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The College of Fine Arts is set to host the Celebration of Excellence event on Friday, September 23, 2022, to honor these outstanding alumni, educators and friends of the Fine Arts.

Visit the event registration page to register for the Celebration of Excellence and Reception. For tickets to Eurydice, please visit the Theatre's event webpage.

Learn more about the meaning behind the Hall of Fame and awards.

Sarah (Spelts) Anderberg received her BFA as University Scholar in Theatre Arts at the University of South Dakota in 1978. Over the last 45 years, Sarah has served in many roles, including actor/director, educator, administrator, and author. Sarah received her M.A. in Theatre and American Studies with honors from the University of Minnesota and did post-graduate work in higher education at the University of California and California State University. She has professionally acted and directed, instructed a variety of fine arts courses at the high school and university levels, consulted for various arts organizations, and administrated regional and state educational programs.

Sarah’s first teaching position was at O’Gorman High School in Sioux Falls where she built a secondary-level theatre and speech program, producing acclaimed theatre productions and coaching students in oral interpretation. One of her students was a national award winner. She received numerous honors and awards including Outstanding Young Speech Teacher of the Year. Sarah worked for Young People’s Theatre teaching theatre arts classes for young people and served as a consultant for the South Dakota State University Extension State 4-H program involving youth from across South Dakota which resulted in many performances including a production for the Governor’s Office and a commemoration event at Mount Rushmore. One of Sarah’s last services to South Dakota before relocating to California was to work with the White House Advance Team and coordinate a performance for the George H.W. Bush Presidential visit for South Dakota’s Celebrate the Century program held at the Sioux Falls Arena in 1988.

During her career in California, Sarah led many efforts to impact arts education in CA public schools. Sarah progressed from secondary/post-secondary education to working in the School of Education at the University of California, Davis (UCD) where she served as Director of Sierra North Arts Project (SNAP) teaching classes focused on arts education and conducting professional development programs for teachers. She took on the role of Director of Arts Education, Professional Development, at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Performing Arts Center that forged partnerships with the Kennedy Center and the Globe Theatre to provide arts multi-disciplinary educational experiences for educators. Sarah also consulted for the California Musical Theatre and co-founded the Teaching through Musical Theatre program that involved K-12 teachers.

For the past 16 years Sarah served as the Director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initiative to expand student access to arts education through support of the 58 California County Superintendents of Schools. Sarah has worked at the national, state, county, and local levels to provide curriculum and professional learning support, technical assistance, and networking opportunities for educators, arts organization leaders, and other key stakeholders. During her time at CCSESA she secured more than $11 million in arts education funding through grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, the Packard Foundation, and the California Arts Council. She founded with partners the CCSESA Creativity at the Core initiative, producing online curricula for educators aligned to state standards and began the CCSESA Rural Arts Network linking rural educators from across California through professional learning, strategic planning support, and educational coaching.

She was one of the founding members and former Chair of CREATE CA, a nationally recognized coalition of state organizations and leaders that have worked to influence policy and implementation support for arts and creative education. Sarah has been instrumental in two major state task force efforts and was appointed by State Superintendent of Schools to be a lead contributor for A Blueprint for Creative Schools, along with other key publications, data collection efforts, and research studies. She continues to collaborate with educators and scholars around the country. Sarah has published several scholarly articles and publications and recently co-authored the book Teacher as Curator: Formative Assessment and Arts-Based Strategies published by Columbia University’s Teachers College Press.

Gary graduated from the university in 1980 with a BFA degree in music with a focus on music education. He later received a law degree from The Ohio State University in 1983. Gary is a corporate attorney and has served as an independent director of private and public companies. Previously, he served as corporate counsel to several public companies in the telecommunications industry and was a partner at the Jones Day law firm.

Recognizing that Gary’s pivot from music to law resulted in one less music educator, Gary and his wife, Gail Griffith, created the Begeman/Griffith Instrumental Music Education Scholarship in 2000 to support music students in the College of Fine Arts with a focus on students pursuing careers in music education. Since it was created, the Begeman/Griffith scholarship has provided financial support to 146 students.

