Dan, Alana, Dana, and LaDawn Dykhouse
Dana and LaDawn Dykhouse and their children, Dan and Alana, donated $1 million to Black Hills State University. The gift will be used to establish the Dykhouse Family Athletic Scholarship Fund and to purchase new scoreboards in the basketball arena.

Black Hills State University received a donation of $1 million from Dana and LaDawn Dykhouse and their children, Dan and Alana. This is the University’s first cash gift of $1 million, meaning BHSU students will see an immediate benefit from the gift.

BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp expressed her gratitude for the generous gift and noted that it will have a positive impact for the University and the community.

“The Dykhouse family shares Black Hills State University’s mission to transform the lives of young people by helping them achieve their goal of earning a University degree,” Schallenkamp said. “Through this generous donation, the Dykhouses are making an investment in the future of the Spearfish community, the state, the nation and the world. We are forever grateful for their support of BHSU.”

The $1 million gift will be used to establish the Dykhouse Family Athletic Scholarship Fund and to purchase new scoreboards in the basketball arena.

According to Dana Dykhouse, prominent Sioux Falls businessman and president and chief executive officer of First PREMIER Bank, his family wants other student-athletes to have access to the same experiences and opportunities his daughter, Alana, has received as a student and a basketball player at BHSU.

“We have been blessed with the resources to give back,” Dana said. “We want other young people to be able to receive the wonderful experience that Alana has had at Black Hills State University.”

Dana said he could not stress enough how special the Spearfish community is. “BHSU and the Spearfish community have far exceeded our expectations. I’ve been on a lot of college campuses and have never had an experience like the first time we came to BHSU. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. That really set the tone for Alana’s university experience.”

The first Dykhouse Family Athletic Scholarships will be awarded to outstanding scholar-athletes beginning in the fall of 2011. Dana also sees the new scoreboards as an annuity for the University. “If the scoreboards are paid for, money from scoreboard ad sales can be used to meet the needs of the University instead of paying for the scoreboards themselves.”

The Dykhouse Family has a long association with South Dakota’s universities. Dana and LaDawn (Stenson) are both 1979 graduates of South Dakota State University. Dana has held leadership positions on several councils for SDSU and currently serves on the Yellow Jacket Foundation Board of Directors. Dana and LaDawn’s son, Dan, is also a graduate of SDSU, and their daughter, Alana, is completing the requirements for her elementary education degree from BHSU.

Alana Dykhouse, who finished her Yellow Jacket basketball career last season, said her time at BHSU, both on and off the court, has been remarkable. During her career as a Yellow Jacket, the BHSU women’s basketball team dominated the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC), winning two conference championships and qualifying to play in three consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournaments, twice finishing in the Elite 8. Alana became the top Jacket rebounder her junior and senior seasons, and by the end of her career, she had helped the Yellow Jackets win 97 games.

“Alana left her legacy at BHSU as one of the fiercest competitors on the court. She is one of the best inside defenders I’ve ever coached,” Mark Nore, BHSU head women’s basketball coach said. “I feel very fortunate to have coached Alana. She helped us win a lot of games, but more importantly we had the opportunity to grow together as people. She, along with all our former teammates, will forever be a part of this Yellow Jacket family.”

Alana echoes that sentiment, saying she not only learned from her coaches, teammates, and professors, she has also developed lifelong relationships within the BHSU and Spearfish communities.

“When I came here, everyone made it feel like a home for me,” Alana said. “My teammates are some of my best friends, and the community has been so supportive. After my last basketball season, I received notes from community members thanking me for choosing to play for BHSU.”

The Dykhouse family is passionate about the education of South Dakota’s young people, and Alana shares their commitment to higher education.

“I have had a wonderful experience through my BHSU classes and my time on the basketball team. Our gift will ensure that other basketball players will be given the same opportunity to have that experience at Black Hills State University,” Alana said.

BHSU will formally recognize the Dykhouse Family during the women’s basketball season opener Saturday, Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

For more information or to establish an endowment at BHSU, contact Steve Meeker at Steve.Meeker@BHSU.edu or 605-642-6385.