Former Dakota State President Inducted into DSU Hall of Fame
Dakota State University

Dr. Jerald Tunheim was inducted as a member of the Dakota State University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022 this past weekend on Saturday, June 4th. 

Tunheim was appointed as the 20th President of Dakota State University in 1987. He served as Dakota State’s President for 17 years before retiring in 2004 after more than 35 years serving for the state of South Dakota

Much of the credit for the university’s successful transformation in Tunheim’s early years can be traced to his leadership. The university focused on technology or computer-integrated instruction in all academic areas and saw dramatic growth in their student enrollment.

Dakota State University saw a 236 percent increase in enrollment, to a total of 2,263 students in 2003, compared to 970 students when he began presidency in 1987. The number of declared computer majors also grew from 109 to 973 students. Computer-related majors accounted for about one-half of Dakota State’s degree-seeking students.

Dakota State was credited with the diversification of programs and degrees to all, offering students the latest in technical innovations in business, industry, health services, education, and science-related professions.

As president, Tunheim helped to grow the athletic programs also, with DSU gaining numerous achievements, such as different conference titles and national tournament appearances. 

Tunheim has been an outstanding scholarship supporter of Dakota State University athletes, establishing the Nancy and Dr. Jerald A. Tunheim Endowed Scholarship and the Tunheim and Friends Garden Co-op Endowed Scholarship which is given to athletes with financial need and DSU women’s basketball athletes, respectively.

He joined Joe Backus, Brian Kern, Carla Sudenga, and Jessica VanLoy, and members of the 2005-06 women’s basketball team as new inductees to the Dakota State University Athletics Hall of Fame