August 26, 2016        Login   Register  

News Minimize
South Dakota Representatives In Statuary Hall - Thursday, August 11, 2016
By Ted Fioraliso | 
Posted: Tue 5:03 PM, Aug 09, 2016  | 
Updated: Tue 6:20 PM, Aug 09, 2016

But you won’t find the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson here. This collection is reserved for influential state figures – two from each to be exact.

One of South Dakota’s statues has a prominent spot at the entrance to the Capitol rotunda -- General William Henry Harrison Beadle. He’s been here a long time.

“That statue was commissioned in 1938 to honor the centennial of his birth. He was one of the first educators to be honored in Statuary Hall," explained Architect of the Capitol curator Dr. Michele Cohen.

Beadle was president of Madison State Normal School -- now Dakota State University. Beadle’s education career began after serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. That’s when he was appointed surveyor-general of the Dakota Territory and developed a plan to manage school lands. His ideas were written into the state’s constitution.

“He’s often considered the Father of Public Education in South Dakota,” said Cohen.

You won’t find South Dakota's other representative his statue in Statuary Hall. The sculptures can weigh 10,000 pounds, and that’s a lot of weight on the room's old floor. So the statue of Dr. Joseph Ward is on display in the Capitol Visitor’s Center. It’s been in the collection since 1963.

Ward was an ordained minister who founded Yankton College and served as its president. He had a lot of things in common with Beadle.

“They were both born in 1838. They worked together on the Constitutional Convention," said Cohen. "They were very forceful advocates to retain and protect these lands for public education.”

So if you’re a product of that education, you have these men to thank. And you can do it in person at the U.S. Capitol.

“I’m in awe every time I walk through these doors when I step in. It’s almost as though we can feel the weight of history on our shoulders," said Cohen.

To watch the KSFY story:

                                                                                                  Joseph Ward


YANKTON COLLEGE 2016 ALL-CLASS REUNION - Friday, July 29, 2016

Greyhound Dreams


Yankton Press & Dakotan
Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2016 9:59 pm

Name tags probably weren’t required for Gary Schuurmans to know who everybody in the ballroom was.

That comes with the territory when you’re part of an alumni group that doesn’t gain any new members. You tend to know everyone. Bonds are strengthened over the years.

“We’re a real close-knit group,” said Schuurmans, a 1979 Yankton College graduate who was in attendance for Saturday afternoon’s Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon at Best Western Kelly Inn.

The induction of six former Greyhounds athletes was one of several events held during the weekend during Yankton College’s All-Class Reunion. This year’s reunion for the college that closed in 1984 was entitled “Keeping The Dream Alive,” which fit right in with the theme of the Athlete Hall of Fame ceremony.

“It’s great. It brings back a lot of good memories,” Schuurmans said. “It’s always fun to see the old gang again.”

Schuurmans, who grew up near Tyndall but has lived in Norfolk, Nebraska, for 30 years, played football and basketball and also ran track for the Greyhounds.

Although more than 40 years has passed since Schuurmans was a student at Yankton College, it’s not as though he never talks with his past teammates and friends, he said.

“We do a really good job of keeping track of each other,” Schuurmans said.

From college football pools, to Super Bowl pools, to Facebook and emails, Schuurmans and many of his old classmates stay in touch with each other — no matter where they live.

Many of them also attend every YC athletic banquet, held during the all-class reunions every two years.

“You hear a lot of the same stories,” Schuurmans said, with a smile. “And a lot of the times, the stories get embellished every time.”

As much fun as it is to see friends and other alumni at gatherings like all-class reunions, it’s also close to an expectation, Schuurmans added — given that the school hasn’t been open in 30 years.

“We count on each other to be here,” he said. “We’re not gaining any new alumni, so this is it.”

The weekend reunion began last Thursday with registration, office visits and a meet & greet, and continued Friday with such events as a Q&A, campus tours, tours of the Mead Building (and future home of Yankton College), a golf tournament, a theater alumni mini-reunion and the Greyhound Greats program.

Saturday featured the Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon, the Humanities Hall of Honor luncheon, a Y-Club social, an alumni talent show and the “Dream Alive” evening.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, though, will prove to be one of the more popular activities, Schuurmans said, because of the sheer number of stories shared.

