1982 alumna to speak at DWU commencement

MITCHELL – Betty Oldenkamp, a 1982 DWU graduate, will be the keynote speaker at the Dakota Wesleyan University Commencement on Sunday, May 7, at the Corn Palace at 1:30 p.m. The ceremony will be livestreamed at www.dwu.edu/live.

A native of Murdo, Oldenkamp began her career working with a community support provider in Madison. Subsequently she joined the Department of Human Services in Pierre where she advanced to Director of the Division of Mental Health, and eventually became Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Human Services in the Janklow and Rounds administrations. In 2006 Oldenkamp was appointed President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services (LSS) in Sioux Falls and retired from that position in December 2021.

Oldenkamp received many honors and awards during her influential career including two different employee excellence awards at the Department of Human Services and was recently named the first-ever recipient of the Wings of Compassion award presented by LSS last fall in Sioux Falls. She is currently president-elect of the League of Women Voters of Sioux Falls, and a past board member of many organizations including the DWU Board of Trustees where she served for twelve years.

As part of the ceremony, Oldenkamp will also receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. The honorary doctorate will be conferred in recognition of Oldenkamp’s many contributions to the field of mental health and her tenure as leader of one of the state’s most notable non-profit social services agencies.

A baccalaureate service will be held prior to the commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Sherman Center on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan.