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Clyde Brashier is first inductee into DSU Academic Hall of Fame

March 18, 2019

Dr. Clyde Brashier has been named the first inductee into the new Dakota State University Academic Hall of Fame. A professor emeritus at Dakota State, his work will be honored Tuesday, March 26 at 4 p.m. at the First Bank & Trust Gallery in the Karl Mundt Library. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Dale Droge, professor of biology and academic coordinator, knew of Brashier’s reputation and said “it is an honor Dr. Brashier greatly deserves.”

Brashier taught in the biology department from 1967-1992; he now lives out of state. A trained botanist with a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, he authored or was lead author on 30 successful grant applications from 11 local and national organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the EPA. Many grants involved water quality, and projects he worked on included silt removal and lake rehabilitation of Lake Herman near Madison, and dredging of Covell Lake in Sioux Falls.

In addition to teaching, Brashier directed science education workshops for teachers, sponsored educational field trips for students, and served on the task force to develop the original draft of South Dakota K-12 benchmarks in science and mathematics.

Droge said that at the time of the school’s mission change in 1984, which designated all majors become technology centric, “Dr. Brashier created the framework for a lot of the biology programs the institution now offers.” He was also instrumental in building the current science building, Habeger Science Center, which was completed in 1972. “His personal touches are all over this building,” said Droge.

Brashier’s former colleague Jim Swanson, a retired English professor at DSU, said “he was the most devoted and motivated person I’ve ever worked with. He was interested in everything.” Besides his academic work, Brashier was active with many organizations, including the local historical society, serving three terms on the Smith-Zimmermann Museum Board of Directors.

These first-person accounts are a testament to Brashier’s career, but Droge admitted that it was difficult to find documents to provide details. The Academic Hall of Fame, and the associated institutional repository called Beadle Scholar, should help with that.

The Academic Hall of Fame was created in fall 2018 as part of an initiative to bring greater visibility to scholarly work at DSU, fostering an environment that celebrates achievement in research and creative works. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate the intellectual work of DSU faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

Droge said “it will be very beneficial to have those documents stored in one place.”

Some of these will be preserved digitally through Beadle Scholar; others will be a physical display of books, artworks, and other representations of academic achievements at DSU.

New members in the Academic Hall of Fame will be inducted annually, and nomination letters can be sent to the Provost’s Office at DSU.