Students, faculty and staff at the University of South Dakota are breathing a sigh of relief tonight after hearing President Jim Abbott is in recovery after having a heart attack.
"I think we were all really surprised," Dr. Kim Grieve, USD Student Affairs vice president and dean of students, said.
That's the same emotion a lot of students and faculty felt after hearing the news about Abbott having a heart attack.
"I couldn't believe it. When I read that he even drove himself to the ER, I was like 'Wow, such a strong man," student Jeickson Pichardo said.
The students found out last night via email that Abbott drove himself to the emergency room in Vermillion and was later flown to Sioux Falls for surgery.
"The campus would be notified through email if anything would ever hapen, but we know he's on the mend," Grieve said.
Now thoughts and prayers are being sent up from the USD campus.
"I think all students are very concerned and everyone is wishing him and his family the absolute best and a full and fast recovery," student Lucas Lund said.
They say they're already looking forward to what's next for Abbott and the University.
The longtime leader retires in June after two decades as the school's president.
"We all understand that it's important that we maintain the high standards that he sets forth and we're looking forward to celebrating his retirement, a well deserved retirement, in the next few months," Grieve said.
"It's going to be a very exciting time for the university but it will be very interesting to see where we go in the next few years. Any transition is going to be very difficult," Lund said.
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