The children of Marjorie (Pickles) Briggs of Midland are carrying on the value their parents placed on higher education by establishing a scholarship at Black Hills State University. Haakon County students are eligible for the scholarship beginning this fall.
Marjorie, who passed away in August at the age of 91, attended Black Hills State (formerly Black Hills Teacher’s College) in the early 1950s. She earned her teacher’s certification and taught in country schools near Robbs Flat and Midland.
In 1954, Marjorie married Elmer Briggs and they were married more than 50 years before Elmer’s passing. The couple had four children: Janet, Ed, Jacque, and Lynn.
Two of their children, Dr. Janet Briggs and Jacque (Briggs) Ritter, along with a granddaughter, Rochelle Ritter, all graduated from BHSU. Dr. Janet Briggs currently serves as an assistant professor of science education at BHSU.
Lynn, Marjorie’s youngest son, said his parents always emphasized the importance of higher education.
“All four of us siblings have at least our bachelor’s degree. Establishing this scholarship in memory of our mom is our way of encouraging others to earn their degrees, just like our parents did for us,” said Lynn.
Marjorie was known for her patience, caring, and warmth. She left teaching to tend to the family farm and ranch with her husband, but her children say she talked fondly of her days as an educator.
The Marjorie Briggs Memorial Scholarship will be awarded each year to a full-time student from Haakon County in South Dakota enrolled at Black Hills State University. The student must have completed 28 semester hours, have great financial need, and have a declared major of education, teacher, or administration. Preference will be given to a student with a farming or ranching background.