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USD Alumnus J. Steven Manolis Named Dakota Days Parade Grand Marshal

Photo of J. Steven Manolis. J. Steven Manolis will serve as the Grand Marshal at the Dakota Days Parade.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Abstract painter and University of South Dakota alumnus J. Steven Manolis has been named the Grand Marshal of the 2017 Dakota Days’ parade.

Born in Vermillion, Manolis earned a bachelor’s degree in business at USD in 1970 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1975. He later became the youngest general partner at Salomon Brothers in 1980 where he helped develop the multi-trillion-dollar residential and commercial mortgage securities department.

He resigned from Salomon Brothers in 1991 to start his own company and to devote time to his paintings which have been sold to collectors around the world.

Manolis has donated seven paintings to USD, which are valued at $550,000, including one work made up of four canvases that reaches 7 feet high and 36 feet long. The paintings can be viewed in the Beacom School of Business, the Muenster University Center, and the Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts.

His exhibit “Painting Vermillion Red,” can be viewed in the John A. Day Gallery. A closing reception will occur Oct. 6 from 4-6 p.m. in Warren M Lee Center for Fine Arts. There will also be an official ceremony honoring Manolis’ donation to occur Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. in the Muenster University Center.


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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News