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USD College of Fine Arts Organizes Take Your Seat Campaign to Celebrate 90 Years and Upcoming Renovations

A view of the College of Fine Arts building from the front. A red sculpture welcomes students into the building. A gift of $500 will be acknowledged with a custom engraved plaque mounted to a new seat in either the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre or Colton Recital Hall after both undergo renovations.

VERMILLION, S.D. – This year, the University of South Dakota College of Fine Arts celebrates 90 years of serving as a cultural hub for the state and region. Looking forward to its future, the college is undergoing a $3.1 million renovation of the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre and Colton Recital Hall. The “Take Your Seat” campaign will elevate the college’s most public spaces to match the caliber of the arts showcased within.

“This campaign celebrates the incredibly talented students who have benefitted from the College of Fine Arts and supports those who will perform in Knutson Theatre and Colton Hall for years to come,” said Bruce Kelley, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Fine Arts.

The renovation includes brand new seating, and alumni and friends are invited to celebrate their memories of fine arts at USD, honor a favorite professor or memorialize a loved one through donations. A gift of $500 will be acknowledged with a custom engraved plaque mounted to a seat in either Knutson Theatre or Colton Hall.

“The USD College of Fine Arts is the only college of fine arts in the state, so it’s imperative that we elevate their accomplishments and set them up for continued success in the future,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring.

To learn more or to make a gift, visit or contact Weston Olson, director of development for the College of Fine Arts, at or 605-670-0839. 


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


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