Pulling off the interstate and arriving back in Spearfish on a Friday night in the 1980s, it was the voice of Charlie Schad over the PA system at an athletic event that would welcome you home.
The family of Dr. Charles (Charlie) and Nyla Schad recently established a scholarship in their memory at Black Hills State University. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time this fall.
A 1956 alum of BHSU, Charlie grew up in Eagle Butte and taught at schools in rural Montana and Ziebach County in South Dakota before moving his family to Spearfish. At BHSU he taught in the Lab School on campus, worked in administration, helped establish the middle school teaching certification, secured a President’s Residence, and worked to get the Donald E. Young Center built during his 38-year tenure at BHSU.
Charlie also served as the announcer for BHSU football and basketball games for more than 30 years. His son Michael Schad said he learned to count by two’s sitting next to his dad during games and serving as his dad’s spotter as a young boy.
“My father took pride in doing things right. He would arrive early to the games to talk with the opposing coaches or managers. He’d take his program and phonetically sound out the names to announce them correctly,” said his son, Michael Schad.
Nyla grew up in Dupree. She was involved in the Faculty Wives group at BHSU, the United Church of Christ, and the Hospital Auxiliary. She knitted washcloths sold at the hospital gift shop to raise funds for the nursery. Nyla also worked at several places throughout the Spearfish community including Hardware Hank, Dunwoody Jewelry, and the couple owned a liquor store.
“Mom was the strong, silent glue that kept our family of eight together. She was graceful and the least pretentious person you could ever know. She was very supportive and honest,” said Michael.
Michael remembers his parents opening up their home to BHSU students for the Thanksgiving holiday year after year. Of the six Schad children, five either graduated from or attended BHSU: Terri Dunwoody, Class of 1978; Lynette Kelley, attended; Deanna Clarke, attended; Nathel Coca, ’82, ’85, & ’98, Cami Dohman, ’90, and Michael Schad. Three of the Schad’s grandchildren have also attended the university.
“My dad loved his family, but he might’ve loved BHSU more,” jokes Michael. “He devoted his entire adult life to BHSU.”
The Dr. Charles and Nyla Schad Athletic Scholarship will be awarded each year to a student football athlete majoring in education. Preference will be given to students who graduated from a west river high school in South Dakota.