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Majors & Degrees

Lawrence is DSU spring commencement speaker

April 28, 2017

Susan S. Lawrence has held many titles in her life, not the least of which have been Chief Information Officer/G-6 for the United States Army, and senior vice-president with Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

Now she can add commencement speaker to the list, as she has been chosen to give the 2017 spring commencement address at Dakota State University on May 6. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Dakota State University Fieldhouse.

Lawrence was the first female CIO and fourth woman lieutenant general in the Army’s history. Throughout her 40 years of service, most of her command and staff assignments were with the Army Signal Corps, including assignments leading network, C4 (Command, Control, Communications, and Computers), and IT functions. She served in operational assignments in Europe, Korea, Southwest Asia, and the United States.

Lawrence retired from the Army in 2013 and took her technology experience to Booz Allen Hamilton, where she supports a number of businesses and initiatives which cut across the defense and security markets. Because of her leadership and technology experience, she was chosen as one of the initial members of the Dakota State University President’s Trojan Council.

Lawrence, a native of Ida Grove, Iowa, has a bachelor of science degree from Campbell University, North Carolina, where she received her commission. She also holds a master’s degree in information systems management from the University of Georgia.

Almost 200 graduates will receive their degrees at the 10:30 a.m. commencement ceremony. Master’s degree candidates will participate in a separate hooding ceremony at 9 a.m. in the Dakota Prairie Playhouse, and will receive their diplomas at the 10:30 a.m. commencement in the DSU Fieldhouse. Doctoral graduates will be hooded and receive their diplomas at the 10:30 ceremony.

Fredrick J. Smith, a 1967 education graduate of then General Beadle State College will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 10:30 commencement ceremony. Smith spent his career teaching English and speech around the globe, in South Dakota at Eagle Butte and the Flandreau Indian School, and in the Panama Canal Zone. He also worked as an equal rights specialist with the Emergency Management Agency. Smith and his wife Donna Frick Smith, also a DSU graduate (’68), live in Flandreau.