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DSU education prepares for life’s challenges

December 4, 2020

Alumnus Daryl Reinicke is squeezing as much into life as he can, thanks in part to his Dakota State experience.
Alumnus Daryl Reinicke is squeezing as much into life as he can, thanks in part to his Dakota State experience.

Daryl Reinicke’s motto for life is “squeeze in as much as you can.”

Since graduating from Dakota State in 1979, Reinicke has been doing just that. 

  • He has had a life-long career at Westhills Village Retirement Community in Rapid City, where he is CEO.
  • He has been committed to his community and his profession, participating in local civic organizations such as the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA Board, the Dahl Fine Arts Board, and health boards.
  • He and his wife, Ginny (also a 1979 DSU graduate), have three daughters; one is a DSU Respiratory Care graduate.
  • He enjoys hunting, woodworking, and visiting the family farm near Arlington, SD.

“You get out of something what you put into and make of it,” Reinicke said. As a student at DSU, that philosophy applied for him in the area of friends, participating in functions, education, and learning. “I have never been disappointed with what DSU gave me and I tried my best to take advantage of what they had to offer.”

“I believe higher education can prepare you for many of life’s challenges that you can turn and make your opportunities.” - Daryl Reinicke

While a student, he worked at the Madison hospital as an EMT, and those hours working in the ambulance, ER, and surgery departments steered him to his career in healthcare administration.

After 35 years at Westhills, Reinicke can say, “Through my career I’ve had the opportunity to become familiar with a generation of people who have in some way helped shape the state.”

Reinicke majored in Accounting and Business Administration at Dakota State. The business program was a good fit for him, and Dakota State was fairly close to home. DSU “just felt comfortable and inviting to me,” he shared. “My memories are all good memories.”

He has a great deal of respect and appreciation for the faculty, such as Mel Scott. “He did such a great job of preparing me and had a knack of showing how what we were learning applied in the business world, so I always felt I received the skills and practice which I still use to this day.”

Nothing stays the same, however, and change is occurring faster than ever, so people need to embrace and manage it, he advises. This is a benefit of earning a college degree. “I believe higher education can prepare you for many of life’s challenges that you can turn and make your opportunities.”

This was certainly the case for Reinicke, who remembers discussing problem solving in class, looking at case studies of success and failures. “I learned to consider how to make good decisions, how to take challenges and problems and look for new opportunities,” he said, so his DSU education has certainly applied to the changes that have taken place in continuing care communities.

Dakota State has changed, too, since 1979, but Reinicke said “I am very impressed with the direction and niche DSU has carved for itself, but more importantly a void it has filled that was needed.” He easily recommends DSU to family and friends.

Professional Accountancy (BS)

 Business Management (AS)

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