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Fortune Magazine Editor and Vermillion Native Geoff Colvin Lectures at USD

Geoff Colvin Geoff Colvin, a Vermillion native and editor of Fortune magazine, will host a lecture on Oct. 20 in Farber Hall.

Vermillion, S.D. -- As part of a week of activities that underscore the value of an education in the liberal arts and sciences, USD’s College of Arts & Sciences will host a lecture by Geoff Colvin, Fortune magazine editor, Vermillion native and author.

His talk, “Humans Are Underrated: How a Liberal Education Prepares You for a Brilliant Future,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in Farber Hall in Old Main, and is free and open to the public.

Colvin’s latest book, Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will, describes the most essentially human abilities—empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and leading—that place humans at an advantage over technology. The author’s lecture will relate how an education in the liberal arts and sciences helps students acquire and enhance these skills.

While in Vermillion, Colvin will also meet with students in the communication studies and media & journalism departments, as well as participate in a roundtable discussion with alumni of the College of Arts & Sciences and a group of approximately 40 students on Friday.
The week’s public events include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Farber Hall: “Metabolism Explains (Almost) Everything,” the 64th annual Harrington Lecture, with David Swanson, Ph.D., professor of biology. The college’s flagship lecture features a distinguished faculty member who presents a non-technical talk, blending insight into liberal education with his or her work as a scholar.
  • Wednesday, Oct 19, 4 p.m. Farber Hall: Study Abroad Panel Discussion sponsored by the college’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, the only chapter of the national honor society in the state. Faculty and students will share their experiences traveling and studying abroad. Each year about 200 students participate in study abroad programs led by Arts & Sciences professors.

In addition to the public events and Colvin’s meetings with students and alumni, the week’s activities also include visits to large introductory-level classrooms by groups of students and faculty who will give short presentations on what it means to be a student of the liberal arts and sciences. These will occur throughout the day on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Jill Tyler, professor and chair of communication studies, is organizing the week’s events. “For generations, the University of South Dakota has built its educational mission on a commitment to the freedom and responsibility embedded in the liberal arts and sciences,” she said. “This celebration allows us to look back and celebrate our heritage and to look forward, re-committing ourselves to improving our students’ lives, our state’s future, and our democracy’s potential.”


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


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 84 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.