The idea for a dedication came when USD alumnus Gary Conradi pointed out to USD Foundation president emeritus Ted Muenster during the previous school year that the campus lacked a recognition site for the Medal of Honor recipients that graduated from USD: Arlo Olson (1940), Joseph Foss (1939) and George Day (1949).
“It seemed to make sense to combine the flag display and the Medal of Honor display with recognition of all veterans affiliated with USD,” Muenster said.
There are no set plans for what the display will consist of or where it will be located, but the committee hopes to have the monument built in the grass area in between the South Dakota School of Law, the Beacom School of Business and the Al Neuharth Media Center.
According to the committee’s proposal submitted on Aug. 3, this location would be highly visible and easily accessible, with shelter provided by the surrounding buildings. The area is also set to include seating for students to sit and reflect on the dedication.
The committee has looked at other dedications in the state for ideas. Muenster said the committee thinks the state’s flagship university should have its own memorial.
“There’s one at South Dakota State University,” Muenster said. “They have two Medal of Honor recipients among their alumni. We have three, so we have 50 percent more than they do.”
While funds for this project will have to be raised privately through contributions, the USD Foundation has agreed to include the dedication in its fundraising goals if requested by the university. Muenster said it could take two years before the construction of the dedication begins.