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Forensics holding Pi Kappa Delta event

Some of the 1950 Pi Kappa Delta inductees from South Dakota State.
This photo is from SDSU's inductee class of 1950. The SDSU forensics program is holding a chapter anniversary event March 20.

Eight members of South Dakota State University’s forensics team will be inducted into Pi Kappa Delta this season, joining approximately 400 other Jackrabbits in the national forensics honor society.

SDSU joined the organization March 20, 1920, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). On March 20, the forensics program is inviting alumni to participate in a virtual event that starts at 9 a.m.

There are three parts to the virtual event. One session provides alumni an opportunity to work with the current team, which recently won the Valley Forensics League Season Team Sweepstakes, in a student performance workshop. Another session will discuss the program’s plans for the next century at SDSU. The day closes with a town hall-type event to celebrate the century, which is hosted by current program director Andrea Carlile and former director Joel Hefling.

Jackrabbits joining Pi Kappa Delta this year are:

  • Jesus Hernandez, junior, Marshall, Minnesota;
  • Eliza Carlson, sophomore, Paynesville, Minnesota;
  • Nathan Price, sophomore, Mapleton, Minnesota;
  • Becca Ady, freshman, North Platte, Nebraska;
  • Benjamin Connor, freshman, Winfred;
  • Michael Garofalo, freshman, Aberdeen;
  • Lily Palo, freshman, Brookings; and
  • Skyllar Schoening, freshman, Roseau, Minnesota.

“It’s been exciting to learn about the program’s history, which started shortly after SDSU was founded,” Carlile said. “For example, Theodore Schultz, the Nobel prizewinner and namesake for Schultz Hall and the Schultz-Werth Award, was a member of the team in 1920s.

“I’ve had alumni talk about the impact speech has had on their lives and one tell me about finding his ticket and name badge from the 1953 national convention,” she continued. “This event will allow participants to relive history and learn more about each other and the program, learn about the stories and awards, and how speech exposed students to experiences/opportunities they otherwise would not have had.”

Carlile said for many years certain aspects such as travel and competition have been the same and how the program allowed some students to leave South Dakota for the first time or travel outside of Upper Midwest for the national tournament.

She hopes to hear many similar stories and memories March 20.

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