Ms. Dakota 1984 talks D-Days memories, today’s involvement
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Ms. Dakota 1984 talks D-Days memories, today’s involvement

USD is in the midst of celebrating its 105th Dakota Days. Each year, seven men and seven women are appointed to royalty court, one of the most well-known D-Days traditions.

Patty Pharis, a member of USD’s graduating class of 1984, said being crowned Miss Dakota was one of her highlights while attending USD.

Being selected was one of the biggest honors I had ever had at that point and since it was peer-voted, it made the honor even more,” Pharis, formerly Bernard, said.

Pharis came to USD to join the swim team, but soon sound her place in other organizations across campus as well – the Dakota Days committee, the chearleading squad, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Strollers, intramurals and competition in the Miss USD pageant, she said.

While attending USD, Pharis met her husband, Todd, and together they earned their business degrees.

“USD helped us receive national awards for our business, owning Pizza Ranch franchises and we know a lot of people everywhere because of USD,” Pharis said.

Owning the franchise, which opened a Vermillion location in April, allows the Pharis’s to stay in touch with their alma mater.

Lunch with the U-Howling Pack meets at our Pizza Ranch. We host football, volleyball and basketball coaches and help support the Howling Pack by giving back a percentage of sales made that night,” Pharis said.

Besides hosting Lunch with USD, Pharis is still involved with Kappa Alpha Theta and Women in Philanthropy. Pharis’s three children all attended and graduated from USD.

Being named Miss Dakota and being involved all around campus were Pharis’s favorite memories from her time at USD.

“If I could tell students one thing it would be if you are thinking about doing something do it get involved you’ll never regret the experience and enjoy every moment because it’s a memory you’ll never forget,” Pharis said.