Gary has also been an active supporter of the university through his service on the Board of Directors of the University of South Dakota Foundation. He served as chair of the Foundation Board of Directors from 2019 through 2021.

Gary and Gail have three children and live with a variety of cats, dogs, horses and pet pigs on their farm in Philomont, Virginia.

Gary would like to recognize his classmates at the university who went on to have exceptional careers as music educators.

Lisa Dresch graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1990 with a BFA in Painting and K-12 Art Education degree. She also has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently a passionate visual arts teacher at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls. Dresch states “I have over 30 years of experience teaching art to all ages, from toddlers to adult learners. I love to teach drawing, painting, and art history and have experience in most studio areas of art. One of my favorite endeavors is to teach people how to draw what they see and realize their innate art ability. 'I didn’t know I could draw!' is something I never tire of hearing.”

Every year, Lisa submits dozens of student artwork to the Scholastic Art Awards, hosted at the University of South Dakota. This takes considerable time and is just one example of dedication to her students' success. In the past, the work of her students consistently received the highest Scholastic Awards, a validation of the quality of work her students create. Lisa also enters her student’s artwork to other regional and national competitions. For five years, her students have received Best of Show for the Youth Art Month competition sponsored by Sargent Art. With help from her co-workers, Roosevelt won the State AA Arts Championship for two years and was Runner-up for two years. She’s also had 4 Congressional Art Award winning students who have displayed their art in Washington, D.C. This commitment is beyond the requirements of the art classroom, but she is devoted to giving her students the best opportunities to shine.

Lisa Dresch was the 2020 South Dakota Art Educator of the Year Award in recognition of her "involvement in local, state and national activities, artistic endeavors, arts advocacy, and educational efforts.” She also won the 2014 Excellence in Instruction Award from Roosevelt High School. Lisa is known to put her students first and advocates for them both inside and outside of the classroom. In the spring of 2021, in response to the closing of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lisa built a home video station to create demos for her Drawing 1 class on YouTube. She also delivered artwork and supplies to students’ homes to help keep them engaged in learning.

In the classroom, Lisa creates a welcoming learning environment so that all students feel included and excited to learn. She has a “Dresch Diner” and offers free food for all students in need. She is an unofficial “Art Mom” to her students, and offers affirmations as well as free items (socks, gloves). She strives to connect to students individually, encouraging them to grow and persevere. At times, she will dress up to add fun to a lesson, as when she portrayed Bob Ross (with the help of a wig and painted beard!) to teach landscape painting. Lisa cares about the many cultures and ethnicity of her students. She is the co-author of the children’s book, Native American Master Artist: Oscar Howe. This engaging book is an autobiography of Dakota artist Oscar Howe and features his inspiring life story and colorful paintings. This book was selected as the only book to represent South Dakota at the Library of Congress Festival of Books in Washington, D.C. in 2015.

Another important role for Lisa was as the founding Visual Arts Curator for the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. For almost a decade, she built a dynamic art program from scratch, including a Children’s Studio, Youth At Risk programs, Docent Museum Education program, “Off the Fridge” student exhibit space, quarterly art classes, summer art camps, Preschool Picasso/Toddler Art programs, Sidewalk Arts Festival children’s area, community collaborations, and more. She was also co-founder of Draw Paint Create; an art teaching co-op. In the summer of 2018, she gathered a selection of past art students to create a collaborative “Black Light Hidden Forest” for the Community Art Maze.

Lisa cites John A. Day as her role model of a life-changing educator and mentor. Her years at USD were memorable due to the high-quality professors and dynamic learning atmosphere. Lisa is also proud to be a wife to Mike Dresch, mother to Elsa and Jacob, and “Oma” to her three grandchildren. She continues her own art, exhibiting in various local shows over the years and donating to causes like Lights Up Productions and Emily’s Hope. When not teaching art, she likes to bake, make crafts, paint nature, create family projects (like a 9-hole backyard mini-golf course), solve mysteries, collect cool rocks, pet cats, engage in bible studies, and visit family. She also works in orphan ministries and has fostered many Ukrainian youth.

