Alumni Association Records

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 017

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Alumni Association Records


  • 1892-2022 undated (Creation)


2.42 linear feet [2 record boxes, 1 document case]

Name of creator

Administrative history

In 1889, before statehood had been achieved in South Dakota, 16 members of the class of 1889 met following commencement exercises, they formed the Dakota Agricultural College Alumni Association. / Those early graduates of what would become the state’s largest university came together “for the purpose of preserving a feeling of unity and fellowship between the several graduates and for the purpose of cementing more closely the bonds existing between the alumni and their Alma Mater.” / The first effort to keep the graduates in touch with the association occurred in 1908-09 under Chairperson Prof. B.T. Whitehead. In that year, two letters were sent out to graduates by the association. In 1910, the Alumnus was started with Hubert B. Mathews as editor. The Alumnus would lay the ground work for the Alumni Associations current publication STATE Magazine. Another major role the Alumni Association in the early years was the establishment and support of Hobo Day activities in 1912. / One of the major tasks undertaken by the association began in 1962 when the SDSC Alumni Association passed a resolution advocating the change of South Dakota State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts to South Dakota State University. “The success of the name change movement was largely due to the activities of the Alumni Association and its members,” said Art Sogn ’47, past chairperson of the Alumni Association. The idea of a permanent, separate headquarters for the Alumni Association was discussed in the early 1970s. During a nine-year period, the association had been located in five different offices. At an Alumni Council meeting June 23, 1973, with new chairperson Deane Antoine presiding, Keith Jensen, Alumni Association President & CEO, presented a proposal for an Alumni Center. Dedication of the Tompkins Alumni Center was held at the Alumni Days summer reunion June 12, 1976. / In June 1980, the SDSU Alumni Board of Directors, decided to explore the cost of building a patio area originally planned with Tompkins Alumni Center. It was suggested by Chad Kono, the Association’s President and CEO, that the patio be designed to include a clock tower that would house the Old North Clock donated to the University by the classes of 1922 and 1923. Later the bell from Old Central, which had been removed from Coughlin Campanile, was added. / In 1992 the Alumni Association became an independent 501 c (3) Non-profit corporation and in 2000 the Alumni Association began a major fundraising effort, called the Return to Glory campaign. This campaign raised funds to restore our prairie icon, the Coughlin Campanile. After the restoration work was complete, the re-dedication of the Campanile took place on September 22, 2001. In 2006 the Association got “on line” with a web site and electronic newsletter. / In 2008 a legislative advocacy group, the Jackrabbit Advocates, was formed to allow dedicated alumni to represent the independent voice of the Alumni Association in a strong collaborative partnership with South Dakota State University as they work with elected officials for the betterment of public higher education. / In 2010 a renovation of Tompkins Alumni Center was completed including the Paul Freeburg ’33 Archives Room located in the lower level of the center. Alumni are encouraged to visit their alumni home when they return to campus.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed mainly of publications and promotional material produced by the Office of the Director of the Alumni Association. Folders include newsletters, flyers, invitation to gatherings, and State magazine. Also included is material dealing with reunions, mainly invitations in the form of postcards.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Related archival materials

1986 SDSU reunion record.
Brookings, S.D.: Alumni Association, South Dakota State University, [1986]
Call number: S537.S6 S653 1986

Alumni directory.
Brookings, S.D.: South Dakota State University Alumni Association; White Plains, N.Y.: B.C. Harris Pub. Co., 1992-
Call number: S537.S6 S652 1990

Celebrate State.
[Brookings, S.D.] : South Dakota State University Alumni Association, [1990]
Call number: S537.S6 C44 1990

Directory of alumni, South Dakota State University: compiled from information in the Alumni Office files at South Dakota State University as of Dec. 1, 1978.
Brookings: Alumni Association of South Dakota State University, [1979]
Call number: S537.S6 S65 1979 v. 1-2

Fabulous forties reunion II: the sequel; 1991 record.
[Brookings, S.D.] : Alumni Association, South Dakota State University, [1991]
Call number: S537.S6 S6532 1991

SDSU reunion record.
Brookings, S.D.: Alumni Association, South Dakota State University, [1987]
Call number: S537.S6 S654 1987

South Dakota State University alumnus.
Brookings, S.D.: SDSU Alumni Association, 1910-1997
Call number: 378.783 So8.03

State: a magazine for South Dakota State University alumni and friends.
Brookings, S.D.: SDSU Alumni Association, 1997-
Call number: 378.783 So8.032

The college on the hill: a sense of South Dakota State University history / by Amy Dunkle with V.J. Smith.
Brookings, S.D.: South Dakota State University Alumni Association, c2003.
Call number: S537 S6 D86 2003

The winds of change: an autobiography of South Dakota State University's last Dean of Women / by Vivian V. Volstorff.
[Brookings, S.D.] : South Dakota State University Alumni Association, c2000.
Call number: S537.S6 V64 2000

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Alternative identifier(s)




UA 17

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