South Dakota Hall of Fame becomes home to two USD alumni
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South Dakota Hall of Fame becomes home to two USD alumni

Two University of South Dakota Alumni, Bruce Long Fox and Sen. Larry Pressler, have been inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame for the year 2020. The South Dakota Hall of Fame will host its 2020 Class Honors Ceremony on Sept. 10 and 11 in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Long Fox, the Executive Director for Rural America Initiatives (RAI), has been inducted for his work in education. Long Fox, through RAI, started Ateyapi, an organization for mentoring Lakota and other Native American children in Rapid City Area Schools.

“I started an organization called Ateyapi, which is the Lakota word for fatherhood. What we do is we mentor and we try to teach kids to be proud of being Lakota, and then also to succeed in school, and also to raise good families,” Long Fox said.

Long Fox said one example of the success the Ateyapi program is the decrease in the high school dropout rate for Native American youth at Rapid City Central High School, which dropped from 63% to 33% under Long Fox’s mentorship.

Long Fox graduated from USD with a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and his Master’s in business administration. Long Fox said he was the first to graduate college in his family.

“That allowed me to do teaching on Pine Ridge reservation for six years. That also allowed me to learn how to run a business, and that’s basically what I’ve done with the rest of my life. So that’s probably what I’m most proud of, is graduating from the business school,” Long Fox said.

Long Fox said he spent most of his time studying when he attended USD. He was involved in the Tiospaye Student Council.
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“I was a non-traditional student. I spent most of my time in the library,” Long Fox said. “My English classes were relatively easy, but when I transferred over to the business school… I sometimes did eight hours of accounting.”

Pressler is a Veteran of the Vietnam War and he served South Dakota in the United States Congress from 1974 to 1997, where he helped pass the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Pressler was inducted for his contribution to politics in South Dakota.

“I think the Hall of Fame is an important thing in South Dakota in the sense that we can tend to underrate ourselves, or we think less of ourselves.”

During his time at USD, earning his Bachelor’s degree in government, Pressler was a member of the 4-H club and served as Student Body President. Pressler also said he spent a semester in Egypt as part of his involvement in 4-H.

“The University of South Dakota did a lot for me, as I got to know several of the professors personally—Dr. Farber, Dr. Gary, and several others,” Pressler said.

Pressler said he is honored to serve South Dakota and be inducted to the South Dakota Hall of Fame.