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USD Hosts Commencement May 5

USD Commencement Hat. USD will host the 131st Spring Commencement Ceremony May 5.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota will host the 131st Spring Commencement Ceremony May 5 in the Sanford Coyotes Sports Center.

This is the first year USD will host a single commencement ceremony to honor all graduates of the academic year. Winter commencement was eliminated in December 2017. And it’s the first commencement to be held in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center instead of the DakotaDome.

It’s also the first time undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be held separately – the undergraduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m..

The speaker for the undergraduate ceremony is Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who serves the Texas 8th congressional district north of Houston and chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. He is a distinguished alumnus of USD who was born in Vermillion, raised in Rapid City, and received a mass communications degree from USD.

The graduate ceremony speaker is David Pearce, Ph.D., executive vice president of innovation and research at Sanford Health. In addition to leading a lab researching Juvenile Batten disease, he is responsible for overseeing the development of research programs across Sanford’s nine-state footprint, including more than 450 researchers, eight research centers and more than 300 ongoing clinical trials. He also oversees a national registry for rare diseases and is currently a member of the executive committee for the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium.

Commencement Map and Parking



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