South Dakota State University basketball fans watched their beloved Jackrabbits get mauled by Michigan’s Wolverines this week (71-56), dropping them out of the NCAA Tournament. But SDSU students might find solace and another source of school pride at the University’s art museum. The South Dakota Museum of Art in Brookings is home to–among much else–an extensive collection of illustrations by the prolific Paul Goble. An Englishman, Goble moved to the Black Hills in 1977 when he met Chief Edgar Red Cloud. Although already in his forties when he arrived, Goble considered the Chief his adoptive father. The influence of the Chief and the Plains Indian culture was immediate in Goble’s first stateside children’s book “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.” The book received the Caldecott Medal award in 1978. Since then Goble has written and illustrated more than 30 books.
SDSU is the state’s largest university (with 12,583 students) and yet it is not the City of Brookings’ largest employer. Daktronics, Inc., a manufacturer of big electronic signage like the Coca-Cola sign in Times Square and various flashers for Fenway Park in Boston, employs 2,500. The company, founded in 1968 by two SDSU professors, also includes among its scoreboard clients The Palace of Auburn Hills, the now accursed arena where the Wolverines sent the hooping Jackrabbits down the hole in the second round. Unfortunately for SDSU and its fans, Daktronics scoreboards are not only luminous–they’re unfailingly accurate.