Induction Category & YearProfessional 2010
Home TownTarkio, MO
Tarkio, MO

   Dale Clement
Champion of Excellence


Dale E. Clement came to South Dakota in 1963 to be Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of South Dakota.  The appointment began his life-long devotion to educational excellence, business and economic research, charitable endeavors, and public service to the people of SD.

Dale was born in 1933 in Tarkio, Missouri.  Due to the Depression, his parents divorced, and Dale was raised by his Swedish grandmother on a farm.  He attended country school (skipping the fifth grade), was active in 4-H, and graduated from Burlington High School at age 16.  While continuing to work on the farm and doing odd jobs, he attended Tarkio College, graduating in 1954 with a BA in Economics. 

After serving in the US Army as a trombonist, he attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska, earning a MA in 1957 and working towards a PhD.  He also taught full time at Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska and developed a passion for teaching college students.

In 1962, he married Barbara Hughes and in 1963, they moved to Vermillion, SD. At that time, the USD School of Business employed 15 faculty and three support staff.   During the next three years, Dale taught full time, completed his PhD, took a Ford Fellowship seminar at Harvard, and was a Wall Street Fellow.  In July 1966, Dale was appointed Assistant Dean.  Three weeks later, Dean Patterson suffered a severe heart attack.  He called Dale, and said, “Here are the keys.  The office is yours.”   Dale was “officially” named Dean of Business in 1968 at age 35.

Dean Clement’s major goal was to provide the highest quality education for all students.  To achieve this goal, he fostered a dedicated and hard working faculty who were excellent teachers, honest, flexible and willing to do research.  He personally hired all faculty and staff. Under Dean Clement’s tenure, the faculty increased from 20 to 40 and the technical staff grew from 3 to 30. Every undergraduate and graduate program attained the highest academic ratings and top national accreditation.  Dale served on Accreditation Committees evaluating over 24 business schools throughout the US.

Dale was known as, “The Students’ Dean”-- maintaining an open door policy for students and staff. He was advisor to all juniors and seniors, and he taught the freshman Introduction to Business class—affectionately called “Meet the Dean.” As demonstration of the student’s admiration, the students chose Dean Clement for the Larry Annis Distinguished Award for Outstanding Administrative Contributions to the Quality of Student Life at USD.  During Dale’s 21 years as Dean, student enrollment grew from 420 to 1,500.  His leadership and dedication to students were exemplified through the initiation of new programs providing degrees not offered at that time.  Some of these programs included:  a Bachelor in Health Administration; Joint Masters’ programs with the School of Law, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Engineering at SDSU and the Department of Engineering at SDSM&T; MBA programs in Sioux Falls, Sioux City and Rapid City; The International Studies and the European Study Tour; SD Council on Economic Education; and the Henry T. Quinn Center for Economic Education.  The Student Internship Program was nationally recognized.

In addition to his duties as Dean of Business, he spent many hours raising funds for the University.  For 22 years, he served as President or Treasurer of the USD Foundation, because he recognized that a top-flight institution requires an endowment.  In 1968, the business school offered 13 scholarships totaling less than $6,000 and by 1989, there were 115 scholarships totaling $80,000.  He worked hard to fund million-dollar Chairs for both the Medical and Business Schools as well as a $600,000 Chair in Physics—the first fully funded chairs in South Dakota. Close friends--Ed Freeman and John Vucurevich-- gave substantial gifts. Dale also helped the athletic department in many ways.

Dean Clement strongly supported education for the whole state by promoting the Business Research Bureau, which served as an umbrella for the development of the State Data Center, the Small Business Institute and the Small Business Development Centers.  These centers not only promoted education, but through his vision, promoted business development. 

The culmination of his academic career through quality education, mentoring students, expanding the business school and developing statewide business resources elevated the national reputation of USD and the Business School. The new Business School facility, opened in 2009, displays numerous photos of successful alumni of Dean Clement.

In 1989, Dale moved to Rapid City, where he became Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Black Hills Corporation.  By his retirement, in 1997, he supervised three major departments, the Wyodak Corporation and Western Production.

Dale spoke to many service groups, graduations and special events.  In 1987, Dale received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Tarkio College.   He also served on many boards including the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, of which Dale was appointed as Director for life, by John Vucurevich.  He is currently Secretary of the SD REDI Fund Board.

Because of the USD International Studies Program, Dale developed a special relationship with Germany, which resulted in the establishment of the first SD German Sister City between Vermillion and Ratingen, and later Rapid City and Apolda.  Wonderful relationships resulted from student and cultural exchanges.  In 1989, Dale was awarded Germany’s highest civilian award—THE OFFICER CROSS OF THE ORDER OF MERIT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GERMANY.  Dale purchased, and was instrumental in the installation of the Berlin Wall in Rapid City, while helping to mobilize community efforts to make the Berlin Wall an outstanding exhibit. 

Dale and Barbara have two children—Crystal and James—both graduates of USD.  Crystal (a CPA), her husband Bill Rimsza and their two daughters, Sarah and Lauren, live in Phoenix.  James (a Financial Planner) lives in Rapid City.

For forty-six years, Dale has enjoyed his role as educator, administrator, and public servant who committed his energy and talents to the improvement of life in SD.  His optimistic spirit and hearty laugh will long be remembered.

Home Town (Tarkio, MO)
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