VERMILLION, S.D. -- Vern Halter, who received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Dakota, will speak on campus next month about life in Alaska, including his participation several times in the Iditarod dog sled race, which began over the weekend.
Halter, who's not competing in the race this year, is currently mayor of Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska. He will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 7 in Old Main's Farber Hall. His speech, "USD, Grizzly Bears and Sled Dogs: Life in Alaska," is sponsored by the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, the School of Law and the Political Science League.
Halter grew up on his family's farm in Flandreau, South Dakota, and graduated from USD in 1971 with bachelor's degrees in political science and economics. He served as a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1971–1973 and then returned to USD to attend law school, from which he graduated in 1977. Halter moved to Alaska that spring, soon serving as a magistrate judge and, later, a public defender. He competed in the Iditarod multiple times, earning three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. For over 30 years, he and his wife Susan have owned and operated the Dream a Dream kennel.