USD to confer degrees at 125th Spring Commencement on May 5

Rodney R. Parry, M.D., former dean of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, will deliver the keynote address as the University of South Dakota confers degrees to more than 1,300 students at the 125th Spring Commencement at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, at the DakotaDome.

A native of Canistota, SD, Parry became the 13th dean of the medical school in 2004. He retired as dean of the Sanford School of Medicine last June, however, remained dean on an interim basis until April 1, 2012.

Parry was a member of the medical school faculty for 35 years and also served as president of the South Dakota State Medical Association in 1998.

In 2008, he was presented with the South Dakota State Medical Association Presidential Award and from 1986 to 2004, Parry served as the director of the USD Cystic Fibrosis Center.

He was also chair, Medical School Section, American Medical Association from 2007-2008.

Parry received an undergraduate degree in pharmacy at South Dakota State University in 1965 and a B.S. in medicine from USD in 1967. He earned his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 before completing his internship in mixed medicine and pediatrics at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, AZ (1970), and his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, MN, two years later.

His professional training includes a fellowship in pulmonary disease at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (1972-73) and from 1973 to 1975; he served as a major in the Department of Medicine, United States Army. In 1976, he became one of the state's first pulmonologists when he moved back to South Dakota.

In addition to a keynote address by Parry, USD's 125th Spring Commencement will honor distinguished faculty from the 2011-12 academic year. Faculty to be recognized include recipients of the Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching; the Richard and Sharon Cutler Awards in Liberal Arts; the John Wesley Jackson Memorial Award presented to the outstanding professor of law; and the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Professor Award.

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