The University of South Dakota will honor three distinguished alumni with Alumni Achievement Awards during Dakota Days. Recipients will be presented with their awards during the annual alumni banquet at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9 at the Muenster University Center.
Alumni Achievement Award recipients are recognized for professional achievement, service to the university, and for public service. Honored alumni this year are Judge Mark W. Barnett (B.S. '76, J.D. '78) of Pierre, for Public Service; Robert Frieberg (B.A. '57, L.L.B. '61) of Beresford, for Service to the University; and Mi-Young Lee (B.F.A. '85) for Professional Success.
Barnett graduated from USD with a bachelor's degree in 1976 and his juris doctor in 1978. He was an assistant attorney general; deputy state's attorney; state's attorney; and partner in a Pierre law firm. Elected attorney general in 1990 and re-elected in 1994 and 1998, he was the first statewide candidate to run unopposed.
Barnett argued and won two reversals in the United States Supreme Court. He personally prosecuted the state's only serial killer, as well as a number of other high profile cases. He put victims' rights, victims' compensation, and the sex offender registry into law. As a result, he was named 2008 Prosecutor of the Year.
Currently, Barnett serves as a South Dakota circuit judge for the sixth circuit. In addition to serving the citizens of the state of South Dakota, Barnett's public service has included serving as president of the Children's Home Foundation, and as vice president of the Spearfish Canyon Foundation. Barnett, the father of sons John and Jim, is a member of Beta Theta Pi and resides in Pierre.
Frieberg, a third generation graduate of USD, received his bachelor's degree in 1957 and law degree in 1961. In addition to frequent participation at campus events and supporter of key initiatives, Frieberg has given back to the university in numerous ways throughout the years, including serving as an adjunct law professor and as president of both the USD Alumni Association and the USD Foundation. He continues to serve the university as a Foundation trustee and as legal counsel.
Frieberg and his late wife, Evonne '56, were honored by the USD Foundation in 2006 for their service to the university with an Inman Award and in 2007, the USD Student Bar Association presented him with the Marshall M. McKusick Award in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession.
The Frieberg's three children are also graduates of USD and three of his grandchildren are presently attending USD. A member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Frieberg and his wife, Elaine Miller, live in Beresford where he continues to practice law.
Mi-Young Lee earned her bachelor's and her master of fine arts in painting, in 1985 and 1988 respectively, at USD. After attaining her MFA, she began her career as a professional fine artist participating in competitive art exhibitions locally, regionally and nationally where she has received awards for her work. In 1995, she took her career abroad with a solo exhibition earning critical acclaim at a prestigious art gallery in her home country of South Korea.
Her award-winning artwork continues to gain prominence throughout the United States and abroad with a growing list of public and corporate collectors such as Price Waterhouse, Pillsbury and Sprint displaying her art along with solo exhibitions in Korea, China, Poland and Germany. Additionally, Lee has taught fine art students at USD. Mi-Young Lee lives in Sioux Falls with her husband, David Julian, and their son, Alexander, while their daughter, Christi, resides in New Orleans.
Tickets are on sale now for the annual awards banquet. For more information about the Alumni Achievement Award recipients or to reserve tickets, please contact the Alumni Association at (605) 677-6734 or 800-655-ALUM (2586).