South Dakota State University Honored by the Department of Defense

September 30, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
(Arlington, Virginia) - Mr. David Janes, National Chairman for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, today congratulated South Dakota State University (SDSU) as a 2005 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipient.

SDSU is one of only 15 employers selected in July 2005 from nearly 1,500 nominations from National Guardsmen and Reservists for this prestigious award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The 2005 recipients include Alticor, Incorporated, Citizens Financial Group, Eaton Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, IDACORP, Los Angeles Police Department, Louisiana Department of Safety & Corrections, Pioneer Financial Services, Sears, Roebuck and Co., the State of Delaware, USAA, and Wachovia. The Award ceremonies will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2005 the 10th anniversary of this prestigious award program.

“We are pleased to have this recognition for the many efforts that the members of the university family have provided for our students and staff who have been deployed,” said SDSU President Peggy Gordon Miller. “We feel that while they are doing their part for us, each of us needed to do our part for them. While they are doing the big things, we don’t want to fail to do the little things that could help them here.

“Everyone has tried to find a role in the support system,” added Miller. “Faculty have found ways to help them finish courses on weekends, on the internet, through the mails or by whatever means and in whatever time the students had available. Others have helped with mailing books, getting refunds and checking on their families. Some have found addresses and sent e-mail messages or a cheery note with the basketball scores”.

Mr. Keith Corbett. Air National Guard Colonel, and Assistant to the Dean, nominated SDSU for the award. “As with all outstanding organizations, the leadership set the example and South Dakota State University is no exception. Led by Dr, Peggy Gordon Miller, the leadership team at SDSU provides the values and leadership that recognizes and rewards their military members for the experience and skills they bring to the workplace”, said Corbett.

“All Americans can be justly proud of our Nation’s employers for their exceptional support of our men and women in the National Guard and Reserves during these demanding times. South Dakota State University, through their personnel programs provide a fine example of an employer’s recognition of the sacrifice these young people make in defense of our freedoms and way of life. The Department of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is a tribute to SDSU for their leadership and support”, said David Janes.

SDSU is a four-year comprehensive university offering degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Founded in 1881, SDSU is the state’s only land-grant institution, serving the people of South Dakota through academics, research and extension. The state’s largest university, SDSU offers the most academic programs in the state. The university offers 200 majors, minors and options from these colleges: Agriculture and Biological Sciences; Arts and Science; Education and Counseling; Engineering; Family and Consumer Sciences; General Studies and Outreach Programs; Nursing; and Pharmacy.

Then-Secretary of Defense William Perry instituted the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award publicly recognizes employers, who were nominated by their employees who voluntarily serve in the National Guard and Reserve, for exceptional support above the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and, if needed, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.

As the 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday citizens, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for the employers of America’s new Minutemen. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at, or call the National Committee at 800-336-4590.