Frequently Asked Questions

What is our mission?

Our mission is to champion a culture of excellence in SD. Every organization, from businesses and schools to government and family, has a culture that embraces shared values. We envision a state that culturally embraces excellence as a core value. This is a big dream, but one we think is possible.

What is the South Dakota Hall of Fame?
Founded in 1974 and named by the SD Legislature as the “Official State Hall of Fame,” the Hall’s original function was to recognize outstanding South Dakotans for their contribution to our state. Since that time, the hall has expanded its mission to not only recognize excellence, but to influence others to embrace excellence as a core value.

What are Acts of Excellence?
Every day, South Dakotans do extraordinary things. We maintain a one-of-a-kind collaborative platform to recognize everyday stories of excellence. These real stories demonstrate what excellence in action looks like. They inspire others to embrace the pursuit of excellence. Visit to learn how you can recognize Acts of Excellence and help build a culture of excellence.

How are South Dakotans elected to the Hall of Fame each year?
Nominations are open to the public at our website,, with a deadline of February 1 each year. The Hall’s Board reviews all nominations in a thorough and serious competitive process. The selections are made by secret ballot. Nominations are considered for three years.

How does the Hall of Fame support a culture of excellence in South Dakota?
The South Dakota Hall of Fame Board of Directors encourages all forms of achievement, and we champion a culture of excellence in several ways. Our annual Honors Ceremony inducts a select group of new Champions for Excellence each year. Our Legacy of Achievements program tells the continuing stories of our inductees. The personal stories of over 700 inductees are available online and in the museum. Special exhibits focus on areas of achievement such as Agriculture, Business, Native Americans, Education, Political Leaders and Women. Their stories can inspire, educate, and build local connections in our fast-paced, global world. Our Legends & Learning program offers teachers a South Dakota history curriculum using online, interactive tools for storytelling and learning. Our Acts of Excellence program recognizes individual deeds and actions that demonstrate excellence throughout the state.

Does the State Legislature provide financial support?
No. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, dependent on donations from individuals and organizations who share our belief in championing excellence. Our annual operating costs are $375,000.

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