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Majors & Degrees

DSU Track to be named for alumnus Dan Beacom

August 14, 2023

The new track at Dakota State University in Madison will be named “The Dan Beacom Track Complex” after alumnus Dan Beacom, who passed away on May 24, 2023. The naming ceremony will take place on August 31, at 6:45 p.m., just before the DSU game against Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Dan earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1979. While at DSU, he was a member of the track team. His ability to run middle distance made him a valuable member of the team, running the 440, 880, and nearly every relay – the sprint medley relay, mile relay, two-mile relay, and the distance medley relay.  

Dan Beacom (receiving the baton) was part of the DSU track team in the 1970s
Dan Beacom (receiving the baton) was part of the DSU track team in the 1970s, and on August 31 the new track will be named in his memory.  

Running competitively in high school and college was just the beginning of Dan’s running career. The love of running continued throughout his life, often with his brother or his children. If he wasn’t the one competing, he could be found cheering on friends and strangers from the sidelines. Dan even encouraged his brother, Miles, to attend Dakota State and run in the track program.

“I have never regretted the decision to attend Dakota State,” said Miles. “Dan once said that the time we spent together at DSU was when our relationship went from big brother/little brother to best friends. Running together played a big part in that and I am forever grateful that Dan encouraged me and that we made so many great memories together at DSU!”

Dan Beacom was part of the DSU Track Team, pictured here

Dan loved participating in the sport himself, and seeing others excel as well, said Dan’s wife, Ann Roemen.

“While he never officially coached track, he encouraged so many runners from the sidelines and one-on-one. We really hope that the runners here take the time to learn a bit about Dan and the legacy he has left both on and off the track,” she stated.

“Dan was representative of so many of our student-athletes who enjoy the opportunity to participate in a sport they love while working toward their degrees,” said Jeff Dittman, DSU Athletics Director.

“Future students can continue that legacy on the track named in his memory.”

Photo of Dan Beacom
Dan Beacom

Miles said Dakota State gave Dan the tools to help the troubled youth he worked with for nearly 30 years at the Minnehaha County Juvenile Detention Center. Dan recognized the challenges kids faced and he worked tirelessly to help them get on the right track for a successful future. He was respected by judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, and peers alike.  

“At Dakota State and throughout Dan’s life, he was a mentor, a leader, and a motivator. He believed in teamwork, was a confidence builder, and always wanted to do the right thing,” said Miles.

“I am so proud of my much older brother Dan, and I am very proud that his name will be on this beautiful track,” said Miles.

Ann agreed: “The naming of the track at DSU in Dan’s honor is an amazing tribute. It is recognition for someone who was so humble, yet made such an impact on so many. We are truly grateful.”

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