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USD President James W. Abbott To Be Inducted Into SD Hall of Fame

Photo of President Abbott with family. USD President James W. Abbott has been inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

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.


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