Daamen Krall (MA, Theatre, 1975) has had a long and successful career as a professional actor specializing in voice acting for film, video, and television. Making his home in Los Angeles since the late 70's, Daamen has worked successfully as a voice-over actor/director for countless films and television shows.

He directed voice-over sessions working with the likes of Barbara Streisand (“The Prince of Tides” 1991), Robert Redford (“Horse Whisperer” 1998) and Sir Richard Attenborough (“Chaplin” 1992). While he has voiced hundreds of roles over a near forty-year career, he is widely known for his work as the host of and performer in the reboot of the 1940’s radio series “Suspense” (2014-2019) which was nominated for two Peabody Awards and became the second most listened to dramatic radio program in the world. He also has a large fan base from playing the title character in the cult classic re-imagined version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (2006).

Some of the movies that have featured his voice acting include: “duck duck GOOSE” (2018), “Cars 3” (2017), “Sing” (2016), “The Lego Movie” (2014), “The Great Gatsby” and “Now You See Me” (2013), “Happy Feet” (2011), “Halloween” (2007), “Night at the Museum” (2006), “Red Riding Hood” (2011), “Land of the Lost” (2009), “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” (2008), “The Simpsons Movie” and “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men” (2007), “Garfield” and “The Matador” (2004), “Lilo and Stitch” (2002), “Double Jeopardy” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” (1999), “Antz” and “Babe 2: Pig in the City” (1998), “Babe” (1995), “The Lion King” (1994), “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993), “Father of the Bride” (1991), “Jaws: The Revenge” (1987), “Starchaser” (1985), and “Runaway” (1984). Television series include “Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001), “The X-Files” (1993-2002), “Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (1993-1999), “The Young Riders” (1989-1992), “Star Trek The Next Generation” (1987-1994) and “Remington Steele” (1982-1987). Daamen has also voiced characters in a series of “Star Trek” video games, including “Star Trek: Starfleet Command III” (2002) and “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy” (1997). His voice is also featured in the direct-to-video movie “101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure” (2003).

Daamen’s career as an actor was launched many years ago at USD and the Black Hills Playhouse, and today he stands near the top of his industry, respected by producers, directors, casting agents and other actors for the special talent he brings to film, video, and television projects. In an industry where careers are typically short, his is rare for its length and breadth.

What's the ideal training ground for an ad agency president? If you answered, "being a marching band instructor," you've no doubt met Scott Lawrence, President and CEO of Lawrence & Schiller.

Scott earned his BFA in music from the University of South Dakota in 1978 and went on to become one of the most successful high school band directors in the state for Marion and Wakonda. His unique ability to unite a diverse group of people, define roles and motivate them to excellence propelled him from his success in music to success in marketing.

Scott joined Lawrence & Schiller in 1984, quickly establishing himself as a talented account executive and rising to the Director of Account Service. Over the years, Scott formed rock-solid relationships with clients, community leaders and more, always making sure they had smart marketing strategies and even smarter team members guiding the work. Scott's relationships have lasted for years — sometimes decades — with organizations like Sanford Health, First PREMIER Bank, Dakota State University, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the South Dakota Lottery, Lewis, Heartland Energy and many more.

In 2002, Scott became agency President and CEO, leading the charge to reorganize the agency into an innovative team model that has led to higher performance and client service. Today, he continues to play a strategic role for L&S and maintains key relationships with business and community leaders through the region.

What guides Scott's business philosophy and civic responsibility is how much he cares. Scott is passionate about bettering our community and serves or has served on the boards of the South Dakota State Chamber of Commerce, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, USD Foundation, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the Sanford International Board and more. Working as a board member and chair for the National Music Museum, Scott played an essential role in securing $2 million from the South Dakota legislature for continued renovation. He's also an accomplished author, writing "The Leader of the Band" in 2018, which recounts leadership lessons learned early in his career.

Named South Dakota Sales and Marketing Executive of the Year in 2022, Scott's boundless passion and unrelenting enthusiasm have made a dramatic difference for our community, state and countless individuals. The leader of the band has proven to be a first-rate leader in every sense of the word.

