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Woman recreates SDSU Campanile photo 80 years later

Phyllis Bunkers' son, Steven, took the new photo. A friend took the original, sometime in the...
Phyllis Bunkers' son, Steven, took the new photo. A friend took the original, sometime in the late 1930's, next to the Campanile tower, which would have only been around 10 years old at the time. (KSFY)
Published: Oct. 28, 2019 at 10:46 AM CDT
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The family of a Brookings woman helped her recreate a photo at South Dakota State University's iconic Campanile tour, eight decades after the original picture was taken.

Ninety-seven-year-old Phyllis Bunkers took the new photo Saturday.

Her son, Stephen Bunkers, was the one who snapped the photo. He was in town for ESPN's live airing of College GameDay ahead of the SDSU/NDSU football game. He tells KSFY News he had considered redoing the photo for a while, and decided Saturday was the day to do it.

A friend, Brian Kvamme, helped take the photo. He posted the pictures on Twitter, and the post has since went viral.

Phyllis grew up in Brookings, and began attending SDSU in 1939. Stephen said she went to school for two years, but financial issues and the outbreak of World War II prevented her from finishing her degree.

Steven said the exact date of the initial photo is uncertain. He believes it was taken when she was a freshman at SDSU, but it may have been taken a year or two earlier while she was attending Brookings High School.

Phyllis, who turns 98 later this year, still lives in Brookings. She has been a lifelong Jackrabbits supporter.

While the photo recreation has already found social media fame, Steven said it's not quite perfect. He said he plans to make another attempt at recreating the photo, to get the framing and dimension closer to the original.