculty member in the USD School of Education. An enrolled member of the Teton Sicangu Lakota Tribe, Evans continues to serve the campus, community and state through his sustained effort to improve education and quality of life for Native Americans.
Ducheneaux received her bachelor’s degree in contemporary media and journalism from USD in 2010. As a student, Ducheneaux was very active. In addition to completing her degree, she completed minors in American Indian Studies and art, interned as a photojournalist, worked as a production assistant and interned as a television news reporter. Shortly after graduating she was named the Regional Director for the Great Plains area for MyTribe TV. An enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux tribe, Ducheneaux has an 8 year-old daughter, Deja.