Rusch, who has practiced law in Vermillion for more than two decades, received his B.S. in business administration from USD in 1968 and a juris doctor from the USD School of Law in 1971. In 1994, he was appointed Presiding Judge of the First Judicial Circuit, which includes 14 southeast South Dakota counties. Rusch, an avid historian with a particular interest in the history of the Vermillion area, has made several presentations on local history. Earlier this year, he received the Richard Cropp Award from The Center for Western Studies at Augustana College for outstanding presentation by an amateur historian.

Sponsored by the USD Department of History, the Schell Lecture is named after Dean Herbert S. Schell (1899-1994), who served the Department of History, The University of South Dakota and the State of South Dakota for 43 years. Schell provided leadership as department chair from 1946 to 1955 at USD. From 1936 to 1964, he administered the Graduate School serving first as director and then as dean. Following his retirement, Schell served as University Archivist and received the title Dean Emeritus in 1969. Among other honors, he was presented the Will G. Robinson Memorial Award and was inducted into the Western Writers Hall of Fame for his work in western and South Dakota history. Schell was also the first scholar to receive the annual South Dakota Cowboy and Western Heritage Hall of Fame Writer of the Year Award in 1983.

For more information about the 2009 Schell Lecture, please contact The University of South Dakota Department of History at (605) 677-5218 or visit the department's Web site at

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