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USD to Host Holiday Welcome Table

Photo of Welcome Table The Vermillion Welcome Table draws hundreds of community members together for a holiday meal sponsored by the USD Sanford School of Medicine and the USD School of Health Sciences.

VERMILLION, S.D. – For the ninth consecutive year, the USD Sanford School of Medicine and USD School of Health Sciences will host the Vermillion Welcome Table, an event that brings hundreds in the community together for a holiday meal. This year’s event will be held Dec. 5 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the School of Medicine Atrium.

The School of Medicine and School of Health Sciences are assisted by other USD organizations including Reading Council, Phi Delta Theta, USD Athletics and Aramark, in serving food and drinks, creating children’s crafts, taking pictures and helping clear tables. Charlie Coyote and Santa Claus will also be present for photos with fans.

Wendy Pederson, event organizer and graduate/education coordinator for the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, said they expect to serve 300-350 people. “People look forward to this event all year long,” she said. “This is a wonderful way for us to serve the community at a time of the year that promotes giving.”

The event was initiated in 2008 as a community service project by the university departments housed in the Lee Medical Building, but has evolved into a USD effort that is also a celebration of the relationship the university has with the community of Vermillion.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


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.