New student convocation opens Dakota Days Sept. 21

New student convocation opens Dakota Days Sept. 21 Building awareness among new students about traditions at The University of South Dakota will be the focus of a new student convocation on Monday, Sept. 21.

The event, which kicks off the Dakota Days homecoming celebration, will be held on the lawn near Old Main (between Slagle Hall and the College of Arts and Sciences), beginning at 11 a.m.

"We want new students to better understand the traditions of The University of South Dakota, to know why being a Coyote means so much to so many people, and to feel the pride so many feel about this university," said USD interim Dean of Students Dave Lorenz.

Charlie Coyote, USD cheerleaders, the USD Marching Band, the Dakota Days Committee and others will be featured at the special convocation. The USD Marching Band will play the school fight song as well as perform the school song, Alma Mater. USD graduate Nancy Naeve, co-anchor of the Good Morning Dakota program, will lead the special convocation.

During the one-hour event, speakers will include USD President James W. Abbott, USD Athletic Director Kelly Higgins, as well as University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Wayne Knutson.

Knutson's address "What's In A Name" is dedicated to the people who have contributed to the ongoing success of the university — people who have been memorialized by having buildings named in their honor. Emily Lease, co-chair of the Dakota Days Committee, will also give details about the Dakota Days celebration which runs Sept. 21-27.

"It is important that we try to build awareness in our students about the long, wonderful history of the university," Lorenz said. "We are the oldest public institution in South Dakota and located in one of the most historic regions of the state. And, it is proper that we do this during Dakota Days week as we celebrate the university and return of thousands of alumni to their alma mater."

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