Dakota Days

We look forward to the 105th Dakota Days celebration this year on October 4-5, 2019. Here is the schedule of events (event information subject to change):

Thursday, October 3 

8 – 8:30 p.m. | Fight South Dakota Pep Rally Corner of Kidder & Market St. | Downtown Vermillion

Members of the Coyote community are invited to show their school spirit and cheer on the Coyote Football and Volleyball teams as they prepare for homecoming.

Friday, October 4

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Alumni Welcome Room Muenster University Center, Hoy Room | USD Campus

Visit with students, reminisce with fellow alumni, flip through yearbooks, pick up reunion buttons, sign up for campus tours and more! The Alumni Welcome Room is your one-stop shop for Dakota Days hospitality.

9 – 9:30 a.m. | Alumni Association Annual Meeting | Muenster University Center, Room 211

All USD alumni are invited to the annual meeting of the USD Alumni Association. Discussion topics to include ongoing alumni programming and new board member candidates.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Beacom School of Business Open House | Beacom School of Business

Alumni and friends of the Beacom School of Business are invited to the annual Dakota Days open house event. Take a tour of the new Ellis Finance & Analytics Lab and join fellow alumni, friends, faculty and students as we celebrate recent successes at the Beacom School of Business. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. More tour details here. 

2 – 3 p.m. | Nolop Institute Dedication | Farber Hall

Please join us for a dedication ceremony for the Nolop Institute for Medical Biology. The Nolop family established the Nolop Institute in honor of USD alumnus Keith Nolop, who died in 2016 in a bicycle accident. The Nolop Institute funds a scholarship program, endowed professorships, a research scholar program and the Nolop Family Research Laboratory, housed in Churchill-Haines. Refreshments will be served in the south courtyard of Old Main immediately following the ceremony.

2 – 4 p.m. | Campus Tours | Muenster University Center, Hoy Room – Patio

Enjoy a student-led walking or driving tour of the USD campus. Tours of the DakotaDome renovations will also be available.

3 – 4 p.m. | Gallagher Center for Experiential Learning and Study Abroad Dedication | I.D. Weeks Library, Room 103

Alumni and friends are invited to celebrate the formal dedication of the Gallagher Center, formally Center for Academic and Global Engagement (CAGE). Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about the center while networking with faculty, staff, alumni and students.

4 – 6 p.m. | “Docquiris” with the Political Science Department Al Neuharth Media Center | USD Campus

Alumni and friends of the Political Science Department are invited to celebrate the late Doc Farber at the annual Dakota Days Docquiri party. Join alumni, friends, faculty and students for networking and department updates. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. More event details here. 

4:30 – 6:30 p.m. | All Greek Alumni Social RED Steakhouse | 1 E Main St., Vermillion, SD

Sorority and fraternity alumni are invited to kick off Dakota Days with an All Greek Alumni Social at RED Steakhouse. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided. More social event details here.

5 p.m. | Unleash Your Legacy: Alumni Achievement Awards | Muenster University Center, Ballroom

Join members of the Coyote community for the annual red tie celebration of alumni achievement! The 2019 honorees include:

Laura McNaughton, MD
Emerging Leader

Alissia Canady
Public Service

Bob Sutton
Professional Achievement
Dave Hultgren
Service to the University


7 p.m. | USD v. Omaha Volleyball Game | Sanford Coyote Sports Center

Tickets for this game are available here.

Saturday, October 5

8:30 a.m. | Parade Reception | Inman House | 415 E Main St., Vermillion, SD

All members of the Coyote community are invited to kick off the 105th annual Dakota Days parade at historic Inman House.

9 a.m. | 105th Annual Dakota Days | Main St. | Downtown

Learn more about entering the parade with a float or as a dignitary here. For any questions, contact USD Student Services at dakotadays@usd.edu or call 605-677-5666.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Tailgate Nation | DakotaDome

2 p.m. | USD v. Indiana State Football Game | DakotaDome

Tickets to the game are still available!

Plan a Reunion

Looking to plan a reunion for your class, student organization or team? We would like to assist you in spreading the word! Simply submit a reunion form, and we will be in touch!

Book Your Stay

Be sure to plan your stay in the Vermillion area soon as hotels are filling up fast! Check out Vermillion Area Visitor and Tourism for a complete listing of hotels to book your stay today.

A Little History

Robert Slagle, the ninth president of the University of South Dakota brought the idea of Dakota Day with him to USD and the USD Students' Association organized the first Dakota Day for November 20, 1914.

On a sunny Friday, parade participants assembled in front of East Hall. The first Miss Dakota, Fern Wassum, led the parade in a car decorated with red and white bunting. The parade wound through Vermillion and met the Yankton College football team at the train station. USD won the football game 33-3.

The Volante, reporting on the day said, "Without a doubt, a more cosmopolitan gathering never assembled in this section of the country."

© 2017 University of South Dakota | 1110 North Dakota Street, Vermillion, SD 57069 | 800-521-3575 | alumni@usdalumni.org