Roby named commencement speaker at Mount Marty University

April 23, 2024

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Don Roby will give the commencement address to the undergraduate students of Mount Marty University at Holy Name Catholic Church on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

Roby grew up in Watertown. “Growing up there was an unbelievably fun experience,” said Roby. He described his childhood town as kids playing everywhere from the neighborhood park to the town streets. “It was nonstop activity.”

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in 1984, and following graduation was employed with IBM where he held various sales, marketing, staff and management positions in several different cities across the Midwest.

In January of 1995, Roby joined Winthrop Resources Corporation, a Minneapolis-based technology financing company, where he worked across multiple states as a regional sales manager. Roby and his family decided to move back to Watertown in 2003 so their kids could get to better know both sets of grandparents. He served on the Watertown City Council for two terms in 2013 through 2021 and retired from Winthrop in 2018.

Roby is currently a partner in R&R Investments, LLC which invests in small companies including startups. He is also on the board of trustees at Mount Marty University, serves on the boards of the South Dakota Community Foundation and Prairie Lakes Healthcare System, is a Commissioner on the South Dakota Transportation Commission, and a member of Rotary International.

Holy Name Catholic Church is Roby’s home parish. As a boy, Roby altar served in this church and was later married to his wife Kelly at that very same altar. “It’s kind of neat I’ll be back on the altar after all those years.”

Roby was always aware of Mount Marty and its importance to Watertown. He agreed to be on the Board of Trustees after previously being on the Mount Marty Strategic Planning Committee because, “there is something inherently good about Mount Marty. The Benedictine mission, the people involved… I thought this would be good for me to do.” He told the sisters in his interview for the board that he hoped some of Mount Marty rubs off on him, and he thinks it has. He also believes in giving back to his community.

“It’s kind of humbling to be asked in the first place,” Roby said about being the Watertown 2024 commencement speaker. “I’m honored by that.” Roby plans to speak on making mistakes, taking risks, and the importance of your relationship with your employer which can translate to other relationships in your life.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony starts Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 2:00 pm at the Holy Name Catholic Church in Watertown. Program details can be found at