Vermillion, a historic Missouri River town, is located on high bluffs on the north bank of the river. Located near the convergence of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, Vermillion, South Dakota, is 29 miles from Sioux City, Iowa, 62 miles from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 137 miles from Omaha, Nebraska, and 300 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Vermillion community has supported the university since its founding 155 years ago. A town of 10,000 hosting a university of 10,000 is in a unique position to combine small town charm with big town amenities. USD provides the largest payroll in town, and draws large crowds at campus cultural and athletic events.
The USD president is highly visible and plays a significant role in town/gown relations. The relationship between USD and the Chamber of Commerce/Development Company has become an example in the region and beyond for successful partnerships.
USD’s state of the art Wellness Center was developed to serve community members as well as students. The university stepped in to help save the town’s movie theaters by investing with a community group that refurbished the cinemas.
USD’s CFO is appointed to the Chamber board of directors, and others associated with USD are often elected to the board. Joint projects include events, housing and economic development ventures. Currently, a downtown historic building is being refurbished to provide collaborative co-working space, a visitor center and space for the USD retail store, Charlie’s.
These partnerships result in jobs and internships for USD students as well as thousands of hours of community service performed by students annually. Most recently, students helped start a program to save surplus food from the campus dining service to feed the needy.
Vermillion prides itself on a progressive attitude and a safe, welcoming environment. Residents enjoy recreation on the last natural stretch of the pristine Missouri River along with hiking and biking trails. The city’s hospital is newly remodeled and expanded, and the town has installed a new pool and water park.