VERMILLION, S.D. – University of South Dakota President James W. Abbott will be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame Sept. 9 at a ceremony in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
A lawyer, businessman, and politician, Abbott has served as President of the University of South Dakota since 1997; the only alumnus to lead USD.
A native of Yankton, he served in the South Dakota Legislature from 1991-1993, was the Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate in 1994, ran for the U.S. House in 1996 and was the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2002.
Under Abbott’s leadership, USD moved to Division I in 2006, and began expanding campus facilities and scholarships. During his tenure, more than $300 million has gone into building new structures and renovating historic ones.
Today, Abbott leads a record-breaking $250 million fundraising campaign to further growth in facilities, faculty, research and scholarships. In 2016, USD opened a $65 million sports complex, adding a state-of-the-art basketball arena and outdoor track to the venerable DakotaDome.
The South Dakota Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization established in 1974 to recognize and honor those individuals championing a culture of excellence for all of South Dakota. Individuals from all walks of life who have contributed in the areas of agriculture, arts and entertainment, general, historical, professional and sports can be inducted.