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USD to confer degrees at 125th Spring Commencement on May 5

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Rodney R. Parry, M.D., former dean of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address as the University of South Dakota confers degrees to more than 1,300 students at the 125th Spring Commencement at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the DakotaDome.

A native of Canistota, S.D., Parry became the 13th dean of the medical school in 2004. He retired as dean of the Sanford School of Medicine last June, however, remained dean on an interim basis until April 1, 2012. Parry was a member of the medical school faculty for 35 years and also served as president of the South Dakota State Medical Association in 1998. In 2008, he was presented with the South Dakota State Medical Association Presidential Award and from 1986 to 2004, Parry served as the director of the USD Cystic Fibrosis Center. He was also chair, Medical School Section, American Medical Association from 2007-2008.

Parry received an undergraduate degree in pharmacy at South Dakota State University in 1965 and a B.S. in medicine from USD in 1967. He earned his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 before completing his internship in mixed medicine and pediatrics at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. (1970), and his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. two years later. His professional training includes a fellowship in pulmonary disease at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (1972-73) and from 1973 to 1975; he served as a major in the Department of Medicine, United States Army. In 1976, he became one of the state’s first pulmonologists when he moved back to South Dakota. Download a photo of Dr. Parry.

In addition to a keynote address by Parry, USD’s 125th Spring Commencement will honor distinguished faculty from the 2011-12 academic year. Faculty to be recognized include 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.


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