University of South Dakota’s 18th President Sworn In

VERMILLION S.D.-After 21 years, the University of South Dakota in Vermillion has a new president.

“Ladies and gentlemen please rise in joining me in welcoming the University of South Dakota’s 18th President, Sheila K. Gestring,” said Former President Jim Abbott during the school’s 2019 President Inauguration.

Sheila Gestring is leading the school she’s known for 13 years. During her speech, she reflected back on all the past accomplishments of USD, expressing her desire to continue moving the school forward.

“I firmly believe that we represent the best of South Dakota. We represent its work ethic, it’s ingenuity, its sense of community and most of all its hope for the future,” said President Gestring.

The  South Dakota native is an alumni who mastered in business administration. She’s known for being a financial leader for the university working in the finance department since 2006 and as Chief Financial Officer since 2010.

Former President, Jim Abbott spoke at the inauguration in support of Gestring’s new role.

“I am confident we have a president that can lead us far into the future. She’s a strong leader, an excellent advocate and spokesperson for high education, a role model for students, especially women,”said Abbott.

President Gestring has big plans for USD. She wants to focus on access and affordability.

“South Dakota is the only state without a meaningful “states needs based financial aid package” and there are students out there that are academically prepared. They work hard and they just need a little bit of help,” said Gestring.

She plans to work on offering more scholarships and raising more private funds.

“I decided the reason I was here to begin with was to make an impact for the state of South Dakota and how better to do that than to do that in the President’s role. I want to make a difference for USD and the state,” said Gestring.

Gestring believes her financial background will help her accomplish the goals she has set. She officially took on the roll of president June 22 of last year.


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