SDSU to honor 6 as Distinguished Alums in 2019

Courtesy photos

BROOKINGS – Six graduates from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s will be honored as Distinguished Alumni of South Dakota State University during activities on Hobo Day weekend Oct. 4-5.

Those to be honored are:

• David Lane, Naples, Florida, Class of ’86;

• Barry Markl, Fountain Hills, Arizona, Class of ’68; 

• Jerry Nachtigal (deceased), Class of ’81;

• Larry Ness, Yankton, Class of ’69;

• Pamela Roberts, Pierre, Class of ’77;

• Shirley Sneve, Lincoln, Nebraska, Class of ’78.

Lane, a Shakopee, Minnesota, native, was a two-time all-North Central Conference shortstop (1985-86) and 2011 inductee into the South Dakota State Athletic Hall of Fame who joined the Edward D. Jones financial investment firm in 1986 after serving as an intern in college. He rapidly rose through the ranks, being named a principal in 1998 and taking over the Canada division in 2012. He retired at the end of 2017.

Markl, an Edgerton, Minnesota, native and a graduate of the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, joined Walgreen’s as an intern in 1967 and rose through the ranks, retiring as senior vice president of store operations in 2007. The company was rapidly expanding and he was responsible for 1,350 stores that generated more than $12 billion in sales annually.

Nachtigal, a Brookings native, earned a degree in journalism and began an 18-year career with the Associated Press. He then served four years as communications director for the Missouri governor’s office. In 2003, he returned to South Dakota as senior vice president of public affairs for Citibank. He died from cancer April 16, 2017. 

Ness, a Sinai native and 1963 Brookings High School graduate, earned a degree in economics, is chief executive officer of First Dakota National Bank and First Dakota Financial Corp. in Yankton. He became president of the troubled bank in 1983. Today, it is the 38th largest ag lender in the nation and Ness was named 2018 Banker of the Year by NorthWestern Financial Review.

Roberts, a Pierre native who earned her degree in commercial economics, is the only person in state history to hold cabinet level positions for five different governors. She retired in 2013 as secretary of labor and regulation. During her 34-year career, she also served as chief of operations for Gov. Bill Janklow and was commissioner for the Bureau of Personnel.

Sneve, a native of Flandreau who earned her degree in journalism, has been executive director of Vision Maker Media (formerly Native American Telecommunications) for 15 years and has gained a national reputation as an executive producer for PBS documentaries by and about Native Americans. She also has been executive producer of 10 films set in South Dakota.

The Legends and Leaders Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet and program is at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4, the evening before Hobo Day, at the SDSU Alumni Center in Woster Celebration Hall with the social hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Tickets are $40 ($20 for age 12 and younger). They can be purchased from the SDSU Alumni Association at 605-697-5198 or 888-735-2257 or online at www.statealum.com/DistinguishedAlumni19. Reservations and payments are due by Sept. 27.

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