Lionel Bordeaux

Black Hills State University will dedicate the newest campus residence hall to Lionel R. Bordeaux, BHSU class of 1964 alum and one of the longest-serving U.S. college president currently in office. Bordeaux has served as president of Sinte Gleska University in Mission for 44 years.

Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH | Black Hills State University will dedicate the newest campus residence hall in honor of Lionel R. Bordeaux, BHSU class of 1964 alumni, and 64 and one of the longest-serving U.S. college presidents currently in office.

Bordeaux has served as president of Sinte Gleska University in Mission for 44 years.

The Lionel R. Bordeaux Residence Hall Dedication will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bordeaux Hall. A reception will follow at the Joy (Proctor) Krautschun Alumni/Foundation Welcome Center located at 1351 St. Joe Street.

“Dr. Bordeaux is a champion for human rights and higher education,” said BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., said. “Each time BHSU students walk into Bordeaux Residence Hall at BHSU his influence and example will inspire them to consider the possibilities their own leadership can have both in South Dakota and throughout the world.”

Naming the residence hall in Bordeaux’s honor also calls attention to his commitment to students Jackson said.

Justin Logue, Student Senate President, said the naming will inspire students to make a positive impact in their communities through the example of Bordeaux.

“Dr. Lionel Bordeaux is a highly distinguished alumnus of BHSU who has contributed decades of service to higher education in South Dakota,” said Logue, a psychology and political science major from Volin. “This honor shows that his contributions are appreciated.”

Bordeaux earned a bachelor’s degree in social science and history from BHSU in 1964. He served in the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1964-1972 as a teacher/counselor in New Mexico, a vocational counselor in Texas, and an educational counselor/specialist in Pine Ridge. During this time he also completed his management trainee certification with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.

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Bordeaux received a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of South Dakota in 1971 and began doctoral studies in educational administration at the University of Minnesota. In 1973 he began his tenure as president of Sinte Gleska University.

Bordeaux also has served as a tribal leader both locally and nationally. He was chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council Governmental Affairs Committee and the Economic Development Commission. He completed U.S. Presidential and Senatorial appointments serving as chairman of the White House Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges & Universities and co-chairman of the White House Conference on Indian Education.

Bordeaux provided leadership for the first fully-accredited reservation-based institution of higher education at the bachelor’s degree level and instituted the first two reservation-based tribally-controlled master’s degree programs -- one in elementary education and the other in human services.

In 1988, Governor George Mickelson proclaimed Lionel R. Bordeaux Day in South Dakota. In the same year, Bordeaux also received the Outstanding Indian Educator of the Year Award from the National Education Association. He has also earned several lifetime achievement awards and two honorary doctorates.

Bordeaux Residence Hall was completed on the BHSU campus in 2015. The Hall is a 50,000 square foot building that connected two existing halls (Heidepriem and Thomas) with a central living area that serves as a residence life hub for students.

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