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Sept. 27, 2010

Distinguished Alumni to be Honored

MITCHELL — For 125 years Dakota Wesleyan has tried to encourage and inspire its students to lead lives of sacrifice or service. On Friday night, the university will honor three alumni who have done just that.

Carol Nogle Lucas, Jim McLaird and former Sen. George McGovern will be given Distinguished Alumni Awards during the Legacy Banquet Friday in the Sherman Center.

Carol Nogle Lucas

Lucas will be awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Healthcare, Fitness and Sciences. Lucas, originally from Verdon, S.D., graduated valedictorian from Conde High School in 1957. She graduated from DWU in 1961 with a major in mathematics and minors in Spanish and chemistry. Following a short teaching career, she became a junior systems analyst for Cargill Inc. in Minneapolis from 1962 to 1965. After acquiring her master’s degree in mathematics and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and mathematics, she has held several research and teaching positions at the University of North Carolina, including being the chairman of the department of biomedical engineering from 1989-2001.

In 2008, an alumna of the University of North Carolina biomedical engineering program, Dr. Janie Fouke, signed a letter of intent to establish the Carol N. Lucas Professorship in Biomedical Engineering.

She has served on numerous biomedical committees at the state, national and international level. She has authored and co-authored medical books and articles, papers and abstracts for medical journals. Lucas has also given more than 100 presentations at medical conferences and conventions.

Jim McLaird

McLaird will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Arts and Humanities. He was born in Lake Benton, Minn., and graduated from high school in Miller, S.D. In 1958, he came to Dakota Wesleyan as a student, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology in 1962. He completed his Master of Arts degree in history in 1966 and did additional graduate work at South Dakota State University and Utah State University. In 1967, he returned to Dakota Wesleyan University where he taught history until retiring in 2004. And in 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from DWU. He is now professor emeritus of history at DWU.

He has become an authority on South Dakota history, authoring and co-authoring numerous articles and publications since 1967. He published “Calamity Jane: The Woman and the Legend” in 2005, and “Wild Bill Hickok & Calamity Jane: Deadwood Legends,” in 2008. “Calamity Jane” won The Best Book Award from Westerners International in 2006. He has also spent two years researching and writing about Dakota Wesleyan from the students’ perspective – complete with legends and lore, alumni biographies and funny anecdotes – which was published this fall as “The Dakota Wesleyan University Memory Book, 1885-2010,” in honor of the college’s 125th anniversary.

George McGovern

The Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Leadership and Public Service with the special Legacy of Leadership designation will be awarded to McGovern. He grew up in Avon and Mitchell, S.D., and stepped onto Dakota Wesleyan’s campus in 1940. His time in college was interrupted by World War II, when he left school to fly B-24 bombing missions over Europe and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He returned to college and graduated in 1946. He then attended Garrett Seminary for one year before enrolling at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in American history and government.

In 1950, he returned to DWU to teach history and political science for five years before leaving his position to enter politics. He had a long and effective Congressional career, and was the Democratic nominee for president of the United States in 1972, the only South Dakotan so honored by a major political party.

In the years following his political career, McGovern has been actively working to eradicate world hunger. President John F. Kennedy named him the first director of the Food for Peace Program. In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed him ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and in 2001, he was appointed the first United Nations Global Ambassador on Hunger.

His honors are numerous, but certainly worth noting are his 2000 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, and the 2008 World Food Prize.

The Legacy Banquet will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at the DWU Sherman Center. Preregistration is required.

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Last updated: 9/27/10