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USD to honor graduating Native American students with ceremony

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will honor graduating Native American students at the fourth annual Native American Graduate Honoring ceremony at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 4 at the Muenster University Center.

Sponsored by Native Student Services, the cultural heritage ceremony recognizes the accomplishments of graduating Native American students and their supporters. Lynelle Noisy Hawk, M.D., Oglala-Hunkpapa from Fort Yates, N.D., and an alumna of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address. The celebration also includes a dinner and ceremony featuring traditional regalia, singing of honor songs and other appropriate cultural protocols. This event precedes the University of South Dakota’s 125th Spring Commencement at the Dakota Dome on Saturday, May 5.

Noisy Hawk began her work in August 2007 as a medical officer at the Fort Yates, N.D. Indian Health Service (IHS) Hospital where she currently serves as the clinical director. She utilizes both modern medical health care and traditional Lakota healing ceremonies in her practice of medicine. Noisy Hawk completed her B.S. at South Dakota State University in 1997 and was accepted into the Indians Into Medicine program (INMED) at the University of North Dakota. She subsequently transferred to the University of South Dakota and completed her M.D. in 2003. Married to Todd Goodsell, a University of South Dakota graduate, Noisy Hawk is a full blood Lakota from the Oglala and Hunkpapa Tribal Nations. Her Lakota name, Kagnigapi Win, means “The Chosen Woman.”


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