From Collegian to Argus Leader; alum recalls his unique moments at State

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

Some SDSU graduates cannot wait to leave South Dakota, but Terry Woster could never imagine leaving.

Woster is a proud citizen of South Dakota and a proud graduate of SDSU.

“It felt comfortable from the first time I was there,” he said.

However, he didn’t start out at State. Woster went for a year at Creighton University, but switched to State because they had a better journalism program and it was cheaper.

“I thought I could get an equal education for the third of the cost,” he said. “I have not regretted it.”

At SDSU, Woster majored in journalism with an emphasis in printing and also minored in English.

He participated in some activities during college. He was a part of the Journalism Club and Sigma Delta Chi.

He was also co-edited the Bum and Junior Bum, programs that were sold at football and basketball games.

In addition, he wrote a few stories for the Collegian.

However, he said he didn’t really do a whole lot. “I sort of floated through the college,” Woster said.

One reason why Woster liked State better than Creighton was the people.

At Creighton he didn’t get to see the kids he played against in sports while he was in high school, but at SDSU he did. He also really liked State because he felt at home.

“You never felt lost when you were on campus,” he said.

But there was one thing that Woster hated about SDSU, ROTC.

When he was in college, everyone was required to take ROTC their first two years of school.

“I wasn’t a gifted military person, but I learned how to strip an M-1. But it hasn’t helped me since,” he said.

And there are a few things Woster would change about SDSU if he could.

When he was in school, they would repeatedly walk on the grass in the same spot in hopes the University would put in a sidewalk there.

So, if he could, he would let students cross on the green.

He also would sacrifice the money it takes to have good instructors and give them what they need.

“I think that there are a lot of good instructors, but they lose them to finances,” he said.

He was very happy with the education he received from State.

He learned what he needed to be the type of journalist he wanted to become.

“[I] came out with the ability in journalism to do what I wanted my life,” he said. “It did all the things it should of for me”

Woster has many fond memories at State.

He remembers sitting at the teletype in the old journalism building, watching the headlines come across reporting President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

He also remembered an event at the barn when it was packed with people. He said it was a moment when he knew that things were right.

“A moment when it seems like you belong on campus,” he said.

However, there was one memory that sticks out the most.

It was 9 p.m. on an April night and Woster had just finished one of his favorite classes, Victorian Literature.

He walked across the Sylvan Green in the beautiful spring night, still on a high from a wonderful class. He said he felt like he had stepped into a different world.

“It was one of the nights you could smell the flowers blooming. It was like stepping into paradise,” he said. “It was absolutely what you thought of college.”

After graduation in 1966, Woster worked for the Volga Tribune for a year, went on to the Argus Leader for a year, and then moved to Pierre.

He worked for the Associated Press in Pierre from 1969-78 and then at the Capitol Journal in Pierre for nine years.

In 1987 he began working for the Argus, but still living in Pierre. He is the Pierre correspondent for the Argus Leader.

He covers stories in Pierre, the legislature and west river features. He also has a Sunday column in the Life section.

Woster still visits Brookings as much as he and his wife can.

He likes to come for plays and Hobo Days, but he really likes to visit his granddaughter.

“We use every excuse so we can to get there,” Woster said.