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Montana President Royce Engstrom to present 21st Estee Lecture at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Royce C. Engstrom, Ph.D., president of the University of Montana, will present the University of South Dakota’s 2012 Estee Lecture, “Signal-to-Noise,” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 in Churchill-Haines Laboratories, Room 118.

“Signal-to-Noise,” which is free and open to the public, will focus on how a fundamental concept from analytical chemistry applies to public policy issues in higher education. It is the 21st Estee Lecture, named in honor of Charles Estee, Ph.D., who served the USD Chemistry Department for 50 years. Estee was chair of the USD Chemistry Department when Engstrom accepted his first academic position at the University of South Dakota.

Before becoming the University of Montana’s 17th president in 2010 after serving three years as provost, Engstrom spent 29 years at USD as provost and vice president of academic affairs, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, and as professor and chair of chemistry. Throughout his career, Engstrom has been an enthusiastic participant in undergraduate research – first as a student, then as a mentor. As an administrator, he has worked to develop undergraduate research programs, including serving as president of the Council on Undergraduate Research and with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a federal program designed to help states build their research infrastructure and competitiveness. Engstrom grew up in Nebraska and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A photo of Engstrom is available for download at

Established in 1991, The Estee Lecture is named in honor of Charles Remington Estee, a gentleman and scholar who served the department of chemistry, USD and the State of South Dakota since 1947. Estee, who died Aug. 14, 2012, inspired generations of students and motivated his colleagues to attain new heights. He served as chair of the chemistry department for 32 years and brought a sense of mission in science education. He organized and taught years of summer institutes for high school teachers and continued his contributions to the University as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus until his death.


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, 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