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New residence halls named on SDSU campus

The names of three new residence halls opening this fall on the campus of South Dakota State University campus were approved today by the South Dakota Board of Regents during its scheduled meeting in Vermillion.

Part of the new Jackrabbit Grove, which is located in the southeast corner of campus, the halls are named for three distinguished alumni of the university:

  • Benjamin Reifel (also known as Lone Feather), who was the first American Indian from South Dakota to serve in Congress, representing the First District from 1961 to 1971;
  • Theodore Schultz, who developed founding theories of human capital and was the 1979 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and he was the first SDSU graduate honored as a Nobel laureate; and 
  • Hallie Walker Hyde, the first woman chosen as leader of the State student body, serving with an all-male cabinet in the early years of the 20th century when two-thirds of the students were men. (Additional biographic information below.)

Names were chosen by a committee of administrators, faculty and students from nominations submitted by students, faculty and alumni. A formal dedication program for the facilities will be scheduled for sometime this fall."These names were selected to recognize the achievements of former students and to honor South Dakota State's rich history," said Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs. "The naming committee recognized the accomplishments of these three alumni and how their professional achievements might provide inspiration to current students as the university emphasizes a commitment to student success."According to Rames, the designs of the halls were based on student feedback received from focus groups and a survey of more than 1,500 students. "These probably are the best-planned, student-oriented campus living options anywhere in the state, she said. "Students told us they want locations near their classrooms, the union and the Wellness Center. They also want halls that house fewer students on each floor and include amenities such as study lounges, kitchens and gathering spaces for academic and social activities. Jackrabbit Grove certainly achieves that. And we know that satisfaction with living conditions is a powerful way to support academic success."An expansion of the University Student Union also will be open this fall, to help accommodate the increased number of students on campus. It will feature new seating areas, a career counseling center and expanded dining options featuring three national brands: Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Extreme Pita, selected in consultation with students.Jackrabbit Grove, which also includes a new living and learning facility for the Honors College, and the expansion of the Union complete phase II of the Residential Life and Dining Services Master Plan. The plan, initiated in 2011 and targeted for completion in 2018, calls for the establishment of southeast and northwest neighborhoods that will encourage meaningful social and academic interactions and support student success.