Former SDSU President dies at 94 years old

Staff Reports

SDSU President Emeritus Sherwood O. Berg, 94, died at the United Living Community inBrookings on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Berg served as president of SDSU for nine years from 1975 to 1984. In 1940 Berg came to SDSU as a student, it was then known as South Dakota State College. He played basketball for the Jackrabbits and also was a member of ROTC. He then was called to serve in the Army. Hereturned and graduated in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics. He earned amaster’s from Cornell University and doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Tom Lawrence, Brookings native and longtime journalist, wrote at The Collegian from 1978-1982 and was a student while Berg was president.

According to Lawrence, in Berg’s 10 years as president at SDSU, he did many things for the university. He often battled over the budget and proposed single-university system. Enrollmentgrew steadily while Berg was president.

His time as president was characterized by his work done through instituted programs in resident instruction, research, extension, and international programs.

He was honored twice by the university. First, a residence hall was named after him in 1994– Berg Hall, which was renamed Meadows North in 2011. The main agriculture academic buildings then became the Sherwood O. and Elizabeth A. Berg Agriculture Hall.

In addition to his success at SDSU, Berg also served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation,

U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From

1973 to 1975, Berg served in Indonesia as a resident director. He worked on a higher agricultural education project of Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities until he was appointed president as SDSU.

Berg was known by many as ‘Woody.’ He was married to Elizabeth Hall Berg for 69 years and has two children.

A visitation at McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The memorial service is at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 located at the First Presbyterian Church.

There will be a reception to follow the memorial service at the Performing Arts Center.