The South Dakota State Geography Convention is the longest running student organized and sponsored annual meeting in the United States. Approximately ten eminent academic and applied geographers from around the region, the country and Canada are invited to make presentations at the conference each spring. The Convention also features social activities, a Gamma Theta Upsilon initiation and an awards banquet. Field trips are provided on occasion.
The 53rd Geography Convention will be held Thursday, March 31 through Friday, April 1, 2022. The goal of the convention is to gather current students, alumni of the Geography Department, academic and applied geographers from around the region and share knowledge and enthusiasm for geography through professional presentations, discussions and social activities.
Convention History excerpts from:
Origin of the South Dakota State Geography Convention
by Edward P. Hogan
Geography as an academic discipline was reestablished in the curriculum at South Dakota State University (SDSU) in February, 1967. Under the authority of the South Dakota Board of Regents of Education, South Dakota State University was authorized to offer a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography. The number of geography majors grew to fifteen by the spring of 1969. At that time, a party was held to celebrate that landmark occasion. The first degree from the new geography program was granted in the fall of 1969.
In 1969, there were two geographers on the SDSU faculty. There was a very active geography club at SDSU that also sought memberships in Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the International Geographical Honor Society. The Delta Zeta Chapter of GTU was chartered at SDSU on March 2, 1970.
One of the primary objectives of the Geography Club was to promote geography in the schools and within the state. In order to achieve this goal, two students and a faculty member met to discuss the possible means by which this objective could be attained. The students, Loren Hill and James Rapp, and the advisor, Ed Hogan, discussed a number of possible means to enhance the status of geography. At some time during the meeting, someone suggested "Let's have a geography convention!" Today, when reflecting on that comment, one is reminded of movies made in the "Thirties" in which someone would say "Lets put on a show and save the college!"