Elaine and Joe Floyd
Elaine and Joe Floyd

Black Hills State University recently received a $120,000 pledge for scholarships from Joe and Elaine Floyd from Sioux Falls.

The first scholarship, in the amount of $12,000, will be awarded for the fall 2009 semester. Criteria for the award specify that the recipient be a female from South Dakota who has a farm/ranch background. The recipient must also have a strong desire to learn and have financial need. The scholarship is renewable as long as the student is making satisfactory progress.

Steve Meeker, vice president of University Advancement, praised the couple for this exceptional gift and noted that it couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This generous gift will provide significant financial support for a BHSU student,” Meeker says. “All of us at the University appreciate Joe and Elaine Floyd’s support. This gift will provide needed financial support for new students as they begin to transform their life by earning their degree.”

Joe and Elaine Floyd were born and raised in South Dakota. Elaine attended Black Hills Teachers College in 1953 and later worked for Black Hills State College as a recruiter in the 80s. Their travels for employment took them out of state for a time before returning to make an important impact not only on the business community throughout the state and region, but for supporting people that need it most in many ways.

Joe was born in Sioux Falls, the son of Joe L. Floyd one of the original founding partners of Midcontinent Theatre Company and KELO-TV. He worked in engineering and cable systems in the region. Beginning in 1968, Joe guided the construction and purchase of cable systems in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska and Western Minnesota. Initially, he established his cable headquarters in very humble surroundings working with Elaine. When Joe moved to Sioux Falls to add duties as the executive vice president of KELO-LAND Television, Elaine officially retired from her cable position, but not from active duty. Elaine continued as Joe’s “special assistant” and tireless ambassador of the company. In July 2001, Joe retired from the company as its president but remains as the vice chairman of the board of directors.

Joe and Elaine have shared a life of service to others through their work. The couple is proud of their part in providing direct support to those in need. They were founders in the Turning Point Program in Sioux Falls, an “at risk” youth training program which graduated over 100 students each year with high school diplomas or GED certificates. This program has merged into the Volunteers of America programs where the Floyds remain active as “visionary” contributors.

They have embraced and are consistent key contributors of the 4-H “Character Counts” program. Each year, their contribution allows the Peace Officers Association to provide hundreds of bicycles to underprivileged kids. They also proudly support the wonders available daily for all to enjoy at the Sertoma Butterfly House in Sioux Falls. Their gifts provided admission assistance to kindergarten through fifth graders in Sioux Falls.

The communications industry, the region and the state of South Dakota have all benefited greatly from the vision, passion and success of Joe and Elaine Floyd. They have consistently and quietly improved quality of life for all the right reasons.

The recently established Floyd Scholarship is one of many scholarships that BHSU offers to students. For details about applying for admission and scholarships visit: www.BHSU.edu/scholarships.

Joey Painter, who will graduate from Harding County High School this spring and has enrolled at Black Hills State University, has been awarded the first ever $12,000 Joe and Elaine Floyd Scholarship at BHSU. Read more.