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A Special University Library Celebration by Donald M. Ferguson

Donald M. Ferguson '63 earned an M.S. at South Dakota State University

The South Dakota State University academic library is a cornerstone of education and research, provides for the advancement of democracy, and improves our society and civilization. In order to commemorate and celebrate 40 years of academic library service by the Hilton M. Briggs Library this fall of 2017, we must also pay tribute to Dr. Hilton M. Briggs.

The SDSU library was dedicated and named in Dr. Briggs’ honor. He was the 13th president of SDSU. He served in that administrative capacity from 1958 to 1975. I first met Dr. Briggs on the stage of the Coolidge Theater when he presented me with my master’s degree in the graduation ceremony held at SDSU on June 3, 1963. He was one of the most experienced, best educated, and best qualified educators to become president of SDSU. He was a very strong and productive president. SDSU was grateful and honored to have him as their top administrator.

I became a “published author” while attending SDSU in the early 1960s as a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. My interest in writing and publishing was developed by my association with school faculty and other graduate students, and with many trips to the campus library. The library is an amazing and indispensable source for materials when doing research. It was quite exciting at that time to get my articles and research published in a leading industrial journal with my name and photo and be cited as a graduate student at SDSU. Even today, decades later, via the internet, I can go to the Briggs Library online and look up my published feature articles. My published works are now located in libraries around the country, which include the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. The Hilton M. Briggs Library is now my depository library. Most of what I have written and published can be found cataloged in this leading university library.

The Briggs Library has served everyone very well over the last 40 years, and continues to get better all the time under the leadership of Chief University Librarian Kristi Tornquist, Ph.D. The Library has earned its 40th anniversary celebration!!