“I love listening to the Hall of Famers get up and tell their stories,” he said. “Their experiences, just like all of us, are usually very similar.

“There’s just so much support from the YC family.”

Also during Saturday’s ceremony, two individuals were recognized as Mr. Greyhounds: Duane Frick (1953) of Yankton and Terry Flynn (1975) of Falls City, Nebraska.

During his speech, Frick told the story of him scoring two points — both at the free throw line, after he had injured his right arm — against the famed Minneapolis Lakers during the 1949-50 season.

Below are the six inductees into the Athletic Hall of Fame:

Leroy “Buzz” Stevenson (1965)

An all-conference wide receiver for the Yankton College football team in 1964, Stevenson — an Ipswich native — would go on to make a name for himself in the world of track and field.

He was the head track and cross country at Huron High School for 10 years, where his teams were perennial conference and state title contenders. Stevenson then spent 29 years as the head track and cross country coach at Dakota State, where he remained until his retirement in 2014.

While at Dakota State, he helped turn a track program that had one All-American before he arrived into one that has produced more than 60 NAIA All-Americans since. Stevenson wowed the crowd Saturday by revealing that Dakota State’s first All-American was Darwin Robinson, who in 1973 finished third in the decathlon at the NAIA national track meet.

One of the athletes who finished above Robinson? Bruce Jenner.

Larry Lambert (1967)

A team captain during the start of what would be the best four-year stretch in Yankton College football history, Lambert had to wait his turn to enter the school’s Hall of Fame.

That was the subject of a few jokes during Lambert’s acceptance speech Saturday, but his place in Yankton College history is undisputed, according to former coach Bill Bobzin.

Lambert, a native of New York, helped turn around a Greyhounds program that had won one game his freshman year into one that went 8-1 in his senior year. Lambert later went on to become a football and wrestling coach at two schools in Iowa (Iowa City and Spirit Lake), and now lives in Colorado.

Val Madia (1970)

Recruited from Pittsburgh to help turn around the Yankton College men’s basketball team, Madia did exactly that.

He became the school’s all-time assists leader (503), single-game assists leader (17) and single-season assists leader (191). He also played on three straight conference championship teams, including one squad that went 22-4 — the best record in school history.

“I think this team could’ve competed with a lot of other good teams across the country,” Madia said during his acceptance speech.

Juandell Wilson (1972)

One of the handful of former Yankton College football players who went on to the next level, Wilson was — according to former coach Bill Bobzin — one of the school’s last two-way players, working both on offense and defense.

Although he has gone on to do many things in his life (from the military and pro football and other community service work), Wilson made clear Saturday that Yankton still holds a special place in his heart.

“This is the team I longed to be a part of,” he told the crowd during an engaging speech.

He spoke at length about the relationships he built while in Yankton and how he came to Yankton College for an education, but that the “initial investment has lasted a lifetime.”

Wilson also shared the story of his near-death experience while in Yankton. The sailboat he and some friends were enjoying on the Missouri River capsized one summer and he nearly drowned — he said he vividly recalled his life flashing before his eyes. The only thing that saved him was him physically ripping apart his life jacket, a feat he said the owner of an Army/Navy surplus store later claimed was next to impossible.

“Yankton has an indelible impression on my mind even all these years later,” Wilson said.

Ken Schaefer (1973)

A native of Yankton, Schaefer was once given a shot to wrestle at the collegiate level close to home: At Yankton College.

And he made the most of it.

Schaefer was a two-time Tri-State Conference champion (in 1972 and 1973) and went on to a lengthy and successful coaching career with the Yankton School District. Among his accolades, Schaefer guided Yankton High School to the 1986 state wrestling championship, still the only wrestling title in school history.

“I’m not sure how many of you believe in destiny or luck, but I have since realized that instead of being lucky, I was blessed,” a choked-up Schaefer told the crowd Saturday.

Charles Smith (1974)

A letterwinner in both football and track, Smith was another of the former Yankton College football players who moved on to the next level.

He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals (football) in 1974, had a tryout with the Charlotte Hornets (World Football League) in 1975 and also had a tryout with the Calgary Stampede of the Canadian Football League in 1976.

Below:  Juandell Wilson, a 1972 Yankton College graduate, makes a point during Saturday afternoon's Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon at the Best Western Kelly Inn.