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American Legion South Dakota Girls State 2020 Canceled Due to COVID-19

Drone photo of Old Main with a sunset in the background. The 2020 ALA South Dakota Girls State has been canceled due to the impacts of COVID-19.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The 74th annual American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State, scheduled for June 1-6, has been canceled due to continued efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

This year’s delegates will receive a certificate of achievement and will be invited to a banquet in the fall of 2020 to celebrate their accomplishments. The girls will also have the option to enroll in and complete the State and Local Government course through remote learning.

"While no one wanted this cancellation, the health and safety of everyone, from delegates to counselors and speakers, must be our top priority,” said David C. Earnest, chair of the University of South Dakota Department of Political Science and W.O. Farber Center. “Girls State is about leadership and service to community. This year, the best service we can provide our delegates and community is to avoid unnecessary risks."

The ALA South Dakota Girls States, co-hosted by USD and the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, is designed to teach female high school juniors about civic engagement. Approximately 440 girls from across South Dakota are selected based on scholastic achievement, leadership skills and interest in government.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


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