Black Hills State University has announced its record-breaking goal to raise $32 million through a Capital Campaign for student scholarships and campus advancement.
On Nov. 28, community members, alumni, and donors gathered at the BHSU Joy (Proctor) Krautschun Alumni/Foundation Welcome Center (Joy Center) to celebrate the announcement of the university’s most ambitious campaign ever. At the announcement, Steve Meeker, vice president for University Advancement, thanked donors for their generosity.
“Our campaign’s theme is ‘Because of You, Anything is Possible,’” Meeker shared. “We very much appreciate everyone’s support — it’s critical for the future of BHSU, so I thank all of you who are supporters of our university.”
Meeker announced that BHSU has been in the quiet phase of the campaign since July 2014. Since that time, the university has received 4,699 donations, raising $23.7 million. From that amount, 46 new scholarship endowments have been created.
“BHSU ranks fifth out of six state institutions in scholarships awarded to our students, so we had to initiate a campaign that focused heavily on scholarships for our students,” Meeker said. “The campaign also features some capital projects for our campus.”
Goals for the campaign include $24.5 million for scholarships, $3 million for a fitness center addition to the Young Center, $1.5 million for an addition to the E. Y. Berry Library-Learning Center, and $2 million for athletic facility upgrades. BHSU aims to complete this campaign by December of 2019.
Dr. Tom Jackson Jr., BHSU President, said gifts from individuals, alumni, and corporations are crucial in supporting BHSU students with the necessary funds to attain a high-quality education.
“Scholarships are crucial for incoming students. Scholarships also enable current students to devote more time and energy to pursuing their degree and actively building a career, without the burden of excessive debt,” said Jackson. “Awarding these scholarships is our university’s way of saying, ‘We want you here, and we want you to succeed.’”
More than 600 students graduate from BHSU annually, including the largest number of education graduates of any school in the state of South Dakota.
“Because of community and alumni support, we can celebrate the strides the Capital Campaign has already made toward supporting our students,” said Jackson. “We invite the community to join us in our effort to finish our campaign strong.”