Black Hills State University
Madeline A. Young Speaker Series


1924 Picture of Madeline Young as a Junior at the Spearfish Normal School.

The Madeline A. Young Distinguished Speaker Series at Black Hills State University was established in 1986 by a $150,000 gift endowment from Madeline Young, a 1924 alumna. In 1990 her estate provided an additional $146,469 to fund the speaker series endowment.

Young, who acquired her teaching certificate at Spearfish Normal School (later known as Black Hills State University), created an endowment for a prominent speakers program to benefit students, faculty, and citizens of the Black Hills area. The nature of selected speakers and topics are calculated to enhance and challenge the artistic, cultural, civic, educational or intellectual interests of the community.

Young was born in Gettysburg in 1903 and graduated from Faulkton High School in 1921 before embarking on a career as a teacher and a nurse.

She completed her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1931 and a master’s degree in rehabilitation at Columbia University in 1951.

During World War II she served as an Army nurse, receiving three battle stars during the battles of Normandy, Northern France, and the Rhineland. After the war she worked for the Veterans Administration in rehabilitation.

After receiving her master’s degree, Young pursued a nursing career at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York. Her specialty was cancer nursing, which she pursued until retiring in 1957.

The distinguished speaker series was initiated at the university April 13, 1987, with an address by former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.