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Lifto Amundson Lecture teaching award highlight PBK ceremony at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Alpha Chapter of South Dakota, Phi Beta Kappa, will host its 2013 initiation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, on the campus of the University of South Dakota. A celebratory banquet to honor all new members is at 5 p.m. in the Freedom Forum Conference Room at the Al Neuharth Media Center followed by the initiation ceremony and a presentation of the James M. Doyle Humanities Teaching Award by Matthew C. Moen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, in the law school courtroom.

Following the award presentation, Dr. Dereck Daschke, professor and chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Truman State University, will present the 2013 Phi Beta Kappa Lifto Amundson Lecture, “Religious Studies, Liberal Arts, and the Educated Citizen.” The award presentation and lecture are free and open to the public.

Daschke joined the Truman State faculty in 2000 where his academic interests include apocalypticism, the psychology of religion, new religious movements, religion and health, and ancient and modern Judaism. He is secretary of the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Truman State and the former chair of the psychology and biblical studies section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Daschke received a master’s and a doctorate degree in divinity from The University of Chicago Divinity School, specializing in the area of psychology and sociology of religion. He also received a bachelor's degree in psychology and bachelor's degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina.

The Lifto Amundson Lecture was established by Marjorie Lifto Amundson and her son, Dr. Loren Amundson of Sioux Falls. She was a member of USD’s Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and her son was also elected to membership in the chapter. The annual lecture is sponsored by the South Dakota Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is made possible by an endowment through the USD Foundation. The Alpha Chapter, chartered in 1926, is the only Phi Beta Kappa chapter in South Dakota and is sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences. For more information, please visit or go to the USD Department of History website 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, 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