Longtime USD professor wins prestigious history award

Longtime USD professor wins prestigious history award Dr. Gerald W. Wolff, a retired history professor from The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, will receive the Robinson Award from the South Dakota State Historical Society at its annual meeting April 13 in Pierre.

The Robinson Award, named for the first state historian, Doane Robinson, and his son, Will G. Robinson, is the highest and most prestigious of the annual Governor's Awards for History. The award recognizes a lifetime of historical achievements and contributions.

Dr. Wolff, currently of Sioux City, IA, has volunteered his service for the past 21 years to the society as the book review editor for South Dakota History, the society's award-winning quarterly journal.

Individual winners of this year's Governor's Awards for History are Dr. Lynwood Oyos of Sioux Falls and James P. Wilson of Deadwood. The honored history organizations are the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission of Vermillion and the Friends of the Middle Border, Inc., of Mitchell. The Herbert S. Schell Award goes to Todd Guenther of Lander, WY, and the History Teacher of the Year is Lennis Larson of Spearfish.

"These individuals and organizations all deserve our thanks and gratitude for helping to preserve the history of South Dakota," Gov. Bill Janklow said. "Their work will make that history available for future generations."

Oyos is a professor emeritus of history at Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He taught history at Augustana from 1957 until retirement in 1994 and has remained an active scholar. Wilson is the Deadwood historic preservation officer. He has been a major contributor to history, historic architecture and historical preservation in the state from more than 20 years.

Since 1985, the Clay County Historic Preservation Commission has been making significant contributions to historic preservation in the urban and rural communities of Clay County.

Friends of the Middle Border, Inc. operates both the Middle Border Museum and the Oscar Howe Art Center in Mitchell. The museum and art center promote the prehistory, history and art of American Indians and settler of the middle Border region (North and South Dakota and portions of adjoining states), along with contemporary art and culture.

The Schell Award is given annually to the author of the best article published in South Dakota History. Guenther's article, "Lucretia Marchbanks: A Black Woman in the Black Hills," appeared in the Volume 31, No. 1 (Spring 2001) issue. Guenther is director of the Museum of the American West in Lander, WY.

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