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USD Celebrates 'Dakota Days'

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Swarms of red and white with the same purpose, to celebrate a tradition: The University of South Dakota's "Dakota Days".

It all began with a parade filled with floats, bands, and even Tom and Meredith Brokaw made an appearance as this year's parade marshals.

"We always enjoy being back on campus and seeing the students and everything happening," said alum Dan Kelly.

Kelly graduated in the class of '66. He still makes the trip to the parade every year from Rochester, Minn. He says the campus will always be special to him because it is where he met his wife, Mary Jo.

"Both my wife and I feel that we received a marvelous education here. We have met lifelong friends that we knew here and we continue to see when we come back,” said Kelly.

Another USD alum, Matt Blake, says he made the right choice attending school at USD and enjoys being back where he spent many years as a student.

"It's a fun experience. I miss being here. It is good to see my old friends and be back here,” said Blake.


While some came back to relive old times, others are still in school and enjoying the new experiences. USD sophomore Kiersten Peterson says she came to the parade to see family.

"My brother is here marching in the band and I always did that in high school so it is neat to come and see him as a coyote in our parade," said Peterson.

Even when her journey ends, Kiersten says she hopes to one day get back to where it all began.


"I'm just really great that I chose to be a Coyote. When I see all these alumni come back, it just warms my heart. I hope to have that same feeling when I come back," said Peterson.

Whether young or older, alumni are keeping the tradition alive.

USD's "D-Days" Celebration started in 1914 as an event then-president Robert Slagle hoped would "promote campus spirit and harmony."


Note: This story initially identified this year as the 150th Dakota Days celebration. While the university is celebrating 150 years as an institution, the D-Days celebration is 98 years old.

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