The late Doc Farber was professor emeritus at The University of South Dakota (USD). He passed away on March 24, at the age of 96. Gov. Mike Rounds nominated Farber for this award to honor his legacy of public service.
"One of Doc's greatest contributions was his attention to one of our state's greatest resources – our young people," said Gov. Rounds. "Doc served as the chairman of the USD Department of Political Science for 38 years. He was a great mentor and an inspiration to thousands of college students. Doc fostered a strong sense of civic duty and encouraged many students to enter public service."
Governors are allowed to nominate one individual from their state for the award in the private-citizen category. Only three private citizens are selected nationwide for the Distinguished Service to State Government Award. Recipients are selected based on criteria such as serving as a role model in public leadership, stimulating statewide change and exemplary contributions to public service.
"There are few South Dakotans, past or present, whose lives have had such an impact on our state and its citizens," said Gov. Rounds.
During Farber's term as chairman of the USD Department of Government, he established the Government Research Bureau. He engaged his students in state government issues by coordinating research projects that investigated many important state matters. The Government Research Bureau was the model Farber used when he helped established the South Dakota Legislative Research Council (LRC). Farber served as its first director. The LRC continues today as the legislature's non-partisan research staff.