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Former South Dakota Governor and USD Alumnus Named Dakota Days Grand Marshal

Frank Farrar, grand marshal for the 2018 Dakota Days Parade Frank Farrar, former South Dakota governor and USD alumnus, is the grand marshal for the 104th Dakota Days parade.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Former South Dakota Governor and University of South Dakota alumnus Frank Farrar will serve as the 2018 Parade Marshal for the 104th Dakota Days homecoming parade.

Born in Britton, Farrar earned a Bachelor of Science in business from USD in 1951 and graduated from USD School of Law in 1953. He served as president for the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Interfraternity Council, and he was student body president. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1949 to 1953, discharging as a captain and was on active duty from 1953 to 1955 during the Korean War until he was discharged as a captain in the U.S. Infantry.

He married his wife Patricia in 1953 and they had five children together, all of whom are USD alumni. He and Patricia were married for 62 years until her passing in 2015.

After the Korean War ended, Farrar held positions as an Internal Revenue Agent, a judge and he served as State’s Attorney for Marshall County. He was president of the South Dakota State’s Attorney Association as well as vice president of the Attorneys General of the United States. In 1963, he began as the Attorney General for South Dakota. In 1969, he was elected the 24th Governor of South Dakota and served until 1971.

After leaving office, Farrar ventured into many areas, including practicing law, banking, real estate, investments and farming. In 1979, Farrar received the Alumni of the Year award for the School of Business at USD and in 1981, the USD Achievement Award. He was also active in Eagle Scouts, volunteering as the troop leader of Boy Scouts groups and earning his Distinguished Eagle Scout honor in 2001. He was awarded the Order of the Beaver, the highest award in Scouting three years ago.

Farrar was diagnosed with cancer at 63 years old but relied on physical fitness and the support of his wife and family to help him beat it. He has completed numerous triathlons and Ironman competitions and won the Senior Sprint Triathlon in the United States Senior Olympics last year in Alabama.

Farrar is passionate about helping others, formerly acting as the state chairman of the March of Dimes and director of the South Dakota Community Foundation, amongst supporting many charitable programs.


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