McGovern Center visits Avera Brady

The McGovern Center staff, along with McGovern Scholar student, Nathan Bader, stopped by Avera Brady Assisted Living yesterday to share some of the stories happening through our office and visit with the residents.  We love being able to tell our community about the projects our students are involved with– both here in Mitchell and around the world!  Thanks to the Avera staff for inviting us!


World Premiere of new composition performed by DWU band… with a special McGovern theme!

On Sunday, February 11th at 4pm in the Sherman Center, the Dakota Wesleyan Band will perform the world premiere of a piece written specifically for them by a South Dakota composer.

The band will perform a composition created specifically for them called “A Higher Plain.” It was composed by the well-known South Dakota musician and composer Jeremy Hegg and commissioned by the Glenn E. Soladay Estate for the Dakota Wesleyan University Band.

Composer Hegg took it a step further to customize the piece to DWU itself. He was inspired by George McGovern’s legacy and the title of the piece, “A Higher Plain,” was taken from a famous speech by McGovern where he says: “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.”

This concert is free and open to the public. We are excited to hear it and invite you– as McGovern supporters– to attend!  It should be a great show!

Monochrome Jazz Circular Instrument Poster

Students help with the SD Point-in-Time Homelessness Count

The McGovern Center oversees all community service at Dakota Wesleyan.  Besides co-curricular service work, we encourage community-based learning in the classroom.  This involves students participating in service projects as part of specific courses.  The service work emphasizes their course curriculum and helps them learn more about their area of study– all while helping the community!

Last week, we had students as part of the Understanding Poverty class help with the South Dakota Point-in-Time Homelessness Count. Communities across the state are encouraged to assess homelessness in their communities through collecting survey information.  Most of the students helped in Mitchell– offering housing assessment surveys all around town, while some students helped in Sioux Fall visiting people on the streets and at Bishop Dudley.

Check out this link from Keloland about the work in Sioux Falls:

PIT Count 2018

We’re so proud of our students and their willingness to jump into this good work!

What’s the Hunger Summit?

Carly, the Program Coordinator in the McGovern Center, was interviewed by our campus media department about the upcoming 2017 Hunger Summit, happening here at DWU on Wednesday, November 8th.  Check it out:

What exactly is the South Dakota Hunger Summit?
The Hunger Summit is hosted by the McGovern Center and several other partners across South Dakota to spread the word about issues of hunger and food security that are happening locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as encourage people in our state to get involved. The McGovern Center seeks to honor the legacy of Senator George McGovern and Eleanor McGovern and their commitment to fighting against hunger in our world. Each year, we bring in a keynote speaker and have breakout sessions about various topics related to hunger. There’s informational booths about organizations that help fight hunger in our area and we give the McGovern Hunger Ambassador award, which goes to someone who has made a significant contribution in the fight against hunger here in South Dakota. We also host the Mitchell High School’s Empty Bowls Lunch during the Summit– attendees can purchase a student-made pottery bowl as a “meal ticket” to participate in the soup lunch that day.

When did it first begin?
We hosted our first Hunger Summit at DWU in 2015.

What is so significant about it?
Sometimes we don’t realize that hunger happens right here in our own backyard. This event is important to me because not only do we raise awareness about hunger and food security, but we try to provide opportunities for anyone– students, farmers, community members, business owners, etc.– to learn about how they can get involved in the fight against hunger. It’s also pretty amazing to see the wide variety of partners we have and the people who attend– we’ve had Hunger Summit attendees from all over the state!

What is your favorite part about the summit?
I like the community aspect of the Summit. People all have a different reason for attending, but they are each involved in food security or hunger issues in some way. It’s great to have a space to come together, learn about what’s already being done in our community, but also network together about what we can do moving forward. I’ve seen significant community changes that have come out of Hunger Summit conversations.

Why did you choose M.J. Altman to be the speaker?
M.J. is the editorial director for World Food Program USA and is also a co-creator and host of the podcast, Hacking Hunger. ( She’s been involved in a lot of hunger initiatives and has traveled all over the world, but we’re excited about her interest in young people, media, and her commitment to spreading the word about hunger in new ways. She will not only be giving our keynote, but she and her colleague, Ash, will also be offering a breakout session about storytelling– particularly as it has to do with telling the story of those facing hunger– at 11am.

Would you like to include information about ambassador award nominations?
We would love to have people nominate someone for the McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award. We’re looking for someone from South Dakota who has made a difference in the fight against hunger. They can fill out the application here:

Is there any other specific information or input that you would like us to know?
People can come for any part of the day– so even if you can only make it for the keynote, for a breakout, or for lunch, come join us! Registration for the Summit is encouraged, but not required. More info here:

2017 Hunger Summit Logo