"I consider John both a friend and mentor," said Welch, who worked alongside Day while doing his graduate work at USD. "During this transition I am appreciative to him for sharing his wealth of knowledge about this position and its various duties. Moreover, I am both humbled and thrilled to continue and expand upon his legacy to the arts at The University of South Dakota and throughout the state of South Dakota."

Welch, a native of Pierre, S.D., graduated from the University of Arizona with bachelor degrees in political science and sociology. He also has a master’s degree in history and a law degree from The U. In 2006, Welch returned to the Sonoran Desert to work on a doctoral degree in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. While at Arizona, he served as the managing editor of Red Ink, the nation’s only student-run publication on Native American arts and literature. Welch was honored for Outstanding Service to American Indian Studies for his work on Red Ink at the 2008 spring convocation banquet. Currently he is writing his doctoral dissertation on the life and art of Oscar Howe.

In addition to serving as director of University Art Galleries, Welch will also be teaching an upper-level history course on film and the U.S. West during the spring 2009 semester at USD. He will be the director of the annual summer Oscar Howe Art Institute in June 2009.

A photo of Welch is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Eddie_Welch.jpg.

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