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The Southwest Celebration


The Southwest Celebration Logo

The Southwest Celebration is an exciting new event to kick off the Homecoming Weekend. Join us on Friday, October 11th, as we celebrate the Alumni Award recipients, highlight the special projects currently underway on campus, and kick off the annual coming home of our Mustang Family.


Friday, October 11, 2024
5:30 p.m.
SMSU Upper Conference Center

Register Here

Register by October 4

Event Schedule

5:30 p.m. Social hour with open bar

7:00 p.m. Plated dinner served by Chartwells

7:30 p.m. Alumni Awards presentation

8:00 p.m. Homecoming mixer with cash bar 

Academic Programs

Students and faculty from academic programs will be in attendance to share about the projects that are upcoming or underway on campus.

2024 Alumni Award Winners

Each year the SMSU Alumni Association seeks to recognize alumni and friends who have made significant contributions of time, talent or financial resources to help advance and bring positive recognition to Southwest Minnesota State University. 

Deb Norlin headshot Deborah (Geiver) Norlin ’84
Deb is an academic advisor at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN where she resides with her husband, Jeff, and son, Trent. Prior to her current position, she held numerous professional positions at Southwest Minnesota State University including Brainerd Off-Site Coordinator, Alumni Director, Assistant Director of Admission and Admission Recruiter. As a SSU student, she was Coordinator of Student Activities which sparked her desire to continue to serve her alma mater.
Steve Klein headshot Steve Klein ’75
Steve and his wife, Kay, are co-owners of Klein Foods (a gourmet foods manufacturing company) and Walnut Grove Mercantile (a retail division for the gourmet and fundraising market). He graduated with degrees in Chemistry and Education and taught at the elementary, junior high, high school and university levels. Steve is proud to have also worked as a commercial beekeeper with his father and he enjoys being able to support the local area through various philanthropic endeavors.




Doria Drost Headshot Doria Drost ’19/’21
Doria Drost is the Director of Marketing at ASM Global - Denny Sanford PREMIER Center where she oversees all marketing, communications, and public relations activities for the largest multi-venue complex in South Dakota, including welcoming top artists, bands, sporting events, and more to the region. Currently living in Sioux Falls, she spends her time volunteering with various local nonprofit organizations and serving on two nonprofit board of directors. In addition to her full-time role and volunteer work, Doria has also continued to run her own freelance marketing and design business she initially started while attending SMSU.


Gary Dahms Headshot Gary Dahms
Senator Gary Dahms has served in the Minnesota Senate since 2011. During his tenure, he has put the needs of the region and Southwest Minnesota State University at the forefront of the legislative agenda. He chaired the Commerce Committee for six years and was lead on the Senate Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee. He is a champion for SMSU in the biennial budget and bonding needs, authoring bills in support of SMSU campus improvements and appropriations for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement projects. His support was critical to add the Ag Education program at SMSU and he has visited campus regularly to understand better the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. Gary and Barb owned and operated the Dahms Insurance Agency in Redwood Falls and Fairfax before retiring in 2012.


Register by October 4
Tickets are $50

Register Here

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