Lawrence L. Mitchell graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1961 with a BFA in Music Education. Dr. Mitchell taught public school instrumental music in Rock Valley, Iowa, from 1961-1966. While attending the University of Iowa for masters and doctoral work, he was a low brass teaching assistant and graduate assistant with the University of Iowa bands and Assistant Director of the University of Iowa Summer Music Camps. Dr. Mitchell returned to public school teaching instrumental music at Humboldt, Iowa. In 1970, he was appointed Assistant Director of Bands and Low Brass at the University of Central Missouri.

In 1973, Dr. Mitchell returned to the University of South Dakota. He retired in 2006 as Professor of Low Brass and Director of Bands. During his long tenure at USD he served as Director of the USD Marching Coyotes, the USD Jazz Ensembles, the USD Wind Ensemble, and the USD Symphonic Band. He taught low brass, conducting, and instrumental literature and methods. He served as Department of Music Chair for eleven years. He founded and hosted the Quad State Marching Competition, the USD Coyote Jazz Festival, the USD High School Honor Band Festival, the High School Corps Marching Camp, and the Instrumental Music Directors Summer Institute. He was the Director of the Upper Midwest Summer Junior/Senior Music Camp. Dr. Mitchell was actively involved in trombone performance with the Sioux City Symphony, the Symphony Brass Quintet, the USD Faculty Brass Quintet, and was Director of the Sioux City Municipal Band. After retirement, he continued to remain active as a conductor leading the Vermillion Area Homeschool Band.

In 1976, he was selected as the USD faculty member of the year. He was the 1996 recipient of the Phi Beta Mu Distinguished Service Award as well as the South Dakota Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year Award. During his April 30, 2006, final university band concert, Dr. Mitchell was awarded an Executive Proclamation by Governor Mike Rounds proclaiming April 30, 2006, as Dr. Lawrence Mitchell Day. Dr. Mitchell is the 2008 recipient of the Northwest Iowa Band Master Association Jay Wicker Service Award and the 2008 Northwest Iowa Band Masters Association Karl King Award (Retired). Dr. Mitchell's impact on music education is great. His students have taught and are teaching in school systems around the country as well as at colleges and universities. Former students affectionately referred to him as "Doc." His impact on students worldwide is significant through his direction and teaching at summer camps, honor bands, and festivals. His mentorship of other faculty is valued. Last but not least, Dr. Mitchell was a warm and kind person who always held uppermost the best interests of his students and the USD Music Department.

Wičáhpi Čik’ala, Robert Penn, was born into a large Sičháŋǧu and Omaha family. Bob grew up in a time and place he would later seek to describe through his artwork. His father was among the first to notice his talent at drawing, already apparent at a very young age. It was this memory that always encouraged him. As a high school student, enrolling in Oscar Howe’s summer art workshop for future artists was a pivotal moment. The experience left him determined to become a serious artist. He enrolled at the University of South Dakota later earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1972. Upon graduation, his art became his life.

In the 1970s he began working with abstraction, Lakhota design, native storytelling, and the twentieth-century Native American experience—as seen in the Urban Indian series of paintings from 1972 and 1976, Prejudice (1969), Dog Soldier’s Sash (1972), and many more The Altar series and other works recreated his personal view on religion, something that occupied him more and more. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s he worked side jobs teaching art at schools and colleges while continuously painting, drawing, and showing his work. Several paintings called Mixed Blood (1980s), landscapes, as well as many watercolors of dancers and elders brought him national and international recognition. During this time Bob had children of his own. The theme of family and relationships influenced one of his most important paintings, The Sisters (1988). This iconic portrait of these several proud women heralded a new phase in his career.

His work in the late eighties and into the nineties became more spiritual. He still produced paintings, prints, and pastels of dancers and native people but his other work was becoming darker, abstract, and intensely spiritual. Two scratchboards called Flute Player (both 1989), Ghost Dance Song (1990), Elk Dreamer Society (1990), and Waiting for You to Go Away (1993) show that transition. During the 1990s Bob painted the last of his Urban Indian and Altar series. He started the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute in 1991 fulfilling his dream of helping a new generation of Native American artists. He received the South Dakota Governor’s Award for Distinction in Creative Achievement in the Arts in 1992 and was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame shortly before his death.