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Traditions

Old Main at The University of South Dakota
Old Main

At the heart of the USD campus, historic Old Main is the University's oldest building. Originally built in 1883 as University Hall, Old Main was destroyed by fire in 1893 and was immediately rebuilt. An assortment of materials and adornments from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair were used in the rebuilding, but not necessarily the iconic spires as often suggested by folklore.The building was completely renovated from 1993 to 1997 and now serves as the home to classrooms, USD's honors program, the Center for Academic Engagement, Farber Hall and the Oscar Howe Gallery.

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 D Days at the University of South Dakota
Dakota Days

South Dakota's annual homecoming celebration, Dakota Days - or D days - attracts spirited alumni back to campus while allowing current students to display their creativity in planning and promoting the week-long festivities.  The celebration dates back to 1914 when President Robert. L. Slagle encouraged an event to "promote campus spirit and harmony." The result was "South Dakota Day" (later shortened to "Dakota Day" and now the week-long celebration "Dakota Days") as students elected royalty, built floats, paraded through the streets of Vermillion and cheered on the University's football team - in much the same way they do today.

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 Doc Farber
Doc Farber Statue 

USD professor emeritus of political science, mentor to students and stalwart of South Dakota political history William O. "Doc" Farber passed away in 2007 at the age of 96. But the iconic USD professor's legacy and spirit lives on under the watchful eye and insightful expression of the Doc Farber statue located in front of Dakota Hall on the USD campus.Good grades are said to "rub off" on those who stop to wish Doc's statue well:
 
"The keys to a happy, acceptable, and productive life are participation, involvement and concern for others. I have hoped, by example, to inspire you to be change agents. Often your intellect, I know, has been superior to my own; only my experience has been greater and that I have tried to permit by association 'to rub off on you.'" - Doc Farber, 1976

 

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 The DakotaDome
The DakotaDome

The Coyotes stay warm, dry and virtually unbeatable inside one of the region's most recognizable structures - the DakotaDome. Opened in 1979, the Dome provides an electric atmosphere for students and an unparalleled home-field advantage for the Coyote Athletic teams. The storied structure also plays a key role in the matriculation of students as the venue for both the welcoming Convocation Ceremony and the degree-completing Commencement Exercises.

In addition, the Dome provides USD athletes with fitness and strength training facilities and annually welcomes more than 480,000 fans and athletes – and a few Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons - through its gates

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 Coyote mascot
Coyotes

It's only fitting that the official animal of the state of South Dakota is also the mascot of the state's flagship university. However, long before the Coyote (always pronounced "Ki-YOTE" around here) was honored by the state in 1949, it became a symbol for the University's athletic teams. Intercollegiate athletics began at USD in 1889, and when the school's first yearbook was published in 1902, the editors had already dubbed the teams "the Coyotes." The name stuck, and USD has since been represented by a variety of versions of the coyote from real, live coyotes to today's costumed mascot, "Charlie Coyote." The rallying cry, "Go 'Yotes" can be heard whenever South Dakota's red-clad alumni, friends and fans get together.

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 Coyote Cheerleaders
Fight Songs

If fight songs are the embodiment of school spirit, USD students and alumni are overflowing with fervor for their alma mater. South Dakota has not just one, but three fight songs - Hail South DakotaSouth Dakota Victory and Get Along Coyotes - used to rally and unite the Coyotes on the playing field or anywhere alumni gather.

Most commonly, back-to-back renditions of Hail South Dakota and South Dakota Victory are played as one, "official" song at fan and alumni functions. On game day, listen for South Dakota Victory following a touchdown, Hail South Dakota after the extra point and fan-favorite Get Along Coyotes after a big play or at any time to inspire the crowd.



Red-clad students cheer on the Coyotes at a football game. Wearing red is a USD tradition - not just on game days -but on every Friday during the school year.

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