USF celebrates Inauguration, 134 year anniversary
Community, business and academic leaders gathered alongside the University of Sioux Falls community to join in celebration officially inaugurating and welcoming Dr. Brett Bradfield as USF’s twenty-third president today.
The inauguration comes less than two weeks after USF welcomed one of its largest-ever freshman classes and after graduating a record-high number of students this past spring. The ceremony was held in USF’s Meredith Auditorium in the Jeschke Fine Arts Center on campus.
“There is so much to celebrate as we embark on a bright future for the University of Sioux Falls,” said Rich Garside, Chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “Dr. Bradfield is committed to advancing the University’s footprint while perpetuating our mission of fostering academic excellence and preparing students to serve God and humankind in the world. He is a proven servant leader who embodies our mission and traditional motto of Culture for Service.”
The service tradition and academic excellence as the institution’s core will remain mainstays of the Christian liberal arts institution. USF education stretches beyond the humanities, sciences and professions and beyond attaining professional licensure requirements and hard skills demanded in today’s workforce—all of which are vital. USF goes further to help students grow and transform as individuals and as whole persons who are engaged members of their communities—wherever those are.
Approximately 50 percent of USF students come from out of state and outside the Sioux Falls area, and a full 87 percent of its graduates settle within 30 miles of Sioux Falls upon graduation.
“I see great importance in engaging the city, state and region that support our existence,” said Dr. Bradfield. “We proudly bear the Sioux Falls namesake and strive to ensure our graduates are quality members of the workforce pipeline and social fabric of their communities. Sioux Falls is an economic and cultural bright spot in this—a vibrant city that offers a high quality of life and a great diversity of job opportunities.”
USF academic and service opportunities for students and staff regularly stretch into areas of the state such as Pine Ridge, in the region into Minneapolis, Omaha and beyond. Even when traveling nationally and internationally for educational opportunities, there is frequently a service component incorporated.
“As USF moves into its next chapter now as we celebrate its 134 years as an institution, we aim to grow partnerships with the communities that sustain our existence and to continue academic excellence and service to humankind,” Dr. Bradfield said. “This will mean even greater opportunities for our graduates, local employers, and companies considering growth in Sioux Falls, the state and the region,” Dr. Bradfield said. “I see this as a win-win-win-win for USF students, employers, and these communities.”
USF fosters in all members of its community the development of emotional maturity, physical well-being, interpersonal skills and values which reflect the character and teaching of Christ. Through programs in the humanities, sciences and professions, the University helps persons grow intellectually, discern truth and develop a Christian worldview. USF fosters in all members of its community the development of emotional maturity, physical well-being, interpersonal skills and values which reflect the character and teaching of Christ.
Inauguration Day of Service was a focal point of inaugural festivities. On Wednesday, September 6, over 350 students, faculty and staff were given time off of study and work as usual to volunteer. Volunteers made 45 fleece tie-blankets, wrote 110 letters to service people, assembled 425 activity packs for hospitalized children, labeled 1000 envelopes, created 100 informational folders, and created dozens of thank you notes for mentors. To top it all off, the Day of Service began at 5:30 a.m. serving breakfast at The Banquet.
Other inauguration week highlights include President’s Chapel on Tuesday, and USF’s Campus Community Picnic later today on the USF quad. Hundreds turned out in support of the women’s volleyball home opener, and the week ends Saturday with the season’s opening football game.
For more information including the full week’s schedule of events and a photo gallery and video highlights following the event, visit www.usiouxfalls.edu/inauguration.
About Dr. Brett Bradfield
Dr. Bradfield was named and began serving in official capacity as University President in late January and early February of this year, but he’s not new to USF. He has been at USF for seventeen years, most recently serving as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Prior to moving into higher education, he held various instructional and leadership roles in public and private K-12 education.
Dr. Bradfield’s wife, Jane, is a teacher of Business and related disciplines at O’Gorman High School. Together, they have 4 adult-age children, Brittany, Brooke, Blake, and Braden. Over recent years, their family has grown to welcome sons-in-law Josh Childress (Brittany) and Lane Mellegaard (Brooke), in addition to seven grandchildren, Creighton, Kate, Isaiah, Meile, Berklie, Kase and Clara, who range from ages one to nine.